5 Steps to make a difference with your brand

“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

You might have noticed how more businesses are shifting towards meaning and purpose rather than just making profits?

You've launched your business from a place of love,  with the idea of changing the world for a better place. You're still convinced that you could do more with your business, though. Here are five ways to make a difference in your brand and business.

1. Choose the Ethical route

Are you buying or manufacturing products abroad? What's your buying policy? There's quite a lot to consider, tracing how your products are made, treating your workers in a fair manner, giving them a decent living wage, working with regular hours and a clean, safe environment? Wanting the best for your customers also means working with people who are happy at work, feel safe and recognised for their contribution. Ideally, go and visit your production line once a year,  involve your employees, in sales performance, include them in a profit scheme. You will make people at work more responsible if they understand how their contribution is making a difference and helping your business to succeed.

Do your homework before you outsource, get references from the business you are planning to use as suppliers. Subscribe to the Guardian Ethical business page to keep up to date with the latest news about making your business more ethical.

2. Offer donation on sales

Choose a charity to contribute to, setting up payments on your website with PayPal, add a donate button to a particular cause. Open up on the numbers, share on your blog how much your clients are contributing. Provide goods or products for special events with a way to help fund a charity. Choose one in line with your purpose and business values. Plan International and Oxfam are well-publicised charities for your donations. Or choose a local charity via local giving.

3. After sales attention

Send a thank you note to your clients, get feedback while they still remember your business. Keep in touch on a regular basis; business is built on relationships after all. Take extra care about your packaging, add a hand written a note to their order. It does not cost much, but it's  nice to receive.  Don't just bombard your email subscribers with sales promotions, keep in touch with your customers, explain how your business is making a difference, with real life stories. Write relevant and valuable content, don't just blab about yourself, write from your clients' perspective.

4.Reduce your impact on the environment

Look into your processes, to reduce waste, packaging, use recycled silk paper to wrap your item and boxes from the Tiny Box Company. Work with a business coach that will help you transform your business and make it more environment-friendly.

5.Tell Your Why -Inspire other businesses

What makes your business unique? It's YOU. Tell your story, how you've started and why?  How are your products making a difference? Be genuine, authentic, speak from a place of love and passion. Create inspiration for other business holders. Get regular customer interaction, keep up with clients to understand how you can resolve their problems.  Shopping is more than just shopping these days, the consumer has the choice and wants to add meaning and value in the way they shop; this is your time.