Marketing

7 Simple Ways Your Business Can Be Charitable During the Holidays

The holiday season is a time for giving, and business are no exception. Here are 5 simple ways you can use your business as a force for good in the world:

1) Food Drives – Serving as a drop-off point for donations to the local food bank is easy and encourages people in your community to visit your place of business – all for as good cause.

2) Offer Your Products or Services – The most important thing you can give to a charitable organization is often not money, it’s your expertise. If you are a contractor, install a new handicap accessible ramp at your favorite charity.

If you are an attorney, give them a free seminar on key legal issues. An auto dealer, offer to donate $20 for every person that test drives a car on a certain day. And so on. 

3) Get Your Employees Involved – Turn a team-building exercise into something that helps out the community by volunteering as a team.

Cooking meals at the local shelter, keeping residents company at the local nursing home, walking in a charitable fundraiser together, and other efforts are a priceless gift that are also fun for your staff. 

4) Wear Their Shirts/Hats/Etc. – Many charitable groups will have shirts or hats with their logo on them. For a week during the holidays, switch your staff’s usual work uniform with these. It’s effortless yet invaluable.

5) Donate A Portion of your Proceeds – This common approach allows you to conduct business as usual while still doing something good for a local organization.

Keep a running tally on your website and Facebook page, and be sure to let the charity of your choice know what you’re doing. Then, when the time comes, GIVE.

6) Help Spread the Word – Offer to circulate informational cards or fliers; invite them to speak at a meeting of your local Chamber of Commerce or other business organization; include a link to their website or a flier promoting their efforts in your emails and business mailings. Every little bit helps.

7) Take Out An Ad On Their Behalf – Take out a full-page ad in your local newspaper promoting the charity of your choice. They’ll be thrilled at the promotion – just be sure to ask for their okay first!

Final Word - Writing a check is easy. Anyone can do it. But actually getting INVOLVED packs a much bigger punch and is a contribution that will never be forgotten. It’s a gift they’ll be thankful for forever.

3 Easy To Implement Best Practices For Your Small Business

document scanning company californiaStanding out from the crowd is no longer as easy as it once was. Thanks to the World Wide Web, every business out there, great or small, can have an equally loud voice. It’s no longer enough to be known in your region because people are no longer restricted to one region when it comes to buying goods and services. Your potential clients are no longer just two doors down, they might be two states away. These days, you have to be easier to notice, easier to access, and easier to work with.

Here are three ways how:

EASIER TO NOTICE

Don’t Skimp On Marketing, And Make It Modern – A coupon in the local newspaper might be fine for the local pizza joint, but for most of today’s businesses that just won’t cut it. Many small businesses fail because they fail to market themselves in a smart way. Your medical records scanning company won’t get noticed if you don’t tell people you exist. Word of mouth alone won’t keep your insurance office doors open. And so on. Smart businesses set aside a marketing budget, and are open to innovative ways of spending it.

Why It Works: The name of the game is getting noticed, and you’re not going to get noticed amidst a sea of similar billboards and newspaper ads. Smart social media marketing, clever Youtube videos, and memorable branding, however, will. Think about the businesses you know best and consider what they have in common: iconic branding and marketing efforts that go beyond mere advertisements.

EASIER TO ACCESS

Offer Many Points Of Contact (And Promote Them) – The days when having your phone number listed in the yellow pages was enough are over. These days, it’s essential to offer an array of options people can use to get a hold of you and enlist your services. Phone, email, social media, and more – smart small businesses do not limit the ways in which people can reach them.

Why It Works: Consumers have such an array of choices available to them when it comes to communication and technology, it’s impossible to predict what is going to be right for any given person. Some people like a contact form on your website. Others want to email you personally. Some prefer text messages. Others like a good old-fashioned phone number. By offering them all, you ensure that no potential client or customer is turned away.

EASIER TO WORK WITH

Convert to a Paperless Office – The world of business has been daydreaming about the paperless office for decades, but it’s only recently that the idea has moved from science fiction to reality. Thanks to smart devices, remote access to shared company data, document scanning services, and more, it’s both easy and affordable to do a partial or complete transition to an environment in which you no longer rely on shuffling paperwork.

Why It Works: A paperless office allows your employees to be more efficient and to retrieve needed data more quickly. This allows them to serve your clients and customers better. It also cuts back on office supply costs and needed storage space. And because there are third party companies that can assist with making the change, the transition can have minimal impact on your staff.

And before you balk at the cost, look closely at the tie that binds these three things together: all are affordable even to small businesses.