Conscious Capitalism: 4 Ways to Do Well By Doing Good
By Charles Antis
Antis Roofing & Waterproofing
My business did not start out as a social enterprise or some fancy double bottom line company, but I can say that today we do as much as we can to live those values.
These great concepts weren’t popular back in 1989, when Antis Roofing & Waterproofing started.
I nonetheless had an encounter that changed my life shortly after I opened the company.
I arrived at the home of a single mother with seven children, a leaking roof, and a sight I would never forget: four mattresses with moldy bedding. I realized the family could not afford new sheets, let alone a new roof.
I was a struggling entrepreneur at the time, but managed to scrape together a way to provide a free roof for the family. The gratification of helping this family infused me with a passion for giving, and became my pursuit of conscious capitalism.
To date our most notable contribution is being the donation of every single roof installation for every Habitat for Humanity of Orange County home—half a million dollars’ worth so far. And we won’t stop there. Our sights are set on getting the entire roofing industry to give back somehow!
In the midst of a never-ending drought (for a roofing company that is the ultimate barrier), we remain committed to healthy communities and helping those who need it most. If we can do it, all small businesses can—it merely needs to become a priority. Fundamentally there is one thing to keep in mind: while your business should be built for profit, it can also be built for good.
Here are four other ways your small business can do good:
Share your stories
When you go out and start giving back it’s important to talk about the good you’re doing. It helps advocate for your cause, while encouraging other companies to do the same. People connect to stories so much more than numbers and figures. Don’t be afraid to speak about your good work, post it on social media, and update all your employees and customers about it on a regular basis.
Engage all stakeholders
Get people from every department together and start interacting through volunteering, where everyone is on the same level. Include shareholders and employees’ kids—get to know people you otherwise would never interface with at the office. This truly helps your work in the community go to the next level and help you create more fulfillment for everyone involved.
Take a look at your supply chain
Something that is inherent to the conscious capitalist philosophy is that of understanding the impact you make whether good or bad. That means taking an honest look at how your business operates, who your suppliers are, how things are made or installed, and even what your employee’s quality of life is like. Once you take stock of where you are, you can start to see how you can make changes to employee happiness or wages, you can see if there is a cleaner way to get supplies, and a better way to work with your customers.
Find a cause that makes sense to your company
While it can be tempting to align yourself with the cause of the day, it’s important to identify an organization or an effort that makes sense for your business. If you, your employees, suppliers, and customers together can see the benefit of giving back, that creates the highest impact. Seek out charitable partners that can benefit from not just your volunteering, but also pro-bono work, and maybe even some co-marketing so that all the good you do is maximized and makes good sense.
Businesses have a great potential to improve the communities all around them, and there are many ways to consider making that impact. Being conscious about profiting and giving is the best decision I have made as a business owner, and the number one recommendation I can make to anyone looking to not just improve their business, but also all the lives around them is to consider how they do well and do good.