COMMUNITY SERVICE: A NECESSITY FOR YOUR SMALL BUSINESS

What happens when community service and business intermingle? Well, something beautiful comes about. A sense of purpose and compassion fills every person involved, coloring the event, the business, and the cause. People who have a keen sense of purpose, studies have shown, tend to be more successful in their personal life as well as their professional life.  Let’s take a look at how serving in the community can enhance skills, company culture, even reputation. Small businesses in particular have been known to benefit in the following ways.

Enhances Skills - Volunteering takes a special set of skills that can contribute to a person’s business acumen (bonus!). In a recent survey, an estimated 92% of HR executives agreed that expertise in community service can strengthen a person’s broader professional skill set.

·         As a volunteer, one must learn how to communicate amid a full range of differing personalities. Talk about getting two birds with one stone! You need to display these same qualities within the workplace, regardless of industry. Being a team playing volunteer can yield many transferable skills in a more professional context.

·         Volunteering allows a person to gain new skills and/or enhance existing skills. Expanding knowledge in other expertise will make for a well-rounded person. Brett Wilkinson, Chief Executive of Volunteering Australia, says, “Remember that the soft skills you will learn volunteering are also highly desirable to employers.”

Enhances Company Culture- Volunteerism can shed new light on how a company’s day to day culture is perceived. A consumer will more likely do business with a company that definitively stands for something. A poll showed that nearly two-thirds of millennials prefer companies that contribute to charities.

Share your experience

·         Capture photos of your employees volunteering and share that content on social media platforms.

·         Create a blog about your experience! Tell a story, collect quotes from active employees, and share it online.

·         Upgrade your website! Create a new tab or add information to an existing page about your company’s volunteer efforts. Having content of volunteerism and what charities your company supports will shine a light on the kind of culture your company emits.

Enhances Marketing Efforts- Some may not think so, but volunteering can create a buzz for small businesses. Think about it. You get a group of employees together, rocking your company’s logo: people are going to wonder what your company does. It spurs conversation and can create business simply from word of mouth.

·         Volunteering can, in a sense, be a networking event. You can meet new clients and grow contacts by talking to other volunteers.

·         Using volunteering as a marketing tool helps build your brand and reputation, for free! This gives you the chance to build up your company’s image while simultaneously doing impactful work for your community.

Community service is important for professionals and your small business. It sets you apart from competitors in a big way. It emphasizes professional skills, sheds light on the culture of your company, and can be used as a marketing tool. Plus it's just a fun and active way to get employees involved and have a feeling of purpose throughout the workplace.  

The next time your company plans an outing, think about giving a helping hand to the community. If you are interested in looking for volunteer opportunities near you, sites such as VolunteerMatch and the Corporation for National & Community Service are helpful.

 

EZlocal truly believes in the work of service and giving a percent of work time to volunteer in the community. President Jim Tracy was recently asked, “Why do you think volunteering is important for a small business?” He responded, “I don’t believe that it should even be thought of as optional for small business owners to volunteer and contribute to charitable organizations within their community. In my opinion, we are required as business owners to give back to the communities that support us. It’s really a win-win situation for a business owner. They help others in need while promoting their business as charitable in the community. Besides, you just feel good as a human being when you help others.” To learn more about the work EZlocal does, please visit http://ezlocalpro.com/