Time moves extremely fast. We all get busy with our personal lives and businesses. Fortunately, there are certain days of the year where we can get out of the rat race and focus on the good things. One of those days is Valentine’s Day. In 270 AD, a Christian Saint named Valentine lived in the Roman Empire. Saint Valentine secretly married young couples because the emperor outlawed marriage for young men and preferred them as soldiers. Ever since the 15th century, Valentine’s Day has been an occasion for lovers to express their love. Valentine’s Day is a great opportunity for business people and entrepreneurs to spread love to communities and make positive changes. Business people have resources and can reach out to communities in need. This idea isn’t new of course.
Well known companies are contributing to society as a routine. The Body Shop, AVON, ARIEL, and the British American Tobacco Company follow the ‘Societal Marketing Concept.’ This concept emphasises the social responsibility and suggests that strategies deliver value to customers in ways that maintain and enhance the consumer, and the society’s wellbeing. This approach facilitates brand loyalty as well as credibility.
Use Your Network’s Power To Influence Others
Your power lies within the members of your network. Rally your network and start a love-spreading activity for your community! You can affect business people in a positive manner through your business network. Channel your network’s strength to help individuals and communities in need. You can make a difference and help change lives, Valentine’s Day is just a reminder. You can build on this every day of the year. You will be recognised for your good deeds and it will make you feel better too. When we use our resources to help causes that are greater than ourselves, our lives are enriched with meaning and we feel happy.
Here is an interesting fact, business people will not initiate helping, giving and contribution activities however, they are happy to help when called upon. Take the opportunity and lead your network in spreading love and gratitude. They will follow you, respect you and they will appreciate you!
Steps To The Secret of Business Networking Valentine’s Day Style
- Target A Community In Need
When planning your activity, first figure out whom you want to help. Would you like to help children, the elderly, disabled people and so on. Define your target community, and usually a well formatted spreadsheet will help here. My tip, choose a community that you have a personal attachment to already. For instance, if you’ve helped a friend with cancer – maybe approach a charity that deals with this issue. Does your friend have a child with autism? Maybe allocate your resources to charities that deal with this community such as the National Autistic Society.
- Round Up Your Network
Reach out to your business network and share your plan with them. Ask them if they would like to help. Make sure that they know you want to give back to the community and that you feel it is important that they help. Together, you and your network can accomplish great things and change your community for the better. Find a way for each person to contribute and tell them that when you approach them with your idea. If you target a cause that is sentimental to you, share that with your network. Let them know that the cause means a lot to you and why.
- Pick A Charity Or An Organisation
After you choose your target community, you need to find the right non-profit organisation.
How To Find The Right Organisation To Help:
- Word of mouth – Ask someone from your network if he or she can recommend a non-profit organisation or a charity.
• Google – “non-profit organisations”, “charities”, “social enterprise”, “community initiatives” and the like.
• Online directories such as -Charity Choice, Charity Commission
• Municipal or Governmental lists of organisations and charities
• Media Publications
Once you find a potential non-profit, learn about its activities and make sure it matches what you are looking for.
- Contact The Organisation You Choose
Contact the non-profit organisation or charity you have chosen and explain your idea. Share your plan with them and discuss how to execute it effectively. Here are some social activities you can initiate:
- One on one teaching of useful knowledge
• Help renovate community club / facilities
• Offer free lectures that will provide hands on training that can open new opportunities for the community.
• Fundraising events
• Donate money for a specific goal that benefits the organisation or charity
• Donate food, clothes, electric appliances, etc.
- Date And Details
Pick a date that works for everyone in your business network that is planning to participate. Make a list of what everyone needs to do or bring, and then follow up with him or her to make sure everything is prepared.
Help your network with the event. Live the experience. Talk to the people that you help, imagine yourself in their shoes and do what you can to make them feel happy. Enlist your network and do something beneficial for the community. After it is complete and everyone is content and happy, I recommend remaining in contact with the community and making the contribution activity into an annual event. You will have a great excuse to socialise with friends and help others at the same time.
Life is a continuous cycle. Continue spreading love and leaving a positive mark on your surroundings and you will get it back, in your soul and your business a hundred times over. Happy and Meaningful Valentine’s Day!