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Giving Back - Repay and Boost Your Home Staging Business Success

from: Alice T. Chan

October was Breast Cancer Awareness month. It's also the time of
year my family and I enjoy supporting a cause that's very near
and dear to our hearts.

Incredible and unbelievable as it may seem, we tragically lost
my mom to breast cancer ten years ago. My three year old
daughter got me all choked up recently because we were
clarifying who daddy's daddy was and who's daddy's mommy, who's
mommy's daddy.

Then she asked me who my mommy was and I explained to her that
she never met her because she passed away. Obviously, she didn't
understand what that meant.

It broke my heart when my daughter said since she hadn't met her
yet when she did, she was going to give her a big hug. All I
could say was that she would love that.

That's only one of the reasons I'm motivated and want to help
make a difference in the fight against breast cancer. We joined
in the American Cancer Society's Making Strides Against Breast
Cancer walk this October in San Francisco.

I have participated for the last ten years. My husband has
walked with me for the last six years and this is my daughter's
third year.

Earlier this year, we lost a friend's older sister was she taken
by this awful disease. She was a mother herself and left behind
six year old triplets!

As conscious business owners, we can and should use our
resources to give back. I just learned the phrase "Cause
Marketing" which is being used by big brands to incorporate
social responsibility into their marketing efforts.

It's defined as a "commercial activity by which businesses and
charities or causes form a partnership with each other to market
an image, product or service for mutual benefit".

Think LIVESTRONG by Celebrity Cyclist Lance Armstrong who turned
his public battle with cancer into a hip consumer brand with the
aid of branded partners Nike and Hewlett-Packard.

The LIVESTRONG brand raises money for the Lance Armstrong
foundation which inspires and empowers people affected by cancer.

There's also ONE charity which is a new effort by Americans to
rally Americans, one-by-one, to fight the emergency of global
AIDS and extreme poverty.

ONE was founded by 11 of America's most well-known and respected
aid groups, including Save the Children US, World Concern, World
Vision, and supported by many top celebrity heavy hitters
including Brad Pitt, Tom Hanks, Bill Gates and many more.

Another high profile example is RED which was created by U2 lead
singer Bono to raise awareness and money for The Global Fund by
teaming up with the world's most iconic brands to produce
co-branded products. A percentage of each RED co-branded product
sold is given to The Global Fund which helps women and children
affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa.

There are thousands of noble, deserving projects to connect to
your business. As a business owner, do you already support or
would like to support a cause or charity that you can
incorporate into your marketing efforts?

It doesn't have to be design related. Another cause I support
and want to get more involved with in the near future is Dress
for Success which is an organization that provides interview
suits, confidence boosts, and career development to low-income

I have a good friend and fellow Designer/Stager who has become
very involved with the Raphael House in San Francisco which is
dedicated to helping at-risk children and their families achieve
stable housing and financial independence.

She has also been involved with redesigning the San Francisco
Homeless Shelter and has received many accolades for her efforts.

Habitat for Humanity is a cause my husband has and perhaps many
of you have also participated in. Habitat is a housing
organization that builds simple, decent, affordable housing in
partnership with people in need.

No matter what the cause, extending a helping hand always
creates good will. Giving back to others and the community is
such a great reward for all involved.

Please keep two things in mind to gain the most out of your
greater good approach:

1. Identify a cause that fits your business.

The goal should be to align your business vision and brand
values with a synergistic nonprofit cause or organization in
order to create win-win marketing.

Your company will gain profile, and you'll likely create
stronger customer loyalty because your customers will feel good
about buying your product.

This will create a clearer differentiation between you and your
competitors that others will notice.

2. Choose a cause that means something to you.

There's no point in supporting an issue you don't really care
about - people are bound to catch on.

Having a genuine passion or interest in the cause means you'll
stay engaged.

Go out and make a difference.

Supporting a non-profit provides awesome opportunities for fun,
morale-boosting activities that give staff and customers the
'feel-good factor'.

About the author:
Alice T. Chan is the Staging Designers' Success Coach and
founder of Our tools/programs help
Staging Designers catapult their success by turning an expensive
hobby into a profitable expression of their talent. Alice
publishes the bi-weekly ezine "Set the Stage for Your Success".
To skyrocket your Staging Design business and gain credibility
in record time, get FREE tips now at
Copyright (c) 2009 Alice Chan

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