Why should your business engage with the local community? When you are busy trying to manage the day-to-day running of your business, finding ways to get involved with the local community might be of little priority to you. And we get it, we really do! Running a business is tough, and getting time to do anything other than your daily tasks might seem like an impossibility.
But here’s the thing. For the benefit of your business, you really should find ways to engage more with the community around you. Why?
It’s Good For Marketing
As discussed here, this is an excellent way to meet the people who matter most to your business, your customers! Sure, you could communicate to them through social media and email, but sometimes, those personal interactions with others can yield greater results.
You’ll Benefit From Customer Loyalty
If you can support your community in any way, such as by sponsoring a local sports team or by volunteering for a charity, you will boost the way your customer’s think about you. They might then choose your business over others, which is especially useful for you when you’re having to find ways to beat your local business rivals.
You’ll Meet People Who Can Help You
What kind of people? Well, you might meet somebody willing to invest in your business if you can generate interest in your company at a local community event. You might meet future members of staff should they take a liking to the work you do, and the way you proactively care for the people in your locale. By supporting local charities, you might generate positive word of mouth around the community about your business. And you might attract the attention of the local media, and that can effectively boost your profile if they give your business recognition for positive reasons. And there may be all kinds of other people who could help you; you won’t know until you get out there and engage with the community around you.
So, have we sparked your interest yet? If your head is nodding faster than one of those distracting nodding dogs people place within their cars, then your next question might be “how can I get engaged with my local community?”.
There are all kinds of ways you could do it, and while we don’t have every answer for you – there may be specific opportunities that are local only to you – we do have some general suggestions.
Participate In A Local Event
Many towns and cities have local events that are open to local business owners. These events can be a great way to expose your brand to the wider community, as by using services such as this one, www.eventdisplay.com.au/printed-marquees, you can invest in a tent or marquee and set it up at the event to showcase your business. These events might be entirely business-oriented, such as trade shows and small business conferences, or they may be something (dare we say it) a little more fun and exciting, such as local festivals or fetes. Particularly for the latter, you might do more than stand there with a bunch of flyers pertaining to your business, as you could get into the spirit of fun and hold a contest, or you could provide hands-on tutorials for the products you sell.
You should also walk around the events you attend, meeting up with local people, and getting to know them. Whether you push your company or not within your conversations, you will still get the opportunity for others to meet the face behind your business. This might (if you behave well) improve your credibility.
Volunteer For A Local Charity
We aren’t suggesting you do this full-time; you will be far too busy to do so! However, you could do something once a week or once a month, perhaps lending out your services (or those of your employees) to support the causes in your area. You might want to lend your hand doing whatever is asked of you, or if you have a specific skill that pertains to your business, you might bring that to the cause you work with. For example, if you run an I.T. business, you might teach computer skills to a charity that works with the unemployed. Or if you run a building firm, you might offer your services for free to any charity that needs a refurbishment.
Not only will you be doing a great service to any charity you volunteer your time for, but you will be benefiting yourself and your business too. You will gain brand exposure, impress your employees (especially if you support a cause that interests them), and get to have that warm and tingly feeling that comes from helping another. Check this article, https://alisoun.com/25-ways-support-charities-causes-business/ for an extensive list of other ways you can support a charity with your business.
Accommodate A Public Event
If you have the space within your business premises, you could hold an event that is open to the public. This might be something specific to your business, such as a product launch or a meeting space for other small business owners, or it could be something more closely attuned to the local community at large, perhaps with a fundraiser to support a good cause. You might also offer up your space for council meetings, hobby groups, and any other community activities, as the more people you get into your building, the more connections you will be able to make. And by offering up your space to support the needs of others, you will also get positive brand exposure.
We have detailed 3 ways your business can get involved with your community, but there are bound to be other ways. To find out, you need only look at what is happening around you. Speak to your employees too, as they may have ideas that you or we haven’t considered.
We hope this article has inspired you, but let us know what you think. And if you have any other ideas for community engagement, be sure to let us know.