For many startup founders, making a big impact is often a driving force behind their companies. Startups are usually built around a solution to existing user problems, so trying to make a big impact on the market is a viable objective to aim for.
That said, it is also not uncommon for startups to focus on the market as a whole rather than local communities around them. In reality, those local communities are the ones that support you the most, making them the most important stakeholders to touch.
We spoke to Rodney Proto, a leading business advisor, and waste management expert, about the social impact of startups. Here are some of the insights you need to know about how your startup is impacting the communities around you.
An objective to aim for
The wrong approach is treating the impact on local communities as a side project. Unfortunately, many companies still take this incorrect approach, even when the local communities are greatly affected their operations.
“(It is) important to be part of the community in any business as that is where customers and employees are,” according to Proto. The fact that local communities are the biggest stakeholders is a factor that needs to be taken seriously.
“Beyond all the traditional stuff, I think giving back the benefit of your presence by extending what you to do to the community in a way that leverages that presence, is important.”
Taking a more active stance in supporting and affecting local communities in positive ways should always be among the primary objectives of startups. It is a way to start small with creating a bigger ripple in the society.
More than jobs
One of the ways a startup can help the communities around it is by creating jobs for members of those communities. This is an effect that can be observed in various places across the country; similar effects can also be seen in other places around the world.
However, startups must not stop at creating jobs. The potential social impact that startups have are far greater than that, and it is up to the individual startup to develop ways to help local communities.
Proto’s waste management companies actually help with tearing down old and abandoned houses and cleaning the neighborhood. You can take your core products and services and utilize them to improve the communities around you in the same way.
A continuous effort
What many startup founders fail to realize is the way giving back to local communities also helps develop (and strengthen) the relationship their companies have with other stakeholders. It takes two to tango; the more you support the communities around your startup, the more those communities will support your startup in return.
It won’t take long before you start seeing community involvement as a real asset to your company. When the community members see your company as an integral part of the community, the level of support and loyalty you get in return is simply invaluable.
So, is your startup impacting the communities around you? The answer to this question depends highly on the steps you actively take to influence the communities. Start today and make a difference.