Do you want to do good through your small business?
It seems like an easy question. Yes or no?
And yet when I talk to Small Business Owners, I often hear, “I'd love to, but social responsibility doesn't apply to my business.”
Or I hear variations of this myth, such as:
- “I'd love to volunteer, but I don't have time.”
- “I'd like to donate, but I don't have the cash flow.”
These statements usually follow this pattern: I'd like to [insert an action they are familiar with], but I can't because [insert an objection to that action].
This myth, or the variations of it, is simply not true.
It's driven by a lack of awareness or used as an excuse.
Do You Have Policies, a Physical Location (even if it's your home), Customers, Employees, or Suppliers?
If yes, (and really, are there any businesses that don't have these?), then social responsibility CAN apply to you.
However, many Small Business Owners have a limited view of the options to be socially responsible.
They take the few actions they hear about most and make a blanket decision about ALL social good based on whether they could do that specific action(s).
But there are SO MANY WAYS to do social good! I've yet to find a business where I can't propose at least one action they could take.
Don't believe me? I maintain a directory of over 100 actions in the Small Actions Directory, divided into four categories: Business Integrity, Safely, Health & Wellness, Environmental Impact, and Community Engagement.
You can also learn more in this blog article, “How Can You Do Good as a Small Business? (Categories of Social Responsibility).”
But for right now, trust me – any business could find a way to be socially responsible.
Are You Using This as an Excuse?
But not everyone may WANT to do more social good outside their business. And they use this myth as an excuse.
I'm a huge proponent of social responsibility. But I also know that it's not for everyone.
As a Small Business Owner, you already do good in the world. You provide goods and services to your community. You employ local staff. You contribute to the local economy. You support your family. You do good just by owning a business.
Being socially responsible means taking action to contribute more to the greater good beyond your standard operations. You may not have the time, energy, or desire to do this.
And that is perfectly acceptable!!!
Deciding to do MORE good through your business is a choice. I only ask that people own that choice and not use this myth as an excuse (and, worse, spread the myth to others).
The simple truth to the myth that “social responsibility doesn't apply to my business” is that…
Social Responsibility CAN Apply to Any Business IF You Want it To
That's one of the advantages of being a business owner. You make the choices for your business.
So if you want to do more good through your business, you absolutely can. In SO MANY different ways!
And if you don't want to do more good, don't!
Period. It's your choice.
But… if you do, I'd love to help make your efforts easier and more effective. Learn more about my Small Actions Framework.
6 Most Common Small Business Social Responsibility Myths
This article discussed one of 6 myths or limiting beliefs that prevent Small Business Owners from embracing social responsibility. You can watch a free 40-minute training to learn about all 6 of the myths and why they are not true:
Cheers to doing more good!