As an owner, there can be many reasons why you may have chosen to start a business. One of them could be because you like the idea of being your own boss or that you prefer to work on your own time. Another reason as to why you may have decided to start your business is to make a difference in the world by being more socially responsible something many business owners often overlooked. Being socially responsible means that your business is active in trying to improve their community and support causes that may be relevant to their customers. There is a lot businesses can gain from being socially responsible and below are 4 ways that they can be promoters of positive change.

Being transparent and taking the call-to-action

When a small business or organization decides to be transparent they agree to support a cause and have their progress displayed for everyone to see. To get their customers involved some companies would implement what is known as call-to-action which is a speech, writing or action encouraging other people to take action on a particular issue. Timberland, a footwear manufacturer, for example, wanted to spread awareness to their consumers about the environment by introducing the Timberland Nutritional Label which appears on every box of shoes sold a year and which lets customers know detail information about how their shoes were made especially how much renewable energy was used in order to produce it. Many customers would shop at places that support causes that they feel is important to them and by adopting a cause to support you may see your business’s sales performance increase. After making itself known as a socially conscious company Timbaland’s sales grew by 10% and their stock prices have doubled between 2006 and 2008.

Establish charity rewards and bonuses.

For some people, the act of being generous is rewarding enough but it’s not the case for everybody. People who work in organizations usually would not take active roles in being socially responsible unless the company makes it one of their main objectives. Incentivizing your employees to take more active roles in being socially responsible through team-based reward systems will increase participation rates and provide more help and support to charities. A referral program is one such way you can track employees who donate their time into supporting charities or measure their contributions in general.

Community Service

If you’re a small business and you want to start off small you can start by helping your community. Taking part in community service activities could improve your business’s image to the local residents of your community and you could also use it as a form of free marketing and publicity too. You could provide services or goods, in any event, being hosted in your community so that people will be more accustomed to your business and attribute it to something positive. Business magazine publisher Entrepreneur advises that small businesses involved in community service must support causes that are in agreement with the nature of their business. This means supporting community activities relevant to what the business can physically offer like being able to donate food if you run a small business at a community event.

Helping the environment

Being socially responsible can be it’s own reward but being able to spread awareness is what’s going to help your business be able to make the changes you would like to see in your community and promoting environmentally friendly activities is one example of a cause you could encourage your customers and the people they know to take part in. Creating recycling programs, using energy efficient appliances, adopting energy conservation practices and eliminating the need of paper to enhance your energy efficiency are some of the few things your business can do if their cause relates to protecting the environment. This show that you care about the Earth that we share and you would like others to know and be a part of making it better as well.

These are among some of the few things your business can do in order to be more socially responsible. Some of these tips could not only help you save your environment and get more people to be a part of it too but it could also help you save on your bottom line. If you would like to find others ways to help you can always find charities and other causes to support online or start one yourself that way you can help others learn about some of the ways they can be socially responsible as well.