After starting a company and reaching some success, most businesspeople will face the toughest part of their venture’s life cycle. The reason why is that finding a way to remain relevant and maintain new customers is one of the hardest parts of entrepreneurship. Hence why the vast majority of start-ups fail within the first five years of operations.
What many sole-proprietors and corporate leaders fail to understand, however, is the fact that solely focusing on sales is also the wrong approach. While it may be necessary, prioritizing revenues is probably the easiest way to reduce customer interest. Instead, every decent-sized company must get involved with the local community through philanthropic endeavors. Doing so could help overcome the challenging demands or market downfalls by building a loyal client base. So, how should companies go about becoming philanthropic?
Find Important Causes
When Melvin Brewing got started in 2009, owner Jeremy Tofte had nothing more than a 20-gallon brew system and a solid business plan. Once he spent some time growing the venture to a three-barrel system, his beer quickly became a multi-award-winning product that sells in countless markets. Instead of focusing on the revenues and many titles that the brand could have reached, though, Mr. Tofte decided to take Melvin Brewing the other way.
He quickly established partnerships with a wide variety of local organizations who were promoting important causes. For instance, the brewing company became one of the main sponsors of Teton Freedom Riders, Jackson Hole Ski and Snowboard Club, Chill Foundation, Teton Art Lab, and Wyoming Star Gazing. By building relationships with them, the brewing company was able to expand its reach far outside of the beer market. More importantly, it found an excellent way to help individuals, events, and programs from many areas.
So, the first step toward creating a philanthropically inclined company is to find important causes that are pertinent to the local society. Those causes must align with things that the company’s leadership and workers are also passionate about. After all, doing something that everyone is happy with will help boost morale and perpetuate a higher degree of involvement.
Consider Different Ways to Promote the Cause
Once there are a few causes that the company could start promoting, it is time to decide what would be the best way to do so. For instance, some brands simply donate to entities that they want to support. Doing so is usually a great way to get involved by offering financial backing without having to spend time working on the cause. Although the public might be unaware of such assistance, it is one of the most popular ways that American businesses aid their communities.
The other solution is to become an advocate and start participating in the events that promote the cause. If a brand is passionate about working with children who have been diagnosed with cancer, per se, they could implement paid volunteer days to allow its employees to help at local hospitals. In terms of worker satisfaction, this alternative is much better than donating money.
Expand the Reach
After finding the cause and spending some time advocating for it, the company should consider expanding its reach. As Melvin Brewing demonstrates, there are no limits to how many sponsorships a brand can be involved with. In fact, the more that they have, the better. So, as long as the financial and time-based constraints allow it, professional organizations should seek ways to get involved in as many causes as they can. That will allow them to expand their horizons while impacting more members of their community.
Learn and Adapt
As with practically every element of business, evolving into a successful philanthropic venture is going to take some time. Companies will probably undergo a trial and error stage as they experiment with different causes and their social responsibility. Regardless of how long it might take, however, becoming a strong representative and benefactor of the community is easily the most important role that any entity can assume. Thus, it will be well worth it in the long run and it may actually help boost the revenues and longevity.