In our fast-paced world of factoring and financing, it’s easy to overlook the powerful impact of what we do day-in and day-out on our community. However, it’s important to shine light on the fact that our professions not only provide us with the revenue to support our own employees and families, but they also provide entrepreneurs in our communities with the cash flow they need to fulfill their dreams and to support their employees and their families – all of which have an overall positive impact on our nation’s economy.
With this in mind, it’s important to not only acknowledge the impact that you make through your work for your own motivations and peace of mind, but also to keep up with the rising trend of social impact messaging today. Businesses spend millions of dollars developing social impact campaigns based on business models that utilize products and services that don’t necessarily innately serve the greater good.
You, on the other hand, are giving back to your community every day through every entrepreneur that you touch via factoring or ABL, providing you with the opportunity to highlight the real social impact you are making on your various communities. So, why is it so important that you do so?
Connect With Your Audience
There is no better way to connect with your audience than through expressing how you are helping the community through your work. Consider taking it to the next level by communicating this to all of your stakeholders, including vendors, referral sources, employees, clients and even account debtors who believe in what you stand for and how you endeavor to affect positive outcomes for all.
The impact that a company makes on the community is becoming more and more important today. According to Edelman, 86% of consumers think businesses should place equal weight on society’s interests as on their own business interests. In order to survive in the world of business moving onward into the future, you must do more than sponsor a one-off event or make a one-time donation to a cause. All of these things are still wonderful – being traditionally philanthropic is admirable and still effective in your brand strategy. However, what I’m talking about is taking all of those efforts and putting them into a long-term social impact campaign that is woven into the fabric of who you are and what you do as a business. I’m talking about telling your story through the impact that you are making on society through your factoring and asset-based lending services.
Support Your Millennials
We have heard so much about the Millennial generation (those born roughly between 1980 and 1996) lately and all that we need to do to support them, and it’s for good reason. According to CNBC, by 2025, millennials will make up 75% of the global workforce. In other words, the businesses that listen up and begin to proactively alter their businesses to support this large group of people entering the workforce now will inevitably reap the benefits in the future through positive morale, higher productivity and more. So, what does this have to do with social impact? Everything. According to a recent survey conducted by Deloitte, while most millennials believe business is having a positive impact on society by creating jobs and increasing prosperity, they think businesses can do much more to address societal challenges. Additionally, the survey reports that millennials believe that the success of a business should be measured in its improvements on society rather than solely on financial success. And it’s not all about your millennial employees either. Your future clients will be millennials too – and, according to Buzz Marketing Group, conscious consumption is the top trend for this demographic. The success of brands like TOMS shoes and FEED are great examples of this.
Change the Perception of Our Industry
Most importantly, through social impact messaging, we – as leaders in the world of factoring and lending – have the opportunity to change the perception of our industry as being lenders of last resort to an industry that is absolutely essential to the economy and into the lives and families that we support.
Now that we’ve reviewed why it’s important for you to consider working the social impact that you make day-in and day-out into your company messaging, let’s talk about how you can begin to contribute to it:
- Track the number of jobs you help create. You can easily come up with a rough estimate by calculating the number of closed deals you’ve made by the average number of employees in the businesses you support.
- Track the number of families you support. Take the number you used for average number of jobs created and multiply it by the average population per household in the U.S. today (2.6, according to American’s Families and Living Arrangements: 2012 via census.gov).
- Tell the stories of goodness that you empower. Ask your clients for permission to tell their stories and interview them for case studies to share with your community through your website or email campaigns.
- Evaluate your messaging. Look at the messaging that you’ve created and implemented across all of your collateral – does it speak strictly to your services, or does it focus more on the actual impact you make on your clients and the community?
At Far West Capital, we demonstrate our social impact as a business through the employees we hire, the culture that we support, and through initiatives that align with our mission and purpose, such as assisting Grameen Bank in providing microfinance to minority entrepreneurs. We live out our core values by putting others first and honoring entrepreneurs and businesses, large and small, that need financial support through our flexibility and our determination to never give up on them – to have a solution no matter the case, whether it involves working with us or not.
What are you doing to tell your social impact story today?