How to engage the community and further your business
Small businesses may be the center of their communities but the communities are the lifeline for small businesses. The saying “Charity begins at home” applies especially to small businesses. Engaging your immediate community can help your business grow.
Here are four ways you can become involved in your community:
As a small business owner, you probably have a lot on your plate already. That being said, whenever you have the time, volunteering in the community is a choice you will never regret. If you can’t make it personally, encourage your employees to volunteer. Choosing one work day where the entire organization goes out to volunteer is an even better idea. Your act of volunteerism supports good causes in the community, cultivates relationships and increases your brand awareness. It’s a win all-round!
Local school teams, booster clubs, and organizations welcome sponsorship from businesses. For example, your business can sponsor a D.I.Y event for a local craft organization. Communities have a personal connection with business owners who actively participate in community events such as football, county fairs, the local YMCA, the local cheerleading club, etc. The support you offer to the community can position your business as a good corporate entity, thereby enhancing your public image.
Working with other local business owners
Collaborating with other business owners in the community provides a way to form strong relationships and enlarge your market. A local bakery, for example, supplying baked goods to a local cafe provides a way to increase market audience while forming a partnership in the community.
Reward loyal locals
Giveaways, special deals, and hosting events for the community are other ways to engage the community and promote the exposure of your business brand. You could give a free book to customers that purchase a certain number of items from your bookstore, host a giveaway in honor of a local holiday, or give a free donut with every purchase on National Donut Day. All these are ways you can leave an impact on your community.
These strategies on community engagement increase brand exposure, help build a good reputation in the community and help to cultivate relationships that will strengthen your business. Local businesses and communities thrive when they work together.
In what other ways can local businesses impact their community? Let me know what you think in the comments below.
Lois Olowoyo is a telecommunication-production major at the university of Florida and an avid story lover. When she’s not writing a story of her own or acting one out, she can be found listening to, watching, or reading someone else’s story. You can learn more about her and view her work at loisolowoyo.wordpress.com. Check out her LinkedIn profile here.