Each winter, I volunteer for my little town’s annual ping-pong tournament, a community event organized and run by local residents. Our planning committee handles a long list of tasks, from processing registrations to setting up matches. When the big day arrives, we enjoy seeing people of all ages and playing levels come together for some fun and exercise.
As we get ready for the 2020 tournament, I’m reminded of this lesson: Volunteering offers rewards that carry over to many areas of your life. For entrepreneurs, that includes these benefits.
A way to serve others. It’s gratifying to give back to the community and help your neighbors and friends.
New or improved skills. A well-run volunteer effort requires time management, clear communication, team building and resourcefulness. All of these skills are critical ones to have when you own a business.
A greater appreciation for volunteerism. Most causes and community events wouldn’t, or couldn’t, exist without selfless people who are willing to donate their time and talents. You see this first-hand when you serve as a volunteer yourself.
New relationships. When you volunteer, you may attend planning meetings and work shoulder-to-shoulder with others to set up tables, stuff envelopes, register attendees or perform other logistics. The hours spent working together sometimes foster long-lasting work relationships or friendships.
New business opportunities. Volunteerism can increase awareness about you and your professional services. Fellow volunteers who learn about your business expertise may refer you to others, become your clients or open other doors for you.
Most business owners are strapped for time. But if you can, find a way to roll up your sleeves and volunteer — even if it’s just a few hours here and there. You’ll be glad you did.