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Posted by Sarah Brown on 10 Apr '15

Three reasons to do good in a business

An interesting example of how doing good can be profitable even for the smallest business

This week on the radio I heard about a café in Monton Selo Deli who have launched a ‘suspended’ coffee scheme after hearing about similar projects in America.

People can pay for two coffees and get one and the other is recorded on a black board as tick a ‘suspended’ coffee or tea for someone else. When the drink is given away then a cross is put through the tick. When someone else comes in, who either can’t afford a drink or has forgotten their cash, they can see the available coffees already paid for, and can claim a suspended one for free.

There are three interesting and positive things about this:

  1. People are happy to do it and donate drinks to others and it has a positive impact on the community as people in need can be helped – though the guy who came in for six free drinks in a day was finally discouraged. It has helped build community spirit
  2. The café is potentially doubling its sales by doing good – a great example of winning by being good. Being ethical has meant they sell more drinks
  3. I assumed when I heard this story it had just started but the details I found on the internet dated from the summer of 2013. The interview on the radio was clearly more recent and so this good story has continued to provide useful marketing publicity and it is obviously still working. Being an ethical business helps with promotion and can provide a niche

It would be great to hear about other examples of ethical businesses who are profiting from 'doing good'. Any interesting examples will be useful for my book on creating a successful 21st century business

Who would have thought strangers would buy each other coffees in our cash-strapped climate? But they really do and it is working a treat here. It’s creating a great atmosphere and our customers are really intrigued by the idea. It’s a lovely feeling that you can come into our cafe, grab free stuff and know it’s all been paid for by someone you never met.

Irena Pistun, Selo Deli Monton