How Small Businesses Can Get Involved in Their Community

5 Ways for Businesses to Get Involved in the Community

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!


Selecting an Outsource Service Provider

As we head into the summer months, business owners can be found looking for a few extra hours in the business day to get those critical tasks completed in order to spend more time enjoying the season after-hours. Yet, as business owners, especially those of us in the workspace services industry, we often struggle to find a hard stopping point for work activity. Hour by hour, our personal lives are de-prioritized for the sake of that never ending business to-do list. Recently, I’ve shared some posts about how business owners in my industry and in general can get back more of their time by outsourcing the most time consuming business tasks. In this post, I will share some processes and procedures you can adopt to ensure that your selecting the outsource service provider that best suits your needs.

Ask the Hard Questions

One of the major reasons to employ an outsource company to take over an element of your business is to set your mind at ease concerning that element which in turn frees up your time to accomplish more. The last thing you want is to have to spend more time than ever on that task because of a misunderstanding that could have been avoided by asking the hard questions at the start. What are the hard questions? Consider some of the biggest bottlenecks and toughest situations you’ve run into with carrying out that task in-house. Present these to your prospective outsource companies and see if they’ve had experience with solving them. Make sure also to ask about additional fees and charges that may come up if changes are made to the service agreement. You want to be sure that the company you use is the appropriate fit for both your business needs and budget.

Referrals are A Must

Work only with companies where you are able to hear from customers first-hand. Reviews and testimonials on that service provider’s website are filtered and possibly tailored to present that company in the best possible light. You get the best information from third-party review websites and/or direct phone calls to customers who’ve worked with that company before. If you cannot access a review of that company’s services in any place other than through the company itself, then there’s a high probability that they do not yet have the experience to provide the full time-saving benefits of having outsourced that task.

Know Your Point of Contact

Unless you are outsourcing to a freelancer, your prospective outsource company is likely to have a huge staff providing your services. Make sure that you know who will be your chief point of contact for service changes and adjustments after the service contract is in place. Many times the person that you worked with to set up services is a member of that company’s business development team, but the person who will be attending to your needs afterwards is a customer service representative or account manager. You need to make sure that you will have a singular point of contact that is easily accessible to you when you need to make changes or have a question. If the outsource company cannot provide an easy way to get in touch, then they might not have the attentiveness to your specific business needs to make you feel at ease enough to fully delegate that part of your business.

Final Thoughts on Selecting an Outsource Service Provider…

The overarching tip for selecting a quality outsource service provider is to make sure that the organization is a solid fit for your needs so that you can rest assured that that area of business is well handled and use your day more effectively. The purpose of outsourcing areas of your business like marketing, accounting, and/or receptionist services is so that your business can operate more efficiently and with less attention in those areas from you, the business owners.

Finance and Accounting Outsourcing for Serviced Office Centers

Finance and Accounting Outsourcing (FAO) presents a major opportunity for serviced office centers. By moving core finance functions off-site, serviced office centers can enjoy many more productive hours and insightful business analytics.

Office Suite Strategies advises hiring a business center manager with accounting experience so that they can understand profit and loss statements and have an awareness of what it takes for the business to succeed financially. But, the business center manager’s responsibilities will span the gamut operations and sales functions. It’s important that that position not be overloaded routine transactional work and accounting tasks. When using a FAO partner, serviced office centers stand to optimize the productivity of their on-site staff that manage and grow the business.

Another benefit of FAO is access to business analytics that would be difficult to track and report by on-site staff that’s not fully dedicated to an accounting role. The core finance functions required by serviced office centers do not warrant a full-time accountant. FAO partners can provide that part-time accounting staff while also having the tools and systems in place to produce regular reports on the trends that arise within your business finances. They can also offer forecasting reports to help your sales team set attainable goals. The specifics of the business analytics offered varies among FAO organizations. As you are shopping for an FAO service provider, make sure the company you choose can provide the reporting and updates you expect.

I’ve prepared the graphic below to provide some insight on how to find an FAO partner that suits your center. We at Office Suite Strategies can work with you to establish a Finance and Accounting solution that meets all of your organization’s needs as a part of our serviced office center consulting services. Contact us to learn more about how Office Suite Strategies consulting can drive your serviced office center success.


Account outsource