The holidays, while being a festive time of the year, can be some of the busiest times. Entrepreneurs especially try to take advantage of the influx of holiday shoppers to promote their own brand and finish off the year strong. But in the process of advertising their brand as much as they can, some businesses miss what makes the holiday season such a successful time for commerce. What they miss is the chance to pay it forward.
Pay It Forward and Give Back
Many of the largest companies in the market today understand the essential nature of paying it forward. They donate their time or services to local charities. Without needing to they give freely to those without much. They bolster their community and lift countless spirits.
By giving back these businesses show their audiences a more human side to their brand. They’re not just another company looking only to make a buck. Their brand carries with it a culture of giving to others and connecting people in the process. It’s that human and authentic atmosphere that often converts casual consumers into loyal customers.
Yet numerous businesses still only stick to their own agenda rather than look for the chance to help someone else out. Entrepreneurship is known for its cutthroat nature. If you’re not strong enough to take the heat, then you might not be cut out for the world of business.
But empathy can go a long way in business. That also (and especially) goes for you online entrepreneurs who want to create a business and find financial freedom for yourself. Your goal for building your empire cannot happen if you only live with your own interests in mind.
Does Paying It Forward Really Matter?
In short, yes. The saying, “A little kindness goes a long way,” still rings true today. The kindness and outreach your brand shows is not just a good PR move, but a way to boost your business as a whole.
Here are some ways paying it forward and giving back can help your online business:
Markets Business in a Positive Light
You want to market your brand to the right audience, but you also want to market the right message. It needs to be a message that connects with those it reaches and motivates to action. What better way to connect with your audience than to show you connecting with others and serving them? This way to market your brand, indirectly through acts of service, is a way that’s going to leave an impression your audience won’t forget.
Boosts Morale Among Your Team
The Mental Health Foundation has noted several benefits for people who pay it forward. Such health benefits include increased levels of happiness and confidence, less stress and a clearer perspective to face challenges with.
Whether you are a team of one or a leader to many, giving back can improve the overall atmosphere of your business. You will not only feel better and more resilient when challenges come, but your team will as well.
Improves Business Communication
Entrepreneurs quickly learn just how important it is to be able to communicate ideas. Without strong communication skills, novice business owners are unable to effectively relay ideas to their team or establish a well-operating workflow.
But paying it forward requires empathy and understanding of another person, key attributes for good communication. That’s why one entrepreneur says that, “Empathy must be the driving force behind business communication.” They continue, “As I try to stress the importance of focusing on others and developing greater empathy, my question…is always, “How can you walk in someone else’s shoes if you never get out of your chair?””
If you want to improve the way you communicate and help your business thrive more, start by learning to cultivate that empathy for others.
Promotes Authenticity and Builds Trust
As was already mentioned, perhaps one of the greatest benefits for businesses who pay it forward is the trust they build among their audience. Such businesses begin to be seen in a new light. Customers respect how they serve, and in return are more willing to be loyal to that brand. When gaining and retaining customers is so difficult, that’s a benefit that can’t be beat.
It’s a paradox, the thought of giving to someone selflessly, but getting so much more in return, even if that wasn’t your intended outcome. Because for paying it forward to work you can’t be focused on the outcome or your own personal interests. You have to be focused on the people you’re giving to.
As it turns out, that’s what makes any business succeed: turning your attention to your customers and creating a product or service that they need. Really the principle of paying it forward is the foundation for a successful business.
How Will You Give Back?
Paying it forward goes beyond just giving your customers a year-end discount. It involves a depth of character and selfishness that often feels unnatural to us in business.
When you’re looking for ways to give back, look first at what you already offer your customers. One company, ShelfGenie, constructs custom-designed shelves to make organizing your kitchen simpler. When they wanted to pay it forward, they partnered with a non-profit organization that builds homes for wounded servicemen and women. ShelfGenie’s special sliding shelves were the perfect fit for these disabled veterans’ homes so they wouldn’t have to bend over to get what they needed.
Your brand also offers something unique to your customers, and to a wider audience. You may also need to partner with another business to find more ways to give back, but the opportunities are there if you only seek them out.
Paying it forward becomes a way many feel the spirit of holidays. However, when your online business gives back it shouldn’t just be once a year. Look for ways your brand can give back throughout the year. Start showing the world what kind of a business you are.