This year, kindness is in, and many companies are jumping on board by doing good through their business.
However, we know that starting a new habit is always hard. We try our best and it is usually not too long before we fall back into old patterns. Nonetheless, awareness coupled with action is the best remedy.
With this, we help to identify the 4 barriers when it comes to business giving and share with you the practical handles to overcome them.
#Barrier 1: The Paradox of Choice
In today's world, we are often presented with so many choices - different modes of transport to get to the same location, multiple websites to shop from, and sometimes over 50 dishes on a restaurant menu to choose from.
Choices give us a sense of control, but too many choices may leave us paralyzed, eventually postponing the decision.
In the same way, there are so many causes in this world that are of equal importance. Which causes do we give to? Which organization do we support? How do we know we made the right choice?
We get caught up in the whirlwind of choices and eventually leave the plans for later. What are some ways we can easily make these decisions?
How to overcome: If you manage a team, gather your team members around for a coffee chat on the causes that they are passionate about and collectively decide which direction you would like to take. This will help you narrow down the list of causes you can choose from. The best part is you didn't have to make all the choices alone.
#Barrier 2: The Bystander Effect
'I don't need to take action, someone else will.'
'There are so many people in the world, they can do it.'
These are phrases that have probably echo-ed in our heads before. They are the classic examples of 'The Bystander Effect'.
The Bystander Effect describes the diffused sense of responsibility when an individual is in the presence of others. In other words, it explains situations where a group of bystanders fails to extend their help during an emergency believing that someone else will.
When it comes to giving, we tend to shelve our plans to help when we know that other communities are rallying to support the different causes, and ultimately this leads to us steer clear of giving at all.
How to overcome: What we found helpful is a perspective shift. While it is true that many people are helping, wouldn't it be more enriching to personally participate in it yourself? It brings more joy and satisfaction to our lives and would definitely inspire many more others to do it with you! Find out how B1G1 Business for Good Life-Changing Accountants makes a difference.
#Barrier 3: The Fear of Regret
We all worry about making the wrong choices.
We worry about investing time into the wrong relationships. We worry if the restaurant we are going to for the first time serves bad food.
Or in this case, we may worry if the organization we are planning to support turns out to be a fraud and our goodwill backfires on us.
This is why it may seem less emotionally risky to simply do nothing. So instead of taking action, we let our fear consume us and leave things as the status quo, what are some practical steps we can take to prevent this?
How to overcome: We cannot predict the future. So perhaps, the most important step to take is to rid yourself of the regret that's holding you back. Instead of being paralyzed by fear, take some steps to minimize the risk. Doing a thorough background check on organizations you are looking to support may give you some confidence and assurance.
Ask for their annual financial reports and perhaps, have a chat with companies who support them to find their giving experiences. This would definitely help you make an informed decision and save you from regret in the long run. Here are some criteria you can use to evaluate the causes.
#Barrier 4: The Dreaded Inertia
Let's be honest, are we still sticking to that new year's resolution?
We are creatures of habit. We find a rhythm in life that we are comfortable with and stick to it. We fall back into our favorite shoe brands, coffee brands, stick to our usual route to work. It takes great effort and determination to bring about new changes.
The inertia to change things around us comes with the price of inconvenience. However, what if what may seem like an inconvenience is actually a needed change in disguise?
And if so, how can we break this cycle?
How to overcome: According to a finding by Michigan State University, a practical way to break this cycle to do so be SMART. No, we do not mean signing up for more classes.
Being SMART in setting your goals means making them "Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound."
For example, instead of, 'I want to kick start my business giving and help more people next year'
A SMART goal would sound like this,
- Specific: 'I want to help 3 causes through my business in the year 2021.'
- Measurable: 'Based on this year's projection, I would like to dedicate 5% of my profits to do so. That's about $5000.'
- Time-bound: December 2021 is 12 months away. I have to set aside $333 a month to do so.'
- Attainable: $333 is doable seeing that my company has recovered well from the pandemic and business is starting to pick up.
- Relevant: I will research my top 3 causes I am passionate about and kick start my giving.
Once you have settled on your SMART goal, share it with your colleagues and friends to keep you accountable. So that in the future when you feel tired or have forgotten about the goal you have set, there are people to cheer you on to help you go further.
When we allow ourselves to be accountable, we not only exemplify maturity but also allow others to grow together with us.
Sometimes, it might seem more convenient to do nothing and leave things as the status quo.
But all we need is just 3 seconds of willpower to take up the challenge and make a difference through our business. There's no better time than now.