Following is the latest in a series of columns by travel agent, entrepreneur and business strategist Tammy Levent
When it comes to being charitable, it’s often difficult for business owners to think about giving when all that is on their mind is how much time and money it might cost them.
The truth though is that businesses that help their community get back so much in return. Here are five ways that helping your community can help your business.
1. It gets your name out to potential clients: When your business donates to a charity event you will likely get your logo on the event’s program, in its presentation, and possibly even on its website.
If the charity is interested in a long-term partnership instead of just one event you could set up a travel voucher program with it whereby people that donate a certain amount of money receive a coupon to be used towards a travel package.
Let’s say, for example, that your charity wants a minimum donation of $100. As an incentive to get people to donate that amount your company could offer a $25 travel voucher they can use towards a travel package you sell.
An alternative option would be to have the charity send clients your way in exchange for a percentage of the profits from the travel package.
In this case let’s say the travel package profits were $1,000 and you have agreed to donate 2% of your profits to the charity as a thank you for referring the client. The charity received an easy $20 just for suggesting your travel agency. It’s a win win for both parties in both scenarios.
2. Your company can get free press: Every time your company hosts or sponsors an event be sure to send out a press release to the media letting them know.
Charity events get a lot of mentions in local media and that can translate into mentions of your company in articles as well as possible TV and radio time. If you’re really lucky it could even land you a full length feature on your business.
Free press equals free advertising.
3. It boosts your company’s reputation: What comes to mind when people hear your company’s name? When someone looks up your company on a search engine what comes up?
The more you help your community, the more your business name will come up in the search engines in connection with charitable acts. People will begin to associate good acts with your company.
Businesses that make people feel good get more repeat customers.
4. Boosting others boosts your own spirit: There is nothing more rewarding than lifting up others in need. When you feel good in your business and your community, you have greater motivation to succeed.
5. It helps you come tax season: When your company helps charities, you can deduct expenses from what you donate from your taxable income. That helps your bottom line.
An not only is the money/gifts you give tax deductible, so are the unreimbursable expenses you incur on travel, parking costs and other costs related to the charity.
Tammy Levent is the founder of T.A.S.K., the Travel Agent’s Success Kit, which teaches the agents of today how to succeed in being travel entrepreneurs. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.