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VIBEcast EP16: How Giving Back to Charitable Causes Can Help Your Business Grow – A Conversation with Dan Willis

Posted by HMG CopySEO - July 11, 2024
VIBECast EP03 - The Rise of Unattended Retail: A Lucrative Business Opportunity

In this inspiring episode of the VIBEcast, we dive deep into the powerful connection between giving back to charitable causes and business growth. Join your host, Linda Ballesteros, as she sits down with Dan Willis, a successful Naturals2Go Owner-Operator from a small town, who shares his heartfelt journey of incorporating a give-back component into his business.


Embracing the Power of Giving Back

Host Linda Ballesteros kicks off the episode with an intriguing topic: the benefits of building a give-back component into your business. She references an article from SCORE titled “Doing Good is Good for Business,” which highlights that 85% of consumers have a more positive image of companies that give back.


Linda emphasizes that businesses with a charitable component have a unique selling point. Consumers today are more inclined to support local small businesses that contribute to their communities. This aligns perfectly with Dan Willis’s approach to his vending business.

Dan Willis’s Journey to Philanthropy

Dan Willis shares his inspiring journey, starting with his diverse career background. After serving in the Navy and working as a financial advisor at Edward Jones, Dan realized that his corporate job, though successful, was not fulfilling his desire for control and purpose. This realization led him back to Idaho, where he explored various franchise opportunities.


Dan’s connection with a franchise consultant led him to the vending business opportunity with Naturals2Go, a field he initially hadn’t considered. However, he soon recognized the community’s need for vending services and decided to dive in. Over three years, Dan’s business grew significantly, now boasting over 25 vending machines, five cappuccino-on-demand machines, and a break room market.

The Heart of Giving Back

For Dan and his wife Teresa, giving back was a core value from the beginning. Growing up poor, Dan experienced firsthand the kindness and blessings of others. This inspired him to incorporate a charitable component into his business, allowing him to be a blessing to others in return.


Initially, Dan’s business allowed clients to choose the charities they wanted their portion of the profits to go to. This approach led to donations to various organizations, from Promise Ridge, which supports domestic abuse victims, to Shriners Hospitals for Children, and local soup kitchens. One heartwarming story involved a donation that kept a soup kitchen running during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Evolving the Give-Back Program

Over time, managing donations to multiple charities became logistically challenging. Dan’s accountant suggested streamlining the process, leading to the creation of “All Hands Helping Santa,” a program in partnership with Clandestine Kringle. This initiative delivers Christmas presents to families and children in need, ensuring they have a memorable holiday despite difficult circumstances.


Dan’s business donates 10% of its profits to this program, and other companies often match these donations. This collaborative effort has resulted in significant contributions, making a tangible impact on the community. Dan’s future plans include expanding this program and introducing new initiatives like “All Hands Supporting the Earth,” a tree-planting project.

The Impact on Business and Community

Linda highlights how businesses that give back tend to have a more positive image in the community. Dan confirms this, sharing how his charitable efforts have attracted clients who value his commitment to local causes. This positive perception extends from high-level decision-makers to individual customers, fostering stronger relationships and loyalty.


Dan’s experience demonstrates that even in small towns, businesses can thrive by addressing community needs. His advice to aspiring entrepreneurs is to research their market, find a niche, and serve their community well. He emphasizes the importance of starting with a plan and understanding the complexities of the business, even in seemingly simple fields like vending.

Looking to the Future

Dan’s business is continuously evolving. He aims to create a franchise model, offering professional solutions for other aspiring business owners. By providing a blueprint for success, Dan hopes to help others incorporate a give-back component into their businesses, extending the positive impact to new communities.


In closing, Linda underscores the importance of giving back, sharing a quote from Winston Churchill: “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” She encourages all business owners to consider incorporating philanthropy into their operations, as it not only benefits the community but also enriches their own lives and businesses.

Join the VIBE

We hope Dan’s story has inspired you! And if you’re looking to start your entrepreneurial journey, we’re here to talk. Learn more about a healthy vending business opportunity with Naturals2Go. Get started here>





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