Running a small business can be rewarding in more ways than one. Typically, small businesses are focused on their own growth and expansion, especially during the first few years. However, nothing speaks louder to the community and your customer base than witnessing ways that your business gives back to its clients, customers, or the community.
We find giving back to be one of our favorite parts of business ownership because there is NO pressure attached AND we rejoice in seeing the value or support it gives another individual or business. We regularly look for ways to give back to our customers and community as a way to say “thank you”, as well as spread joy and knowledge to those around us.
Are you looking for ideas on how to give back as a small business, perhaps when extra money is limited? We have several ideas you could use and support starting with any one of them. Check these out!
5 Ways to Give Back When You Own a Small Business
1. Share about another local business
The cost to share about local business is NOTHING! With social media being such a powerful tool, this type of giving back can go a long way and improve your business relationship with another local business.
Sharing doesn’t have to be overly formal, but it should include a few things:
Your personal recommendation and feelings towards the services / products of this business
A tag or contact information for your followers / subscribers to learn more about the business
While social media is a great way to digitally share about another business, you can also consider a hard copy flier or business cards at your physical location OR even a shout out to your newsletter / email subscribers.
Lastly, while you don’t have to notify the business you are sharing about that you gave them some love online, you certainly can pass on a link or screenshot of your efforts to further let them know, “Hey! We really admire what you’re doing! Keep it up!”
2. Sponsor an event
One really effective way to give back as a small business is to sponsor a local event, either monetarily OR by gifting a product or service. Many event coordinators are looking for sponsors of various sizes, so don’t think you have to spend hundreds of dollars to become a sponsor.
Oftentimes, sponsorship packages range from small monetary donations and promotion obligations to large donations with your branding and marketing information distributed as part of the event. This can benefit you as a secondary marketing strategy if you choose to financially invest and genuinely support the cause of the event.
Be on the lookout for sponsorship opportunities in your area. This can also be an excellent time to network with other local businesses, as well as get your name out there for your particular product or service.
3. Offer discounts to emergency personnel
We are so grateful for the many emergency professionals who sacrifice time and resources to be there for our community. A great way to say thank you to them is to offer a discount to such personnel when it comes to your products or services.
Keep in mind that you don’t have to offer a massive discount in order to give back. Every little bit helps. Consider a 10%, 15%, or even 20% discount (if this works for your business) and advertise it both in person (if applicable) and online.
Individuals that this discount applies to will be grateful for your acknowledgment of their sacrifice. For those that it does not apply to, they will appreciate the gesture this discount is and likely support you more so because of your willingness to give back.
4. Donate products or services
In an ideal world, you could donate or gift one of your products or services to every charity or non-profit organization. Knowing that their purpose is to help others, gifting to them helps them keep costs low so they can give more to those in need.
While this isn’t always possible, keep in mind that even one donated gift or service can make an impact for these groups. They will appreciate your generosity and can sometimes offer you additional marketing, free of cost.
When it comes to donating, expect nothing back in return. It should genuinely be in effort to support their mission and help others, even if it is relatively small.
5. Collect donations
Have you ever heard of a Canned Food Drive? What about a Coats Drive for Kids? These are just a few examples of ways or items you could arrange to collect to then give back to other organizations (such as homeless shelters, hospitals, etc.). Typically, your audience or followers will jump at the opportunity to help contribute to a worthy cause and you can be a part of arranging that.
Canned food and coat drives are helpful all year long, but especially in colder months or around the holidays. Additional donation collection ideas include:
While this takes a bit of time and effort to spread the word, the impact is tremendous and can certainly help your small business feel good about giving back.
We think any business that puts giving back a priority on their list is a good business! We hope one of these ideas spoke to you and can be turned into fruition. We guarantee that it will be worth it!