How to start a socially conscious business
It seems that the world has changed practically overnight and now people are trying to figure out how they can make a difference. The old way of doing things doesn’t seem to be working, so it’s going to take a new generation to work things out.
Those currently studying at business schools like MMU will be thinking about how they are going to make a difference once they graduate. This means that they are trying to figure out ways to start a socially conscious business.
This new world is going to need everybody doing their part to fix problems – and businesses can take the lead. If you are one of those young entrepreneurs looking to change the world, then start a socially conscious business.
Here are a few things to incorporate into your business that will make the world a better place.
Why it’s important to be socially responsible
Let’s take all of the benefits out of the equation for a moment and look at this from the perspective of your bottom line.
No matter what your product or service is, at some point this young generation – whether you call them Millennials or Gen Z – will be your customer base. And this generation shops with their conscience as well as their wallet.
If you want to be able to make money then you have to understand what your customers want – and they want companies to be more responsible. If your company doesn’t have the proper social credentials in their mind, then you’re going to have a hard time.
On top of the fact that you’ll make more money by being socially responsible, you will also help to create a more equitable system that is less prone to creating social problems.
Use SWOT to see where you can give back
This is a classic analysis technique that all businesses use. It focuses on Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats and helps to come up with a roadmap to follow in order to stay competitive.
Use this same technique to see where your socially responsible efforts are falling short and how your competition is doing. For instance, people are looking to companies to cut greenhouse gases. Is your company doing enough to make a smaller footprint? Is there an opportunity to do more and improve your business at the same time?
This is how a SWOT analysis can help to keep you on track when it comes to giving back.
Make it a mission
It’s one thing to promise certain initiatives to be more socially responsible and another to actually implement them.
An example would be a company that uses a “greenwashing” technique to make it appear that they are environmentally responsible because they use recycled boxes, but have a huge environmental footprint in other areas.
Don’t be like that company. Instead, establish actual initiatives that will form the core part of your mission as a company, whether this goal is to become more environmentally friendly, or to be a good neighbour and help with a social problem where you do business. There should be a dedicated team in your company who will examine how any business decision impacts your ability to fulfil your mission.
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