As a locally owned contractor in bathroom remodel, I was always on a very tight schedule and my mind set was work, work and more work. I needed to expand my company and I knew that hard work was the way to achieve this goal. Then one day, I met a lovely widowed, handicapped woman who needed repairs done in her bathroom so she could continue on in her daily life. I looked over the job and gave her the price and she advised that she would have to save some funds in order to pay for the remodel and repairs. At that point I realized that I have the opportunity to make a difference in this woman’s life by simply giving back and that is when this philanthropic journey began.
At the time I did not realize how one kind act changes the way your business is perceived. By the mere giving back we’ve had clients tell us they want to do business with us because they know that we are passionate about our line of work. It’s an unintended consequence, but philanthropy is helping us build customer loyalty. It puts you on a more personal level with your client’s and they let all their friends and family know how you have helped them. It builds your client base and just makes you feel good. Most people have the mindset of wanting to give back once they have made enough to be able to afford to do so. That will most likely never happen in our lifetime. When I was in college, I volunteered helping elderly people around their homes. We painted porches, window frames and rebuilt steps. The feeling that you got seeing a woman almost cry because she never thought this would get done is payment enough.
Not only does giving back to the community build a loyal customer base, it also shows that you are passionate about your products, services and value your employees. By showing the public you believe in your work and that it is actually good quality work done for little or no pay, they will gladly hire you to do the jobs that they need done around their homes. Being a role model for your employees is also a big part of leader a business. A boss can make people go and do work but when the company owner is directly involved and employees see the leadership role taken during times like these, where the community is the beneficiary, give birth to the employees putting forth more effort and passion into the work they are doing.
Also, by allowing your employees the opportunity to take an active role in helping others, it motivates the employees to know that they truly make a difference in the business. If an employee is happy with their work environment it produces more productive workers who are passionate about their jobs, in essence giving your business a higher return in the long run. Better quality work and more efficient use of time can allow your business to soar to new heights and create more availability to give back to the community. As you perform more philanthropic tasks and events, your business will be spoken of, thanked publicly, and shared in heartwarming stories that will spring your name to the top of the short list of businesses people recommend. Even if people are not quite sure what your business is able to do, just from the memory of your business name being mentioned during those public events. There is a special place in peoples heart for helping those less fortunate so while we complete these tasks for the benefit of the community, we know that no good deeds go unrewarded.
There is a quote which says “A philanthropic program will resonate with clients on a deep, emotional level that goes beyond any creative ad campaign.” With programs like this in place it truly will help grow your business, and it does so on a personal level. You are not just another contractor, you’re the contractor who took the time, energy and money to assist someone who truly needed your help. This will travel through the community and your company becomes the place people want to do business with. People will remember that you are not some fly by night operation and that you have a deep ties and a heartfelt love for the community. This world needs more honest, caring companies that realize doing for others instead of yourself alone, will reap more rewards for all involved in the long run. Next time you are in a position to give back, I hope you are able to provide a better way of life for someone without having to wonder, “What’s in it for me?” Help our communities get back to the times when a handshake meant everything and a company was reliable enough to fulfill a contract.