Tuesday, June 23, 2015

How Volunteer Community Service Can Help You and Your Business Stand Out

Recently I had the honor of being the chairperson of the Field of Heroes, an annual event conducted by the Rotary Club of Jackson Township. It takes place over the Memorial Day weekend and features the placement of more than 1,000 American flags on the township safety center lawn. The flags are sponsored by area residents who wish to honor a military veteran, safety officer, or other hero in their lives.

Mike Boyd served as chairperson of the
2015 Jackson Township Field of Heroes
The Field of Heroes is a regal and inspiring display. It has a dramatic impact on visitors. And it involves people who represent a true cross-section of the community.

Because of that, I noticed along the way that my volunteer service was having a direct, positive impact on my business. Here I was, being put in touch with community leaders and key volunteers on a daily basis. They came to my office, or attended meetings in our conference room, or were otherwise made well aware of who I am and what I do. As that happened, they became acquainted with our company and learned more about the products and services we provide.

Was chairing such a major community event a lot of hard work? Absolutely. Did it consume a great deal of my time? Yes, it did. And that’s fine; volunteerism is one of the great things that drives our country and our communities. We serve because we want to help, not because we expect to get anything out of it. As I mentioned, it was an honor to chair the Field of Heroes, and I felt privileged to do so.

Of course, anyone who has volunteered in their community will tell you how they benefited personally from their service, and received something in return. Typically, it’s a new perspective, or a greater sense of appreciation after seeing what others may be experiencing. During the Field of Heroes, I saw how much it meant to people to have the opportunity to express appreciation for those individuals who had made a difference in their lives. It lifted my spirits and reminded me that we all have much to be thankful for.

Since the event concluded, my volunteer service has had a tangible effect on our company, as well.  People continue to thank me, weeks later. Others have called to place orders, or have stopped in to invite bids from us on projects they’re working on. In some cases, these are people who didn’t know much about me or my business just a few weeks or months ago.

I’ve written before about how important it is to get out of our comfort zones, to try new things or to involve ourselves in community activities. It’s benefited me personally on a number of occasions. In addition to the Field of Heroes, I’m active with our local Rotary Club and serve on the board of the Canton Advertising Federation. Our company has helped dozens of charities promote their organizations and events. Not only have they provided us with the chance to be of service, they’ve offered us numerous opportunities for networking with organizations and individuals who later became customers.

Without question, we all volunteer in the community because we believe in the causes we’re helping, and because it’s the right thing to do. But don’t overlook the fact that the right thing can also be the beneficial thing for your company. What you give in time and service will often come back to you many times over in business or career opportunities.

MIKE BOYD is president of Creative Source. Clients looking for sign companies in Canton, Ohio
and the surrounding region look to Mike and his staff for creative marketing solutions.