Volunteering is a two-way street no matter if you are Mother Theresa or Mark Zuckerberg. It benefits both parties at the end of the day. So Should I Volunteer My Business Services to gain larger community awareness?
Okay, Okay, so the initial statement needs a quick explanation.
Volunteering benefits everyone who takes part in it.
The service provided helps to support groups, business, charities and individuals in improving their current position. The volunteer benefits by meeting new people and improving their own skills, not to mention the incredible health effects that it has on one too.
Some of those include: Improvements in Depression, increase in life satisfaction, lowering of stress, a sense of purpose and fewer visits to the hospital to mention a few. (Casiday, Rachel. (2019). Volunteering and Health: What Impact Does It Really Have?)
Volunteering really is good for you!
But is it good for your business?
This week on Urban Wednesday, we’ll be looking at how volunteering may just be the best way to reach your local community and improve your customer base.
Should I Volunteer our Business Services?
There are two sides to this question and they both revolve around Brand Management. Volunteering for the dogs home while running a euthanasia program for stray dogs may seem at odds with your business.
However, volunteering at the dogs home may equally show that you are aware of the necessity to care for animals and that you are serving a demand to ensure others have a better life.
It may be interpreted either way by your customers too. Your Brand is what will carry you forward and bring in loyal customers. They are also very much alert to a scam or advertising trick and will loathe you for it.
Should you do it – YES!!!
Without a doubt choosing to volunteer is the best thing you can do to expand awareness for your brand and there are other benefits too.
We started off by saying there were huge health benefits to volunteering. It is no surprise that helping out people in your local area makes us feel a little better inside.
There is the added improvement to our own sense of well being too. We see the struggles that others have in dealing with what we think are relatively easy solutions yet they are unaware of the ‘simple’ solutions we know.
The old adage, “You don’t know what you don’t know” is just as easily applied to others too. They don’t know what you know.
Seeing others improve because you volunteered your time is a great morale booster and excellent for self-confidence.
It will come as no surprise that your skills will be vastly improved and honed when you volunteer. New experiences and different personalities really bring out the best within you.
Your skills need practice just like anything else you do and the more you do it the easier and better you will become.
This leads to better decision making with clients who pay for your services and they can expect great service for your efforts.
It is here that I would make sure you are using your business skills to help the group or individuals to succeed. There is no point working on the carpentry work of a shed when your main work is logo designing.
Volunteer the skills you aim to gain further referrals from. That way you won’t be confused as the carpenter logo maker guy who does some computer work.
Be clear what you want to do and do it!
Never doubt that the little old dear at the dance studio who makes the tea and types up the occasional newsletter will be a better, more prolific, networker than you ever will be.
I am always amazed at the people my mother will meet and the connections they have to the work I offer. She neither searches it out nor wears a sign proclaiming her affiliation to me, but in one way or another she will talk to others and locate common ground.
Your opportunity to have the best networkers in town talk about how well you did a job will stand you in great stead later on.
I will caveat here though: Do a job poorly, hastily or without proper attention to people and you will equally damage your own reputation.
It would be wrong to not discuss that offering your services for free will also set a precedent for those who want to work with you.
They may consider your services cheap or that you will reduce your prices in line with their wishes.
Make it clear from the outset that you are volunteering for the reasons above and although there is not an expectation of reward other than mentioned, it is understood that you run a business and will over-deliver for any client that utilises your paid services.
It is not cheap or inappropriate to help your fellow man. You neither have to shout about it or even show it on your website. Your new group of friends will be your mouthpiece, but the spirit of #UrbanWednesday is to become part of your community. To care for them.
It’s Your Community
You work within a community of people who you will endeavour to improve every day with the services and products you provide.
That care to your own work and for the people you surround yourself with will shine through in everything you do.
I know it seems embarrassing to talk about the care we have for our fellow human being but in the spirit of caring for them your business is helping them and in return, you are being paid for what you do.
The value you bring and the consideration you show will guide your business to a better and more fulfilling work life that brings wealth and achievement to everyone you meet.
Should I Volunteer My Business Services? Yes, I think you should. It may be taking on an apprentice or helping build the stage for the next dance show the Youth club have. Volunteer your skill set your business is providing and then enjoy the experience as you become part of your community that trusts and rewards you with their business.