Today, firms are led by feeling. Ruthless decision-making is no longer the primary driver of the entrepreneurial world.
Modern companies believe that their social purpose is equally important as making a profit and outperforming their competition.
Moreover, firms steeped in tradition were once considered historical and elite. These days, businesses are more willing to evolve in their processes and objectives, attempting to create brighter futures for both themselves and those around them. Those that fail to do so quickly slip into obscurity.
Social change is a driving element of these proceedings. It creates more definition around a venture’s direction and character and generates more appeal amongst the consumer population. Here are some ways your business can better embrace social change today.
Start with Education
Every decision you make to promote social change in your business should be an informed one. That way, you can push forward without ever looking back.
Take a look at the online certificate courses available from the London School of Economics and Political Science if you’re serious about implementing social change. Here you will find an array of learning opportunities around social entrepreneurship, managing people and teams, implementing lasting change, and even addressing biases.
Upon completion of the course, users will have the means to drive social change and measure their impact. A better understanding of global social problems can also be unearthed, and you can develop a business plan for a more socially responsible business from the ground up under the guidance of experts from a world-leading social science institution.
It is also a good idea to recommend these resources to your colleagues too. That way, the change that’s derived from LSE online certificate courses can be evenly distributed across all aspects of your business. A time commitment of 6-12 hours per week is all that is required under what is often a self-paced learning structure, so everyone can stay informed.
Work with Non-Profit Organisations
Changing how your business operates internally is admirable. However, you can always take things a step further and change your local communities, or even the world, for the better.
For instance, charities often work with businesses to fundraise and build public awareness. Your firm can make a difference by donating proceeds from specified sales, volunteering staff with specialist skill sets, or featuring their branding and logos on your products where necessary. You could even loan them your business premises for predetermined periods for events. Alternatively, you could sponsor them or act as a speaker.
Do some research to see which causes will benefit most from the input of your business. Try to gauge a non-profit organisation’s reputation in terms of public perception and avoid those that have incited recent controversies. If you are to dedicate portions of your firm’s time and resources, then it must go to a wholly good endeavor.
Community outreach is a vital part of implementing social change. It can generate mass appeal around your business and a non-profit organisation, with the most successful ventures sometimes attracting media coverage. Embracing social change so publicly will surely build goodwill with your consumers and integrate your firm as a key player in your area.
Create Inclusive Products and Services
Inclusivity is an important part of business, as it widens your horizons and allows your organisation to target an extensive range of customers. However, in attempting to be niche, many firms oversteer and thus fail to drive social change.
Consider that many products sold in stores today are needlessly gendered for consumers, including pens, tea, and hammers. Moreover, these decisions are often ridiculed on social media. Severe reputational damage can be done due to decisions such as these, causing firms to be openly mocked for their short-sightedness.
If you wish to drive social change, then creating inclusive products and services is a must. Gender neutrality is a big factor in this, from the colour schemes featured to the language used. Additionally, it would help if you also took care to include as many demographics as possible when using actors and models to market your products.
Many of these blunders can almost be made absent-mindedly, with some likely constituting them as societal ‘norms’. Still, ignorance is no excuse today. Do some independent research to see which terminology you should be using when marketing products and services. Ensure that you cater to all types of consumers from a social standpoint.
Raise Your Online Profile
Consumers, clients, and business partners should never be in any doubt as to what values your enterprise holds. Many of them will research your company before looking to trade, and the first thing they will likely find is your firm’s website and social media presence.
Therefore, you should publish content for your business online that highlights your commitment to social change. Blog content can provide commentary on the social issues concerning or affecting your business today. You can post well-wishes for special holidays from other countries and cultures, or upload pictures from a fundraising event you hosted, sponsored, or attended.
Social change is a constant commitment rather than a series of occasional one-off goodwill gestures. Consistency is key when it comes to character, and your company’s social media activity is what will convince interested parties of your firm’s pure goals. Try to learn from the misfires of other companies too, and avoid repeating their mistakes.
Double-down on search engine optimisation techniques to ensure all the online content you post is seen and widely engaged with. Gauge social media trends so that you’re addressing the issues of the present moment. Prove your willingness to engage, listen, and, ultimately, become a stronger advocate for social change.
Think About Visitor Accessibility
Focusing on accessibility in your business is a great way to inspire social change. There are many ways you can do this online and off, so try to do as much as you can.
Providing disabled parking spaces on your premises and installing lifts and ramps are some of the more common ways to accommodate disabled visitors. Erect signposts that clearly navigate disabled users around the building. You can also widen doorways, create better lighting arrangements, or feature alternative formats to information available on the premises, such as by distributing audio CDs.
Additional adjustments can be made, such as featuring a map on your premises or online that pinpoints all of the most accessible spots in your building. Advertise every other feature of disability access so that these visitors can be confident and pre-plan their visit to your company.
You could also make your website more disability-friendly too. Descriptive links, zoomable photos, neutral colour palettes, and providing subtitles and audio descriptions to video content are all essential. Kickstart a testing process before the website goes live and utilise the disabled user’s feedback. Make any adjustments they would recommend.
If you have disabled workers in your employ, including them in the decision-making could give you an enormous advantage in making your firm more accessible. It will also empower those workers and provide them with a chance to create lasting social change too. Be willing to learn from others, and you’ll run a business that makes more impactful social changes.
Embrace social change in business by working with forward-thinking partners and always being willing to listen and learn from others.