The backlash against big corporations has been pretty strong since the economic collapse of late 2008. True, not a single top level bank executive has gone to jail after hundreds of billions of dollars, family savings, and trust in our financial institutions vanished into thin air. But there’s something to be said about karma, so we’ll let that take care of the guilty parties.
The good news is because of the outlandish corporate greed brought to light, many consumers now look to support anyone but large corporate conglomerates, and that helps small business. If I have the choice between shopping at a huge mega-superstore versus spending my hard earned money at a family owned independent company, I go with the family owned company every time, assuming pricing and service are close to equal.
I’m thrilled to find companies like Zuma Office Supply who make buying office supplies and janitorial supplies a “no brainer”. They are certainly not the only company that gives back to the community, but when it comes to office supplies, they are the best around. They have better pricing than the office superstores like Staples, Office Depot or OfficeMax, and the service is better! Most orders ship the next day, and they ship free so I don’t have to waste time and money sending someone to the store.
But what really excites me is doing business with companies that give back to great causes, charities and the community. Newman’s Own is probably the best known large company to donate significant amounts of profits to charities – they donate all of them. Not all companies have a founder as rich as Paul, but I look for companies that at least do their best to give back.
There are new companies like Zuma, those who practice conscious capitalism, that give back significant portions of profits rather than put the profits to the bottom line, or pay them out to already wealthy shareholders. That’s why I call it “no brainer” office supplies because the prices are better, the service is much better, and they do good work with great charities.
I feel good shopping at places I know do business the right way. Whole Foods Market is a perfect example. They treat me the customer better than any grocery chain, their employees always rank Whole Foods as a top place to work in the US, and they do their part to treat the environment and our earth with respect.
But that’s not all. Whole Foods also treats their vendors with respect and honesty, (something most big retailers never do), and they give back to the community with their own measure of charitable support. That’s the definition of a company practicing Conscious Capitalism, and also the qualities I look for when finding a place to shop. This is especially true when I know I’ll need to buy things often, like office products or groceries.
Saving money and being treated well are always important, and when I can avoid dealing with the greed of mega-corporations, and give my business to someone donating 50% of profits to charity and practicing conscious capitalism, it’s a no brainer. It’s amazing doing something I used to consider a chore – buying office products – now makes me feel good!
By: Stephan R. Vonn