Giving back to the world can be a rewarding part of the entrepreneurial journey. It strengthens the community and can help promote what would otherwise be a forgettable startup. The best news is that you don’t need huge capital or big crews to do it. In addition to purchasing products and services, consumers want to feel that they contribute to others’ overall health and happiness in the community. Here, Keith Orie – a successful entrepreneur from Temple, Texas, suggests how business owners can help fill their customers’ philanthropic desires.
A Rising Tide Lifts All Boats
This idiom, coined by John F Kennedy, describes the idea that all people will benefit when an economy is performing well. Startups often apply this idea to the communities they serve.
A startup company that sells sporting goods for hiking and camping, for example, serves a community of outdoor enthusiasts. When this community is thriving, the startup can expect their business to improve right alongside the community.
By giving back to the community they serve, entrepreneurs foster goodwill and contribute to their customers’ overall well-being.
Cost vs. Benefit
It takes a vision to see that doing the right thing is the best thing in the long run, especially when discretionary funds are few or nonexistent. This can test an entrepreneur’s commitment to their ideals of serving the community.
When startup companies are strapped for cash, they search for investors and venture capital partners to provide needed funds. Living up to their proclaimed commitment to serve the community along the way to success can make them more appealing to both individual investors and VC firms.
One effective way to contribute to the overall health of the community you serve is to donate a portion of every sale to a worthwhile cause. In our example of a sporting goods startup, if a percentage of each sale goes to organizations that promote our natural resources’ responsible use, customers will likely look past a slight price increase over the rock bottom price competitor. Remember, customers want to feel that they have made a positive difference in their consumer choices.
Many entrepreneurs find time to donate their time in support of community causes. Some pay their employees while they serve in the community as well. This philanthropic strategy is doubly effective because the employees also benefit from their time helping others. The startup firm wins by raising the tide of their community. The employees win by the satisfaction of giving to others, and the community wins from being the service recipient.
More than one entrepreneur has made the error of underestimating their customers’ ability to perceive a misused or exaggerated claim of community support. Claiming to do more for the well-being of the community you serve will inevitably backfire and cause irreparable damage to your startup’s reputation.
Be honest in your claims, and seek out those strategies that genuinely help the community you serve.
About Keith Orie
Keith Orie is a certified professional life coach in Temple, Texas, and an Advanced Medical Sales, LLC owner. He started the company to give patients a chance to live a life not dependent on pain relief medication or invasive procedures. Providing medical professionals access to an extensive range of top-of-the-line durable medical equipment helps provide patients with adequate pain relief treatment.