Make giving back a part of your overall business model and you’ll reap benefits far beyond what you might envision.

You might think you can’t afford to give or you don’t have time or you’ll give when business improves… but there are so many low cost ways to give back NOW that will also GROW your business!

The first step is to think about causes and organizations that are important to you, your family, your employees, your customers, and your community. Think about how your product, service, knowledge can benefit your community; think about where your customers are and what they are interested in.

Ideas to get you thinking:

If you have a physical location easily accessible to the public, bring in foot traffic by collecting donations from the public. Contact a local organization; ask them what they need, send out a press release announcing the collection, tell your current customers, put up large signs, etc. When people walk in, get their contact info, offer a special, or give a coupon.

If you have special knowledge, share it! Find opportunities to speak to groups where your ideal customers are, such as PTAs, college student organizations, classrooms, local companies, Rotary Clubs or other social service organizations. You will most likely have 10-20 minutes to speak and you can leave your business cards or better yet, make up a postcard with your key points. If you have great tips, they’ll keep the postcard and contact you if they need your service in the future.

Become a sponsor for an event. The opportunities are endless, you might be able to offer an in-kind donation and be listed as an event sponsor or you can donate cash and pick a sponsorship package that meets your promotional and budget needs. Pick events that compliment what you do or are important to your ideal customers.

Have unused space or limited hours? Offer your space to local groups to hold their meetings and events. They’ll be promoting your business location every time they promote their own group!

Or simply get out there and volunteer. Whether you are a solo entrepreneur or have a staff of 50, you can grow your business by giving back – just get creative!

Author's Bio: 

Tina Nies, of is an Entrepreneurial Coach and Speaker inspiring local success and small business growth through community marketing ideas that work! Her passion is empowering entrepreneurs to develop their vision to know what is really important to them and create action strategies for success as they grow and explore their happiness in business and life.

Even more important, Tina’s focus is on raising awareness of the power of our choices. In each moment, the choices we make impact our success and determine whether or not we reach our goals in business or personal life. “Encouraging people to say yes to choices that lead them to their deepest desires and true happiness and no to choices that do not serve their best interests is extremely powerful”

Tina’s experience includes 16 years as a consultant, college instructor, corporate trainer, and community trainer. She completed her undergraduate studies in Business Administration at the University of Michigan and earned her MBA in Business Leadership from Windsor University. She has worked with clients around the world and across the United States. She divides her time between the San Francisco Bay area and Lower Michigan.