Going above and beyond

Sometimes you see something and it just looks right. This is an example of a franchise that appears interested in more than just running at a profit – it’s clearly got …

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23rd May 2007 at 7:59 pm

Sometimes you see something and it just looks right. This is an example of a franchise that appears interested in more than just running at a profit – it’s clearly got that in mind but it’s likely to put something back into its area, which in this case is roads. Granted, Autosheen is a car cleaning company but its attempts to educate people about road safety can only be a good thing.

I’ve done a little research on corporate social responsibility and it can be even more subtle and tangential than this example. Autosheen has selected an area in which it has an obvious interest and thrown some resource at it, and it might just end up saving lives. I’ve come across a number of City firms, however, which offer employees the chance to paint and build bits for primary schools. I’ve come across a chemical company which does the same.

There is clearly no direct business benefit to be derived from this sort of activity, other than a more motivated (if initially knackered) workforce. But if you’re far-sighted enough to see beyond the initial investment of time and resources with no obvious payback, the benefits can be dramatic.

Co-ordinating this across a disparate entity like a chain of franchisees is never going to be easy but in order to compete and get the very best people working for you most of the time, it’s worth considering. Presumably the people at Autosheen have found the idea does as much for their spreadsheets as for their consciences. I’m pleased to draw attention to them and wish them well.

Guy Clapperton

Guy Clapperton is a freelance journalist who specialises in small business issues and has written for the likes of The Guardian, the FT and the Daily Mirror. Guy has written about finance and franchising for SmallBizPod. http://www.guyclapperton.co.uk

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