Kossoff on ... doing good when times are bad

When an economic cycle goes down low and long, an interesting social phenomenon occurs - the growth of philanthropic support and activity. It is the same whenever natural disasters occur. When things are bad, people do good. Even when they are not in as good a position as they would like, they still do more.

The extent to which businesses can do the same creates a competitive differentiator and market opportunity that otherwise would not stand out or be pursued at all. In effect, it is the intersection of doing good and doing well because by doing good works you lift your business's image above the competition. In so doing, you create new revenue opportunities and new customers.

The Government has added a structured opportunity to this mix with its focus on social enterprises. By law, these businesses reinvest their "profits" directly back into the organisation. But that does not mean, by any stretch, that they are not profitable. In fact, they are very profitable. When they are strategised and designed well, they will succeed just as any other organisation does.

The question for those of you who are not social enterprises is how to present your organisation as having the same sort of ethos. What can you do to show that you have a greater commitment - locally, environmentally, societally - than others among your set?

Growers might promote what they are doing with produce that never makes it onto supermarket shelves or to prepared food manufacturers and instead goes to local food banks for the poor. Retailers might create free programmes for children or seniors using out-of-date stock that, instead, is used to create interest, joy and a moment of beauty for the participants. Any alliance you build with a local or national charity or volunteer group will be a boon for you both - in reputation and outcome.

This strategy gives you name recognition in ways that always put you among the good guys because you are doing good. As a result, your business does even better.

Leslie Kossoff is an executive adviser specialising in strategy and corporate turnaround.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

How will reduced apple and pear harvests hit the industry?

How will reduced apple and pear harvests hit the industry?

This spring, many top-fruit growers in the UK and across Europe were dismayed to discover that swathes of their orchards had been hit by frost.

How should fruit growers prepare for water abstraction reform?

How should fruit growers prepare for water abstraction reform?

Upcoming reforms to water abstraction licensing will for the first time cap the amount of water that fruit growers can take for trickle irrigation.

Getting a measure of the production labour crisis

Getting a measure of the production labour crisis

At a debate during last week's Fruit Focus trade show in Kent, senior industry figures painted a bleak picture of an increasingly difficult seasonal labour market that is already impacting on investment.

Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Pest & Disease Tracker bulletin 

The latest pest and disease alerts, how to treat them, plus EAMU updates, sent direct to your inbox.

Sign up here

Professor Geoffrey Dixon

GreenGene International chair Geoff Dixon on the business of fresh produce production

Read Professor Geoffrey Dixon