THE BUSINESS OF TODAY
Paying it forward requires time, energy, passion and an authenticity about it. We are committed to provide our clients with solutions that help them save energy, save money and sustain them over the long term. Simply by looking for ways to meet new and existing customers’ needs or by becoming a “friend” and trusted advisor — whatever the domain area, and without regard to whether their needs can be solved directly by your products or services — you increase the value that you deliver to your customer. They may then turn to you first with belief, loyalty, and hope that you will provide a suggestion or recommendation that meets their needs in the future
There is a concept that is gaining traction in the business world the triple bottom line stating that the best run companies are achieving social, environmental and economic successes. The traditional measure of corporate profit—the “bottom line” of the profit and loss account. The second bottom line of a company’s “people account”—a measure in some shape or form of how socially responsible an organization has been throughout its operations. The third bottom line is company’s “planet” account—a measure of how environmentally responsible it has been. The triple bottom line (TBL) thus consists of three Ps: profit, people and planet. Thus to create sustainable organizations you have to facilitate a necessary culture that embeds employee growth, health and wellness initiatives, community involvement and volunteerism. In combination, these can lead to business growth, performance and growth. It is about conducting business in a way that impacts people.
Examples of ways organizations can pay it forward:
« Support a Charity of Choice
o Enable employees to help support a ‘charity of choice’ by offering services that might be of value. It is true that the paying it forward mentality means that there is ‘no expectation’ of getting something back – instead, the preference is for the recipient of the good deed to help someone else in need. It is only natural, however, that customers and potential customers like what your organization stands for and buys from you rather than your competitors
« Cause Marketing
o Cause marketing is another method where businesses can work to pay it forward to charitable causes while at the same time promoting the business. This often is a win-win for business and charity.
« Lend office space
o Offering services or space to your community non-profits or struggling companies in your communities. The Boston Globe has turned its empty offices into a public community space, bringing in start-up technology companies, bands visiting to perform for the company’s Internet station Radio BDC and special events like the programming code marathon it held for technology enthusiasts. Opening up the office is a move that makes the best use of wasted space and it opens up the newspaper to the community it serves.
Don’t think you can afford the time and/or money? Think again. Start small. I know an accounting firm that closes one day a year for charitable events. When you call, it says the offices are closed today for paying it forward to charity X. It opens the conversations for clients, prospects and potential employees. Think about one day a year off to each employee to engage in a choice of charities-give back. On the other hand, do something company wide.
It really enhances morale among your employees, and improves their mental and physical health, builds effective work teams among your organization, and builds credibility and trust in the public’s eye.
The positive ripple effect of kindness acts is happening in many places around the world. Why not join the movement? What do you have to gain? Business and loyalty among your clients.