The holidays are the season of giving. Your acts of kindness during this time showcase your company’s commitment to community stewardship while creating valuable opportunities for highlighting all your organization has to offer. Your choices now can drive your bottom line in the coming year, as 71% of customers report preferring to do business with companies that align with their values.
What delights your clients, customers and staff, creating feelings of good cheer that should amplify this time of year? Here are six ways your business can give back during the holidays.
6 Ways Your Business Can Give Back During the Holidays
1. Get Creative With Client Gifts
Many firms give small gifts to their best clients during the holidays as a show of goodwill. Why not make yours go further? For example, a gift basket containing assorted coffees and teas becomes even more warming when the recipient can win a prize. Including a few lottery tickets lends excitement, and a portion of your purchase goes toward supporting worthy causes like local schools.
Sustainability is hugely important with many young people today — understandable, as they will need to inherit the planet. Don’t overlook the impact of gifts like reusable water bottles and mugs for morning coffee. Such offerings serve a useful purpose, decrease landfill fodder and keep your firm’s name in the forefront of your customers’ minds every time they take a sip.
2. Take Care of Your Staff
You wouldn’t have a business without your staff, but it’s easy to overlook those that keep your organization ticking as you focus on external public relations. Avoid this mistake by treating your employees well.
After all, the best PR happens when someone delights in the customer service experience and shares positive reviews of your organization. You won’t get the enthusiasm that inspires folks to take to Yelp if you treat your workers like an afterthought. You must create that dynamic if you want people to walk away thinking your staff loves working with you.
What should you give? Perhaps the best gift of all is that of time. The United States grinds its workforce into the dust. It’s the only wealthy nation that extends no paid leave by law and one of only seven worldwide that doesn’t give parents time to bond with their babies. Could you find it in your heart to let your staff spend the holidays with their families without taking a financial hit by providing a few days of paid break?
If your organization must remain open over the holidays, like some medical facilities, consider lessening the load as much as possible and allowing staggered breaks. Coordinate with nearby staffing agencies if you need additional personnel temporarily to allow everyone to rest.
3. Reinvent the BOGO
Why not let your customers get in on the joy of giving? Doing so can boost your sales, move more products off your shelves and provide a fabulous source of positive public relations.
How does the reinvented BOGO work? It’s simple — whenever your customer purchases select items like socks or underwear, you donate a similar pair to an area homeless shelter. This idea works for restaurants, too. When customers buy a meal, they also provide one for a local soup kitchen.
4. Participate in a Charity Event
Charity events abound this time of year. Why not get your team together and participate, wearing company T-shirts to broadcast your organization’s name without needing to say a word?
These activities can also count as valuable team-building exercises. They can even help you showcase your unique skills. For example, a local restaurant would be a natural competitor in a local chili cook-off — is your signature smoky flavor enough to top last year’s champion? If you win, you’ll have some sweet bragging rights to add to your website.
5. Host a Food or Gift Drive
You’ve seen the boxes in scores of other office buildings. Why not get in on the fun? Hosting a holiday food or gift drive is another way to drive customer involvement and inspire camaraderie among your staff.
There are multiple ways to run your drive. The easiest is to choose an organization like a local food bank and encourage folks to donate nonperishable items by placing prominent collection bins around your facility. Remember that BOGO variation from earlier? You can extend the impact by letting your customers select the free item to donate and placing it in a bin.
Angel trees are another variation. You’ll need to partner with an organization that provides for needy families — your area United Way is a good place to start. Some let you make more general donations, like coats for kids, while others supply individual paper ornaments made by children that list a desired toy.
6. Donate Your Product or Service
You’re proud of your product or service. Why not donate it to a worthy cause this holiday season? You can take a tip from Chef Jose Andres, whose World Central Kitchen helps provide relief efforts with needed, nourishing meals far tastier than anything they’d get out of a box or can.
You don’t have to go as large. However, you should remember that you can deduct up to 25% of your profits as qualified corporate charitable donations come tax time. Work with your accounting team to devise a giving scheme that maximizes your benefits while spreading goodwill to your local community.
Ways Your Business Can Give Back During the Holidays
The holidays are a time for giving. Business owners have a unique opportunity to give back to their local community while bolstering sales and improving their public image. What should you do to make the most of this season?
The ideas above should inspire you with ways your business can give back during the holidays. You won’t only benefit your bottom line — you’ll bask in the rosy glow of knowing that your organization does its part to support the community you serve.
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