While you certainly can’t run a business on the basis of free services, there is a strong case to be made for periodically offering up your services without charge. If you’re wondering how to build your business, keep employees happy, and fully immerse yourself as a member of your local economy, offering regular community services for free is an excellent way to do it. A closer look reveals a raft of benefits for doing so.

Improved Worker Morale

Studies are very clear: altruism makes people happier and healthier. Giving your employees an opportunity to share in these benefits is an excellent way to cement worker loyalty and keep them happy over the long haul.

As an added bonus, people who know they will be paid to do good may be more likely to apply to work for you, given today’s workforce emphasis on charity and world contribution. If they’re good workers with solid skills, this can be worth a lot to your business in the long haul.

Networking Opportunities

Free services are likely to get your name out there among other people in your field. Think of salespeople for machines or products that you use routinely who might be willing to give you a better deal on your next purchase.

If you meet with medical professionals, you can form a reciprocal relationship in which you refer business to one another. And even local businesses outside your field might be willing to place cards or brochures advertising your services on their counters or windows if you form a good relationship with them.

Excellent Marketing

Especially if you’re new (but even if you’re not), offering free services can be a great marketing option. It’s an excuse to advertise widely on the internet through traditional print media and even signage. Since you’re doing good, the advertising is less intrusive than people might find it if just advertising for your business. While getting your name out there for free services might initially bring in the targeted crowd, in the long run it’s likely to manifest in paying customers as well.

Community Contribution

There’s something to be said for doing good, plain and simple. Helping your community out once in a while ensures better health of citizens, helps the local economy by enabling people to do their jobs better (think about how much easier work is without a toothache) and improves the well-being of your town or city overall.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Especially for new employees, practice is crucial. Free services can be a lower-stakes way for your newbies to practice their skills, because paying customers have lower expectations than those who are paying.

This is never to say that you can take advantage of people who put their trust in you; merely that those getting free services are willing to sign off on services performed by someone with a bit less experience, provided a dental professional still oversees the entire procedure.

Most likely you’ll only want to offer up such services once or twice a year, but doing so is inarguably a fantastic way to boost business, get established, grow your reputation and improve the happiness and well-being of all concerned.