As an entrepreneur, you are an important member of the community. You provide a product or service, contribute to the economy, and create business opportunities for others. While all this is important, business owners are expected to go even further. Often, people look to local businesses to better the community and be leaders for social change. While your initial reaction may be that you don't have enough time, take a step back and consider how a deeper community involvement may have a positive impact on your business.
Public perception. Increasingly, consumers are making purchasing decisions based on corporate responsibility. If your company's values are consistent with theirs, they are more willing to support you. Also, in general you may find that other businesses and organizations are more eager to partner with you once you are perceived as a company that cares about the community.
If your business isn't improving people's lives, at least on some level, what's the point?
Networking opportunities. Community involvement can open up a variety of new opportunities for your business. While you are working in the community, you may be exposed to business owners, politicians, and other people who could become valuable contacts. When you put yourself and your business out there, you never know which doors will open for you.
Pride in your business. What does your business stand for? What are your core values? When you involve your business in the community, you become a part of something bigger. It provides you with a sense of purpose and it makes everyone proud to be associated with it.
Corporate responsibility. As a business, you are an essential component of the community. You profit from it and you are affected by it. You have a responsibility to contribute to the community because without it, you wouldn't have any customers. As the community grows, so does your business. If there are problems in the community, your business is also impacted.
You are a business owner and everyone in the community is a current or potential customer. While this is technically an accurate statement, it misses the important point that we are all people. The community members that we discuss abstractly could be your mother, brother, friend, or daughter. If your business isn't improving people's lives, at least on some level, what's the point? Never forget that as a business owner, you have the power to make a positive difference in the lives of others.