Social Responsibility Isn’t Just for Big Companies. It’s for You Too!
Corporate Social responsibility or CSR refers to how a company engages the community and its customers. CSR holds a company socially accountable for its business practices. It also includes programs they may have established to benefit their surrounding community. Even though CSR was referenced as early as the 1950s, it wasn't consciously recognized or valued probably until the last two decades. Between the economy, war, and natural disasters, the role of companies and their effects on communities became important.
When you think of CSR, you may think of a company giving money to a cause or adhering to a new way to do business, such as no animal testing in the cosmetic industry. However, companies eventually had to consider new approaches to operating, and the drive to corporate social responsibility grew.
Companies such as:
Ben & Jerry's
Made it their creed to infuse business, profit, and CSR into their structure. They found that doing so earned them more revenue and positive brand recognition.
So why am I writing about it? When starting a new business or running an agile enterprise, every step of the equation to sustain and grow a company can be prioritized with an immediacy to grow and save money or to grow and use any means possible that does not damage or hurt the bottom line of the company. However, these days, it is not enough. As budding entrepreneurs and small business owners, it is vital to engrain corporate social responsibility because it adds to your company's culture. I am not saying "Save the whales," but donating unsold food to a soup kitchen may be one way to become socially responsible if you are a bakery or restaurant. If you are a tech company, perhaps focusing on energy conservation at your company and being green can be your social responsibility.
Finding ways to be conscious about how your company engages customers and the community raises your profile while offering a competitive advantage and unique brand identity that is different from your competitors. It can also be a great way to identify cost-saving strategies.