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How will you give back?

 14 February 2017     Donald Cooper 

How will your business give back to your community, to humanity and to the local and global environment in 2017? It’s called doing well by doing good. What’s your plan?

Giving back is good business and great for employee engagement. Employees want to feel they’re part of something that truly makes a difference – that isn’t just about ‘selling stuff’. All businesses sell stuff but great businesses are on a mission to make a difference in the world. What mission are you on with regard to the products and/or services you sell; how you conduct your business; and, how you help your community? What makes you extraordinary?

The Dove brand of skin and body care products – which are made by a division of Unilever – promotes ‘real beauty’ and fights negative stereotypes about women around the world. Zappos, the online shoe retailer encourages employees to take paid time off to volunteer and hosts numerous charitable events such as Operation Glass Slipper which provides prom dresses and shoes for girls who cannot afford them.

You don’t have to be a big company to make a difference. For example, an HVAC contractor could take on the project of keeping the heating and air conditioning in tip top shape at a local Women’s Shelter or Hostel. A hair salon could partner with a women’s shelter to fill empty appointment times with free hairdressing for women whose lives are in turmoil. A pizza place could deliver free pizza to first responders dealing with an emergency in the community.

We can reduce waste or employ people who need a break. Scarlet’s Bakery in Louisville, Kentucky hires women who have been victims of sexual, physical or mental exploitation. A group of bike shops in Toronto, in desperate need of bike mechanics, partnered with a group committed to helping street kids to create a bike mechanic course that has resulted in hundreds of street kids finding and keeping good, respectful good-paying jobs.

There are also numerous examples in our own industry. The support given by the members of BrandSource Canada to Ronald McDonald House Charities was recently reported on this web site. Blayne Lastman and Lastman’s Bad Boy has raised literally hundreds of thousands of dollars for the Hospital for Sick Children over the past few years. Check out the ‘Community’ section of Home Goods Online for more examples.

We can all do something. What will you do?

This HGO article was written by:
Donald Cooper
Donald Cooper

Donald Cooper has been both a world-class manufacturer and an award-winning retailer. Now, as a business speaker and coach he helps business owners and managers throughout the world to rethink, refocus and re-energize their business to create compelling customer value, clarity of purpose and long-term profitability.

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Home Goods and its accompanying newsletter - HGO This Week - covers the furniture, bedding, appliances, consumer electronics, accessories, lamps and lighting and floor coverings product sectors of the big ticket home goods market in Canada. HGO is also a forum for the dissemination of market research and hard-hitting articles on best practices for Canadian retailers.

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