In Guest Expert Features

How volunteering can grow your small business

When you’re thinking of ways to grow your business, volunteering might not make the top of the list, but it probably should. Of course, helping people is a reward in itself, but it also brings with it a number of bonuses that could be great for your business.

There are two main ways to volunteer through your business. You could offer your regular services for free, such as providing hairdressing and beauty treatments at local homeless or women’s shelters; or you could sign up to do something completely different through an employee volunteering service.

Whichever option you choose, your local community is sure benefit, and so will your business. To celebrate the United Nations’ International Volunteer Day on the 5th December, here are five ways volunteering can grow your small business.


  1. Make connections

So much of business is about who you know, and the easiest way to grow your network is to get out there and meet people. Even if you’re volunteering in a sector that doesn’t directly relate to your business, you could still make useful connections with prospective clients, word-of-mouth marketers or people who can give you a fresh perspective on how to run your business.


  1. Boost your skills

When you volunteer to work on something you’ve never done before, such as litter picking or planting a community garden, it’s easy to see how you can learn new skills, but you can still make discoveries even if you’re offering your regular services. Breaking out of your routine and exposing yourself to new situations and ways of thinking is a sure-fire way to bring variety back into your business planning.


  1. Motivate your staff

It’s easy for employees to fall into a rut and lose motivation, and volunteering is a great cure for this. A day out of the salon might seem like a simple solution to staff boredom, but it actually brings plenty of benefits. Not only is volunteering great for team-building, research has shown that it can increase creativity, lower stress and boost those feel-good hormones that we get from helping others. All these benefits are sure to carry over when your employees back at work.


  1. Strengthen your brand

Volunteering is a great opportunity to promote the values that are important to your brand, whether it’s about community, inclusiveness or giving back. Plus, many customers prefer brands associated with goodwill, so choose to volunteer in a way that promotes the values you believe in and shows your customers what your business is all about.


  1. Join the community

No business is an island, so get out and be active in your local community. Volunteering can help you strengthen ties with other businesses and prospective customers, and being seen out and about in the community is also a great source of free advertising. The more you help, the more you’ll be remembered.


At Get Ahead VA, we understand how important it is to make connections. To find out more about how to boost your small business, please give us a call on 01483 332220 or email us at

Rebecca Newenham is the founder of Get Ahead VA – a virtual marketing and business agency who provide business owners with outsourced support.  Rebecca has a team of 30 who provide flexible support and their clients pick and choose the services their business needs.

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