Is your business giving back to the community? If not, you are missing a huge opportunity to get your company’s name in front of the people who really matter; your potential clients and customers. Showing you and your business support and care about the local community is a sure-fire way to instill trust in your company. No matter what your industry or size of your business, there are options for your organization to get involved.
Serve as a Board Member for a Non-Profit Group
One way to not only get involved in the community but also set yourself apart is to serve on a board for a non-profit. Offer your business or industry expertise to make a difference for a local organization. Presenting your knowledge and skills will offer a look into what you can do for other board members if they could benefit from your services as well. When your investment is time, rather than money, it shows commitment and dedication, which are two of the most important things for a business owner.
Volunteer Your Time
Set aside a few hours each month and volunteer your time for a cause that is close to your heart or relates to your business. If you will be asking your employees to take part, just ensure that everyone has a voice when it comes to selecting a cause or charity with which to work. Small business owners have to watch their dollars and cents, so offering time over money can help keep your business on-budget. Where to start: animal shelters, soup kitchens, children’s hospitals, student mentoring, park cleanups and recreation centers.
Host or Collect for a Collection/Donation Drive
Natural disasters (flooding, tornadoes, fires, etc.) may occur in your area or a local family may find themselves in need of community support. Start a collection for those affected and ask community officials what items are needed the most. These are usually: canned goods, water bottles, blankets, children’s toys, hygienic products, or money raised for temporary shelters. Add a collection bin to your office space or store location with information on the collection and what is needed. Send an email to your mailing list and post on social media to spread the word.
Participate In Your Local Chamber of Commerce
Take note of the word “participate”. Joining is not enough when it comes to the chamber of commerce, to get the full benefit of your membership you must be active at least once or twice a month. The chamber of Commerce has it’s fingers on the pulse of the city. They help direct what events take place, what is changing and how the business community can help.
A good chamber will find a way to include business owners in just about anything they do. The chamber business events are an ideal networking opportunity. Interacting with your chamber online through social media is a smart way to help their events get the exposure they need. Additionally, there are always people in every community who will look to the chamber of commerce to determine who they will do business with. Ultimately, it offers an excellent way to get involved in the community by participating in local activities and charitable events.
Sponsor/Take Part in Community Events
Go where the community is already gathering! Most towns host races, festivals and seasonal community events. They will LOVE the extra help with organizing, providing food/drinks or an offer of silent auction donations. If you’re on-site the day of the event, make sure you stand out and your presence is seen. You can do this with a branded booth, canopy and branded shirts that can be worn to any local event in which you take part. Take additional materials to hand out like rack cards, brochures and business cards. If your budget allows, branded materials that fit the event’s theme are hot items that will keep you in front of potential clients on a long-term basis. These items include things like branded multiple use water bottles, coffee cups, pens and more.
Advertising and marketing are excellent tools, but nothing beats being seen around your community. You want people thinking they see your business everywhere, and if you are participating in events they are already taking part in, that is exactly what will happen. Community involvement is a way to give back and gives you the opportunity to come to your customers, rather than them having to come to you. So, what are you waiting for? Get started today!