Is your business making a difference in South Africa?
A business has the power to impact the lives of individuals, a community, and the economy of a country. The difference you truly make comes down to whether you’re having a positive impact that supports growth, innovation, high morale and improves people’s quality of life. The impact you’re making will also fuel success of the business.
So why does this matter? Why do we need businesses that make a difference? Well, for the entrepreneurs- running a business to begin with stimulates our economy and creates jobs. For consumers (i.e. everyone)- supporting local business creates demand within the economy and strengthens our supply chains.
Petrus de Kock, general manager of research at Brand South Africa says that buying local will also boost the country’s manufacturing capacity and inspire innovation. So how do we create businesses that truly create a positive impact and thrive? We say there are three key impacts and one magic trick.
- The Impact of your message and values
With a business, comes the opportunity and the responsibility of having a platform to share a message. A business that makes a difference has strong values and messaging that touches people, makes them think and stays with them. If your core value is that you care about the happiness of all humans, as a business you have the power to spread this message and impact others with it. Say “kindness” is attached to this core value of making people happy, then you have the opportunity to impact everybody who encounters your product and services with kindness through your messaging. Social media is a powerful tool that gives local businesses the power to make a global impact with their message, too. Spreading you message is an exponential and limitless endeavor.
- Impact on morale and community
Business brings people together. A business is a community in itself. It has the power to create morale internally, between all who work for and with the company; and externally between consumers, who use the product or service and that follow your business on social media. We also have the power to create morale around innovation, entrepreneurship and our local culture throughout the country as a whole when we are supporting and investing in local business.
- Impact of your purpose
Knowing who you are as a brand is one thing, but knowing why you are is quite another. Having a strongly purposed reason to return to is what will make your brand impactful; it’s what will get you up again when you fall down, it’s what will make you want to touch just one other person’s life or change them for the better in some way. Purpose is the difference between , for instance, the gym owner who is driven to make millions, and the owner whose purpose is “to improve people’s quality and length of life.” Or the coffee shop whose “purpose is to bring people together.” These businesses will get up and find a way to thrive and make their impact even when the millions aren’t coming, even when the people aren’t gathering.
The magic trick: a cow
Not just any cow, not just a cow you can pick out of the Labola bank. No, you need a purple cow. Entrepreneur and author Seth Godin uses the analogy of “the purple cow” in his book to describe the need to be remarkable in business. He says that amongst a field of cows, they all look the same, they become boring. But the purple cow stands out. Godin’s observations of remarkable people and businesses is that: they stand out, they are persistent, relentless, don’t follow the herd and surround themselves with the right people. They say ‘yes’ to the right opportunities and “no” to everything else. Be a purple cow. Be remarkable.
Reach out to Human to elevate your business to “remarkable” in your messaging, purpose and approach.