If you want your business to make a difference, make sure it makes money.
This is not about “me first”, which I abhor and have written about elsewhere (https://btq.wpengine.com/blogs/blog/bsbt/the-me-economy/). It is about ensuring that your business is in a position to serve the causes it cares about.
I’ve seen analogies comparing businesses with people. Those individuals who have (worthily in my view) abstained from personal wealth in order to dedicate their lives to the greater good.
But businesses are not individuals.
If you can’t pay your wage bill, your focus will not be on the cause or purpose you’d like your business to serve. And you’ll be behaving irresponsibly to the people who, aside from your family, you have the greatest responsibility to – those who have place the wellbeing of their own families in your hands.
So please do think about what difference you want your business to make. I believe ALL businesses should think about this, and make it a core part of their work.
But don’t dive into making contributions before your business can look after itself. Or even better, have a business model that makes your business profitably by contributing to social or environmental issues you care about. Because without doing one of these, you won’t be able to make the change you want to make.