Making a Difference while Making Money
Posted on May 22, 2012
What is the main reason most people want to start a business? It’s okay to say it: to make money! You don’t have to be ashamed of wanting to make a few more dollars for yourself through your business. With that being said, you can also use your money-making venture as a vehicle to make a difference in people’s lives and in the community. One great opportunity I’ve had with my business, Molding Box, is teaming with the Utah Defendant/Offender Workforce Development (UDOWD) Task Force to staff my business and give people a second chance to contribute to society and regain their lives. Here is one example you can learn from to use your business to help your community.
The Benefits Go Both Ways
In partnering with UDOWD, we have found some of our best workers to date. The people we have been lucky enough to employ want to change their lives. They are on track for rehabilitation and are willing to go the extra mile. Their dedication to the company is much higher than those who received job placement from local job posts and hiring agencies. The success of this is not only great for the people we employ, but it’s great PR for the company. People are always interested in how it works, and they want to learn about what obstacles we have overcome as a team. A great story, in particular, is that of one of our managers. He recently had a speaking engagement with UDOWD; it has been his third or fourth thus far, and his speech is always a positive that Molding Box can lean on. He’s become the poster child for the program in the Utah division.
Choosing Which Program to Work With
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The reason I chose UDOWD was because, at first, we thought we would get a tax break. That may not sound very philanthropic, but it’s honest. Then, once we started the program, we found that the workers were loyal and grateful for the opportunity to be part of the workforce again. We also learned that if we treated people from the program like humans, and not like statistics, they would go above and beyond.
It’s Important to Become Involved in the Community
Being involved locally helps, because you never know who someone knows. When people hear what UDOWD does and how we help with them, they are naturally drawn to the program. We’ve been featured in several local papers and advertisements because of our work with UDOWD. In turn, we get PR, and even more people want to become involved with us and the program. Getting involved locally shows the human side of the machine we call business, and ultimately, becomes a sales pitch for Molding Box. At the end of the day, our business is founded on relationships, and not a specific product.
Changing the Culture of Your Business
Working in, and with, the community advances a positive culture within our business. I recently had a member of the sales team send me an email saying how happy he was working for a company that supports good causes. People want to feel that they are making a difference, and by working for a company that they know is making a difference, they more easily get through the tough times at work. That good feeling makes them want to go that much further to help us succeed. Being a new company, and working alongside strong brands with charity work, shows the recipients that we’re on the same level and can contribute just as much with our smaller wallets. It’s all about perception and the effectiveness of the contribution.
Take our work with UDOWD as an example of how working in, and with the community, is good for both you and the people you help. Remember, it’s okay that money is your main priority, but you can also help better the community you serve through your business. As the community gets stronger, so does your business.