My organisation is a social enterprise with a passionate belief that successful businesses are responsible and that small businesses can make strong contributions to social and economic development at a local level.
Responsible business practice can create real advantages for smaller businesses. It’s an investment that can pay off in the longer term, and should be seen as part of the modern model of business excellence as part of doing business well.
My organisation measures the social good businesses do in five key areas:
By addressing some or all of these five areas of social responsibility, you can build long-term consumer trust, helping your businesses succeed.
The global economic crisis and its social consequences damaged consumer confidence and levels of trust in business, and have focused public attention on the social and ethical performance of enterprises. This is a positive opportunity for small businesses to recapture the hearts of consumers and persuade them to shop local.
One business that we helped show their social good is Apex Radio Systems, a small business hiring and selling two-way radio systems. Acting responsibly is seen as an integral part of the company’s ethos, and has helped them strengthen the connections they have with their consumers and suppliers.
The business aims to inspire their employees to engage with the community through local events and charity, organising a food collection between colleagues to donate to their local food bank for example, and sponsoring local charity events by supplying two-way radios to help the event organisers.
Apex also helps local young people into work by employing team members through apprenticeship schemes, work placements and graduate plans. Currently the company consists of 23 employees, of whom six started as apprentices and one started on a graduate placement. The company believes that hiring young people supports the local community, and recognises that young people are full of fresh ideas.
Apex’s activities have benefitted them hugely, and are the type of activities any business can do. Could being more socially responsible be included in your business plan?
How your small business can benefit from being socially responsible:
Kay Allen will be discussing how businesses can account for the good they do at the AAT Annual Conference on Saturday May 16.