Often on this site I write about little ways to make a difference, to pay it forward, to give back. Yet it seems that sometimes people think that they alone can’t make a difference, so they leave the task to the big guns.
Can a small business also be a socially responsible business? Can one person implement conscious capitalism? Charles Antis is the founder of Antis Roofing & Waterproofing based in Orange County, California. His mission is to follow the business model of “doing well by doing good.” But how? Can a local roofer really to make a difference?
The answer is a resounding YES.
Charles is a local thought leader and proponent of corporate social responsibility. If he can do it, you can too. Here are his tips for practicing conscious capitalism, and here are his tips in his own words:
Soon after opening Antis Roofing & Waterproofing in 1989, I arrived at the home of a single mother with seven children and a leaking roof. Upon walking in the front door, I was overwhelmed by the strong and distinct smell of mildew. As I stood there, unable to avoid breathing in the toxic air, the youngest daughter grabbed my hand to proudly show off her home. When she led me into her bedroom I witnessed a sight I would never forget: four mattresses with moldy bedding. I realized the family could not afford a new roof. A struggling entrepreneur at the time, I scraped together low cost roofing materials and a group of volunteers to provide a free roof for the family. The gratification of helping this family infused me with a passion for giving to the less fortunate.
In 2009, Sharon Ellis, president of Habitat for Humanity of Orange County, asked me to donate a roof, and I immediately thought about that family. Since then I have donated the roof installation for every Habitat for Humanity of Orange County home—half a million dollars’ worth. And that spirit of giving and social responsibility has permeated my business and is today as much a part our reputation for quality craftsmanship and customer service.
These days, I encourage more businesses to practice this type of conscious capitalism. When companies have a greater purpose, are able to stand for something more and are passionate about what they do, success will follow.
More so than ever before, the most successful, respected and desirable businesses are striving to practice conscious capitalism by endeavoring to use the power of business to help their communities and beyond—and consumers have been taking note. Study after study has shown that socially responsible businesses not only provide sustainable business models and have improved employee satisfaction, customer loyalty and brand perception, but global consumers have also said they are willing to spend more for a product or service that supports a cause.
4 Ways Businesses Can Practice Conscious Capitalism
If this new model for doing business excites you, here are 4 ways your business can start practicing conscious capitalism:
1. Understand your core values and get your team on board.
Practicing conscious capitalism begins with understanding the core values of your business. Consider what the company’s mission is or what you want it to be.
You could start by finding the social need that aligns with your heart – perhaps something that benefits your local community or is aligned with your purpose. Be loud about it, and be willing to talk about it to everyone. Once you decide to start running an altruism-based business it’s important to make sure these values become infused within your company’s ethos. Hold weekly or even daily meetings to ensure everyone on your team is on board. Alignment within your team is incredibly important. You will not be successful in a model of business if you don’t believe in it, so it’s time to search your social conscience and stake a claim on a belief that you trust your employees and the community will feel alignment with.
With a persistent focus, new business doctrines can become a part of your culture—then you’ll be leading a winning team.
2. Encourage participation from employees and clients.
It’s important that your efforts actively involve your employees and even clients. Involving more people signals that conscious capitalism is a sincere and inherent part of your company culture.
One way to get employees involved in your charitable efforts is to make a donation in your employees’ or clients’ name. Antis recently began using Charitable Giving Cards, which are like gift cards, but instead of recipients using it to buy something, they go to a website and donate the money to the charity of their choice. The funds never expire and any money not spent goes back to our charity of choice. This is a great example of our company driving home the fact that we truly care about giving back; and we believe our employees and clients are happy to be a part of a company that continually looks outward.
To take it a step further, you can also search for service opportunities within your community, and then engage your employees to help. Engaging with the community regularly will not only allow you to share, learn and grow, but it can also forge networks and show people how your values are aligned.
Sponsoring company-wide or community-wide events are also great ways to get everyone involved. Our regular Habitat for Humanity builds are always a fun and fulfilling way to bring people together. It’s not only a way to work together for a good cause, but it’s a way to associate your company or brand with a credible non-profit organization.
3. Network to further a cause.
Look for ways to connect the non-profits you support with clients or customers who may be interested in supporting them as well. At Antis, we host a suite at the Honda Center and give away seats and tickets to clients. The suite is then used as a meeting place for nonprofit organizations and potential donors to connect and raise funds for their causes.
I encourage businesses to do research and see which nonprofit organizations are in your area. Find out what their needs are and see how your business and other businesses can help. By partnering with organizations like Alzheimer’s OC and supporting all the non-profit partners in our HOA industry, Antis has made a name for itself in the nonprofit community. Charitable organizations know that we are community-oriented and will help connect their organizations with individuals and businesses that can advance their philanthropic efforts.
4. Create a positive work climate.
By doing things like rewarding excellence, providing employees with free fitness classes and helpful seminars, you can cultivate a positive work environment and take care of both the minds and bodies of the everyone in the office.
Meet with your employees on a regular basis to encourage new ideas and creativity to develop. Collaboration between your company, team and community leads to strong can positively impact your company culture and brand visibility.
Employees should be the primary enactors of a company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) plan. Value their work and ideas and be thoughtful about your conscious capitalism goals.
I can’t prove that my company’s success is a direct result of conscious capitalism, but I can say that I sincerely love what I do today. Be sure that your efforts actively involve your employees and even clients. Involving more people signals that conscious capitalism is a sincere and inherent part of your company culture. When my team or I show up to talk to our clients, a bond is formed that greatly benefits our working relationship.
Businesses have a great—if not the greatest—potential to improve the health of their communities, citizens and even the planet. And as they grow and become more prosperous, they should feel a moral obligation to improve the conditions of the environment that has helped them succeed.
Antis Roofing & Waterproofing was founded in 1989 by Charles Antis. From the beginning, Antis has worked exclusively in the HOA and multi-tenant family market in Orange, Los Angeles and San Bernardino Counties, providing roofing, decking and maintenance solutions for more than 1,000 communities. Antis built its brand on the basis of honesty, transparency, quality craftsmanship, and customer service. The company is highly regarded in the community for its commitment to social responsibility, in particular its longstanding work with Habitat for Humanity of Orange County and its recent partnership with, and contributions to Alzheimer’s OC. Antis has provided every roof of every home built by Habitat OC since 2009. To learn more about Antis Roofing and Waterproofing, visit www.antisroofing.com.