How Community Involvement Can Help You Grow Your Business
Small businesses are an integral part of the local community’s economy: they hire local people, and pay those people a wage that allows them to make purchases from businesses in the area. They serve the local businesses, and help them function through the products and services that they provide them.
You and your employees probably reside in neighborhoods within the community or surrounding communities with your families. You also probably have pride in your community, or - at the very least - want the community to thrive so that it’s a good place to live.
As a small business, you have the opportunity to make your community even greater if you choose to get involved. Getting involved, in turn, will provide your company with many different benefits:
- It strengthens relationships and increases customer loyalty
- It boosts visibility and increases brand awareness
- It can generate free press
- It improves employee satisfaction and morale
- It makes it easier to attract local talent
- It can lead to your company winning local awards
- It generates buzz and word-of-mouth
- It allows you to better reach local business decision makers
So, if you aren’t already, it’s time to start getting involved.
How to Get Involved
There are many ways that you, as a business, can get involved and get in front of the eyes of local decision makers:
- Join Local Organizations: If you’re not already a member of your area’s Chamber of Commerce, you really should be. There may be other organizations you can join too, depending on where your business is located. Make sure you join, attend meetings, participate, and actually make an effort to network with the other attendees.
- Hold a Fundraiser: You can show that your company cares by hosting a fundraiser, either an internal company fundraiser or one with the community itself involved. You can then donate the money you raised to a local organization or group of people in need.
- Volunteer: Volunteering shows that you care about more than just running your business. Let your employees spend a day out of the office doing something together to benefit the community.
- Sponsor an Event or Team: You can sponsor local events or even sports teams if your company has the funds to do so. Typically when you do so, you company’s logo will then be printed on any t-shirts or promotional materials associated with it.
- Participate in Events: If you can’t afford to sponsor an event, consider participating in it as a company. If there’s a local parade, march in it with a banner as a team. If there’s a local festival, set up a table or booth if it’s a festival where you would run into company decision makers. You can hand out small branded items for added effect.
- Host Your Own Event: You can host your own event, and choose to open it to the entire community or a select number of people. Events like this can be focused on selling a particular product or service, but they don’t have to be. It depends on what your marketing goal is.
- Partner with Another Business: If there’s a business in your area that sells products or services complimentary to yours, you can start a partnership with them. This will allow you to reduce your marketing costs due to shared resources.
With any of the above, you should be promoting what your company is doing on social media, and - when applicable - on your website or other communication methods (direct mail, email, etc). You can also promote what you are doing by informing the local press if it’s something that would be worth covering to them. For added benefit, when your employees are out doing something in the local community, give them shirts that are branded with your company’s colors and logo to wear. This will further tie what they are doing back to your company.
How is Your Online Presence Looking?
Once more people are aware of your company’s brand, they are more than likely going to turn to the Internet if they desire to learn more about your company. If you want to actually succeed in generating sales when they do this, make sure you do the following:
- Optimize your local SEO
- Claim your business through Google My Business
- Manage your online reputation
- Generate a presence on social media
- Design a good website
If you need help doing any of the above or would like more advice on getting involved in your local community, contact us today.