BUSINESS MENTOR: Corporate Social Responsibility and sharing with the community

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By Armando “BUTZ” Bartolome

The goal of every company is the become a sustainable business. And there are so many ways on how to put a company’s name out in the market. But, what could be more appealing to the market is when they see a specific brand that is being socially involved in such a way that it benefits a lot of people.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives are measures that businesses create wherein their main purpose is beneficial to society. There are different categories of CSR which businesses consider.

1. Becoming environmentally involved. Just take a look at home the Pasig River has evolved over the years. We know that the river has become a big dump that it almost looked hopeless for many years due to some irresponsible individuals of not caring for the environment. But because there are those who are truly concerned about the environment, many participated in this program. The cleanup drive did not only make the river look healthier again, but it has also proved that there are still people who care about our environment and all it takes is for one to start.

2. Gift-giving. Who wouldn’t share the love, time, and financial assistance if customers would know that a portion of what they purchase would be used for a good cause? Orphanages, street children, the elderly, etc. These are just some of the people who greatly benefit from programs made by companies. I do think that that by giving back to the community is something that every company should do no matter how small the business is. There are so many people in our country who need our help most especially in the catastrophes such as flood and earthquake victims, and very recently from the eruption of Taal Volcano that has affected a lot of people in Batangas and nearby cities. Gift-giving should not only be done during the Christmas season. So many people need help every day.

3. Focusing on ethical business practices to promote economic growth. An example of this is when a manufacturing company considers using recyclable materials which in effect lowers the manufacturing cost and benefits society by significantly consuming fewer resources. Small local businesses may have created excellent products from indigenous materials which can eventually be of export-quality, this raining the standards of Filipino products. This in turn helps build a sustainable business.

Benefits of CSR

For an entrepreneur, having the right mindset of building a business should not only focus on how to multiply his income, but should also be mindful of his responsibility being a member of the society. It is just like an ordinary individual seeing an old lady cross the street. You don’t just ignore it. You approach the person and offer your help. Corporate social responsibility, on the other hand, is a form of helping on a larger scale. It does not only focus on a single person but to the whole community.

There are so many disadvantages that businesses can get from being socially responsible. And these are:

Ø better brand recognition – A company that is known to give great benefits to the community are looked up to and builds trust among their customers, thus increasing their reputation to a level that any business can be proud of.

Ø better financial performance – Naturally, when a business increases its customer base, it means many individuals would out trust in the products and services that they offer.

Ø easier access to capital – Should a company be in need to expand their business, regardless if they seek help from a financial institution or from an individual, they would not be getting any hard time because these financial partners know that the business is successful and is supported by a huge number of customers, investors, etc.

Ø greater ability to attract talent and retain staff – Having a solid foundation is one criterion that individuals seeking a job would be looking for. And when they know that the company that they are applying at has this, it is likely for them to choose it and once hired, would remain in their jobs.

Ø increased sales and customer loyalty. As mentioned earlier, a strong company with a good reputation would easily increase its sales and increase customer loyalty. They do not just believe in their brand but also support and believe in whatever cause that the company extends its help to.

Ø saving on operational costs – Similarly, companies who are socially responsible get perks from their hard work. And saving on operational costs is truly a huge help as the money that they may save can be used on other important matters such as improvement of the technology or for expanding the business.

Ø organizational growth – A business is built on trust by people. When people share the same visions as the company, these encourage people to join, not only because of the money which they can earn from joining the company but, as well, as the benefits of being part of a company that truly has a heart for helping the society.

Ø positive business reputation – People would always remember a company that they know is working on helping others. And this, in turn, encourages more people to be involved with the same cause as that of a company.

Ø Identify new business opportunities – Again, a company that is known to be of good reputation is likely to have more opportunities. And these opportunities can also be a way of reaching out to more people in need.

Being socially responsible may be seen as a great marketing strategy. However, business owners should not only see the financial benefits from all of these but rather feel good about themselves that they have done something worthwhile for their fellowmen. No matter what kind of assistance they may provide for others will surely be appreciated. After all, we see a lot of people who really need help and all we need is just someone to start so that others may follow.  Starting with a small help can reach a magnitude unimaginable only if we pour our hearts into it and show how much we care.


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