KillerStartups

How a For-Profit Company Can Still Do Good for Society

Being a for-profit company is one thing, of course, but a for-profit company that consistently gives back...that's really something special.

Being a for-profit company is one thing, of course, but a for-profit company that consistently gives back...that's really something special.

A lot of companies right now are in it for the money. It just makes sense given the current world of business. Usually, a for-profit company will pull in a lot of money from successfully offering services or selling products. But the real question is, can a for-profit company actually do some good in return?

Well, it could. In principle, if a company makes a lot of money, it can easily give back not only to its employees but also to its community.

Keep in mind that it’s in principle. What that means is it differs by company. Some will have CEOs that see larger paybacks, resulting in less money for others. Meanwhile, different companies could have a structure where funds go back into the company, possibly into newer products.

However, there is a way that a company that exists namely for making money can still give back. It’s just a matter of how it can actually do this good without going broke. Fortunately, there are various ways to look at this.

Happy Employees, Happy Returns

One big problem with Amazon lately is how it treats most of its employees like machines. That’s not to say it isn’t an effective business model, but it leaves many people feeling worn out.

Instead, a for-profit company should find a way to benefit employees more often, so that they feel rewarded.

One person that knows about this is Dan Price, who operates the Seattle company Gravity Payments. When he developed a plan to pay his employees $70,000 a year — compared to the usual salary — people thought he would go broke. Instead, however, not only is he thriving but so is his business. For that matter, also his employees.

That’s not to say that every company needs a plan such as that. But something, where the employees see some kind of benefit for their hard work, would go a long way.

Not just with health benefits, but monthly bonuses, yearly trip excursions (Disney World?), or things of that nature. An end to justify the means, so to speak.

It’s a little something, but a positive initiative would help a for-profit company greatly. What’s more, employees would be more cheerful and tell others about their work — making it a bit easier to recruit for the future.

Taking Care of Community

A for-profit company shouldn’t stop at just taking care of its own in-house. It should also do something about not only building an established customer base but also keeping it.

That means creating some form of community with people that want to deal with that business — and more than once. Repeat business means more revenue for the business over time. And that, in turn, keeps the company and its employees going.

Case in point. When the Covid-19 pandemic wiped out the general business trade two-something years ago, many were worried. They believed they would fold due to a lack of consumers. However, when they eventually began opening their doors, many would return. Keeping loyalty going in an effort to keep the doors from closing.

Granted, this wasn’t the case with all businesses — many closed — but it happened often.

Local businesses will likely learn more from this role, but larger for-profit company types can as well. By taking care of consumers and giving them the kind of respect to get them to come back, they can build in unbelievable ways. It never hurts to see what smaller businesses are doing well and try to find a model to call their own.

Of Course, Charity

Happy employees are good business. Taking care of a local community is also a plus.

However, where a for-profit company can really benefit is with a program to help charities. They’re pretty much everywhere, with promotional events, tie-ins, and more. But it’s finding ones that truly make a difference — and not a “blind” choice — that shows there’s care involved.

Granted, it can take time to find the right partnership with a charity. What’s more, having a cause to believe in also helps. “Why should I give to company A?” some may ask. Well, with the right drive, a for-profit company can find the means to create a meaningful give-back program for a charity.

Not only would it motivate the employees, but also the community. And, in turn, any new consumers whose interest piques upon entering said business.

It can take time, and sometimes a little push is needed to remind people such a program exists. However, with the right motivation, promotion, and dedication, giving to charity can truly help a for-profit company. It would inspire people to be better than usual and provide a little extra change. Or, for that matter, maybe even a full sponsorship if it’s a run, a book drive, or something like that.

All it takes is a for-profit company basically giving a hoot about a charity. And, fortunately, there are enough out there that do so.

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