The act of giving back is known as social responsibility. Find out why it’s important for your business, and how to be a socially responsible solopreneur.
Recently Flying Solo asked an excellent Facebook question:
“Should we all aim to do something each day that makes the world a better place? Is that too much pressure to put on ourselves or is it easier than we think?”
This response from Amy Dingly received the most thumbs up.
“Each dollar you spend is a vote towards the world you want. Be an educated consumer. Then every day you can change the world, one dollar at a time.”
Amy’s view is shared by millions. A 2014 study by Nielsen showed that 55% of global online consumers from 60 countries are willing to pay more for products and services provided by companies that are committed to positive social and environmental impact. Nielsen found brands that promoted sustainability on their packaging or actively marketed their social responsibility efforts, were able to boost sales.
So, should all solopreneurs be socially responsible?
If you’re uncomfortable with the concept of giving back or disagree with it entirely, it’s probably not a path to pursue.
However, if you’re even slightly interested in social responsibility, then you should seriously consider incorporating it into your business and life. In fact, without realising it, you’re already giving back.
As a solopreneur, you are already socially responsible.
To explain this, let me first share the official definition of social responsibility. It is:
“an ethical framework advocating that individuals, business owners and organisations have the responsibility to contribute to the betterment of society.”
With that definition in mind, if you work from home (thus avoiding a long car commute), you’ve reduced your carbon footprint which is socially responsible. If you’ve chosen soloism because you love pursuing your passion, then your positive outlook and actions will change the lives of those around you; socially responsible. If you fly solo because you want to invest extra time in your family and community; socially responsible.
In a nutshell, you’re awesome!
Other ways to be socially responsible
- Do pro bono or discounted work for people or organisations who mean something to you.
- Reduce your printing. You might even be in a position to go totally paperless.
- Use environmentally-friendly products such as recycled paper, green printer inks and other eco-friendly products.
- Try to use full or partly recycled packaging.
- Drive less.
- Donate a portion of your income to your preferred charity.
- Align with a giving back initiative that relates to your business or industry. As solopreneurs, this is a great way to be socially responsible.
One of my clients is a marketing-savvy arborist. Early on I suggested he align with a tree-planting organisation, so that for every tree he fixed or removed, another would be planted somewhere in Australia. He is now responsible for over 500 carbon-catching trees being planted! For this and many other reasons, his business is absolutely sky rocketing.
Flying Solo chooses to support the field of Small Business Mental Health
In my own business, two tagline packages include a Kiva Gift Card. The gift card is sent directly to my clients, who make a loan (which I’ve funded) to a business owner somewhere in the world. These micro loans help to eradicate worldwide poverty.
Now, tell the world.
Don’t be shy. Promote your giving back initiatives on your website and other marketing material. No matter how small your initiative may seem, promote it because you’re changing the world, and also, it’s a good way to boost sales!
What are your thoughts on the importance of giving back? Are you already socially responsible? Share your initiatives in the comment section below.