Big Footprint, Small Footprint

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by Steve Holt on May 20, 2013

For the past 5 years we have recycled at my house.  I bought some of those big plastic tubs at Walmart and we began to collect the standard stuff… cardboard, glass, cans, plastic, and paper.  Honestly, I didn’t do this out of an overwhelming concern for the environment.  I mean, I don’t like wasting anything and throwing something away that could be reused just seems dumb.  The added benefit is that my local community recycling center provides much needed income for my local city, which helps to keep taxes lower.  So it’s a win-win for everyone.  We also discovered that the amount of our household trash heading to our local landfill was reduced by 75% every week.  That’s cool.

That’s called creating a ‘small footprint’.

We also try to turn off lights that we aren’t using, and use a little less water when we can.  Trying to reduce your ‘footprint’ on your surroundings is just smart all the way around.  But now let’s switch the conversation to what your business can do to reduce its ‘footprint’, and not just in terms of the environment.  I think that your business should indeed try to reduce its environmental footprint by recycling and doing what you can do to reduce your consumption of resources.  That’s just smart.  But you also need to work hard to have a ‘small footprint’ on other things, like negative feedback and customer complaints.  And on the flip side, you need a ‘large footprint’ on things like engagement, excellent customer service, and giving back to your communities.

You need to approach interactions with customers and constituents with the mindset of ‘what can I do to reduce those things that need to be reduced, and increase those things that need to be increased?’.  Having a ‘small footprint’ in certain things can be a benefit, no doubt.  But having a ‘big footprint’ in engagement, customer service, investments in your local community, and more, can be huge.  So what are your ‘big footprints’?

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

DaveBratcher May 20, 2013 at 1:23 pm

Great points Steve. We often try to improve the areas which have the least impact. Love the footprint examples!

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