A big business may have the financial resources to get its name in front of the public, but small businesses have an even better advantage to connect with the community. Because local entrepreneurs are more likely to not only work in the community but live and play there also, they have a recognizable face to go with their name. Here a few simple ways small businesses can make a big difference with local residents.
Be Seen on the Scene
Sponsorships can go a long way toward getting the name of your business tied to community events and activities, but actively taking part in an event can go well beyond that. Your customers expect to see your familiar face when they come into your business; now it’s time to take that familiar face to a much larger potential customer pool. Set up a booth, offer free samples or helpful information and be a part of local festivals or gatherings.
Join Service Organizations
Chambers of commerce are a great way to network and form collaborations with other business owners, stay abreast of changes in the business world, and lend your voice to the collective chorus in government. However, there are also other groups that can raise your business profile while doing a wealth of good for the surrounding region and its residents. Rotary clubs, Kiwanis and other service organizations are great places to start.
Hold a Workshop
You provide a valuable product or service to your customers. Spread some of your knowledge and wisdom by opening your doors and offering a workshop that will help others develop and practice a new skill. You can bring in potential new customers by gathering people who want to learn something specific in one place. Plus, it’s a great way to share ideas, discover what customers are seeking and network by meeting new people.
It’s always important to reward customers for their loyalty and dedication to your brand. Yet offering free or discounted products and services to schools, libraries or nonprofit organizations can also do wonders for your public image. Not only will your good deeds be helping out worthy causes in your neighborhood, but they will be seen by parents and other patrons and put the name of your business top of mind for future needs.
There are always going to be projects taking place that are meant to support the greater good of the community. Providing funding is a great way to support these endeavors; however, getting your hands dirty with the boots-on-the-ground commitment of time and sweat equity demonstrates your passion to make your hometown a better place. You can even provide your employees incentives to participate in volunteerism in the area by providing paid volunteer hours each quarter.