Corporate Social Responsibility for Small Businesses

Corporate Social Responsibility for Small Businesses

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  1. CSR Can Benefit a Small Business

    Corporate social responsibility, or CSR for short, is a popular buzzword used by large corporations. CSR can, however, benefit small businesses as well as large corporations. A study by Penn Shoen Berland, Landor Associates, and Birson-Marsteller has shown that customers like to do business with organizations that do the right thing, and will even pay a little bit extra.

    When a Company is Doing the Right Thing

    While there are organizations devoted to promoting and overseeing Corporate Social Responsibility, the customers make the final vote with their dollars. The right thing can be economic, environmental, social, or related to labor issues. Small businesses have the opportunity to shine and even to become leaders in any of these areas.

    CSR Initiatives a Small Business Implement

    • Transparent accounting and economic policies. For a small business, economic transparency means being above-board with stakeholders. Think who might be affected by any aspect of the businesses economic activity, and what that person needs to know.
    • Environmental initiatives. Recycling materials, aluminum cans, plastic, and any other item used in the business processes is a small thing that can actually pay off for a small business – as long as it is promoted.
    • Social initiatives. Small businesses can give back to the community in a number of ways. This can be as big as raising money for a charity or as simple as providing room for a winter coat drive box to be set up in the business’ lobby. Again, the important part is promoting the initiative.
    • Labor relations. In a small business, the bosses or owners have the opportunity to make the work environment, and pay scale, as inviting as possible. Remember that happy employees will tell people about your product or service just as quickly as a happy customer will share the information – and that works in reverse too. The disgruntled will gladly share information about your business you may not want shared.

    How Can a Small Business Use this Information?

    CSR reporting. Small businesses can present CSR reports through Websites, press releases, and through published brochures. CSR reporting provides small business the opportunity to get the word out about the things they are doing right. The advantage of putting together one of these reports is – you can add the information related to your business’ strengths while you gloss over or skip the short-comings.

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