No one is an island, and no business can survive on its own. Even if your business is only online and has no physical location you need to connect your Community and Business, it is still part of a community. You have an office or storefront in a certain place, you buy your electricity, water, and other utilities from a certain company or government, and you live and work in a certain town or city.
We are all part of communities that are bigger than ourselves, and it is important to be involved in those communities. Read on to find out how you can help your community and your business at the same time.
The community is an important part of the success of local businesses. Retailers and restaurants already know this, and even businesses that are more focused on the rest of the world still have a strong connection to the place or places where they do business. This article will show you ten ways to get your business more involved in the community.
Here are 10 different ways to connect your Community and Business:
1. Teach a Class
Every business owner (or someone who works for them) knows how to do something that other people don’t, whether it’s making a perfect crème brulee or programming a killer spreadsheet application. Some people would like to know what you know.
Get in touch with your local library or community college and offer to teach a class about what your business does that is either free or cheap to connect your Community and Business. You’ll make connections and might even see some people you might want to hire in the future.
2. Pay for something
Events are fun, bring attention and interest to your business right away, and make people think of your business in a good way. (“Where is Bob’s Bike Shop? They’re the ones who put on the Cross-Park Rally every year.”) Almost any business can find something interesting to talk about that has something to do with what they do.
Have a bakeshop? Downtown, have a cake-walk. Sell scuba equipment? Rent the community pool and have a treasure hunt underwater. Check out this post for more ideas on how to market an event to connect your Community and Business.
3. Join a Parade
As part of their Independence Day or other holiday celebrations, a lot of towns, especially small ones, have parades. Put together a float and join that parade! Your team will have fun making the float, and then everyone in town will come out to watch your mobile ad. It’s an easy choice.
4. Give a Tour
This might not work well if, for example, you are a CPA firm or sell insurance, but most businesses have at least one interesting thing to show the world. Have public tours to show people what you do and why you do it. This will make them care about what you do and why you do it.
5. Host a School Field Trip
Even the insurance guys can be fun for kids, because any chance to get out of school is a chance to have fun. Showing the local kids what your business does not only gets them interested in the community, but it also shows that you plan to stay there for a long time.
6. Hold a Contest
Free stuff is the best way to get people’s attention and to connect your Community and Business. Give something away and hold a contest. This is a huge win for service businesses. You give away one session or service and get a lot of people interested in what you have to offer. Even if a business has to pay cash for its stock, there is usually something on the shelves that won’t sell.
With a raffle, sweepstakes, or giveaway, you can turn that thing that’s just collecting dust into something that gets people’s attention. (But don’t break any local, state, or federal laws. If you go to jail, you’ll also get some attention, but not the good kind.
7. Help a Charity
There are many charities in your town, and all of them need more help. Anyone can make a donation, but if you combine any of the ideas on this list with a donation, you can really connect your Community and Business. (“Where is Bob’s Bike Shop? Don’t they give bikes to the shelter every year after the Cross-Park Rally?”).
If you give to a charity that fits with your values, people who share those values will naturally be drawn to your business and its a great way to connect your Community and Business. These are the best kinds of customers to have.
8. Attend a Meeting
Your city council is meeting this week or this month, and it’s almost certain that they’ll talk about something that affects your business in some way. Not only would going to the meeting be a good thing to do as a citizen, but it would also bring attention to your business.
A lot of people go to these meetings, and most of them are the kind of people who talk to everyone they know. Getting to know the important people in your community can help you learn more about it and spread the word about your business.
9. Take care of a road
Those roadside signs are advertising gold, and all you have to do is pick up some soda cans for a couple of hours once a month. You make your community a better place, and at the same time, you build your reputation.
10. Have a cookout
A barbecue is fun for everyone. Rent some grills and buy some hamburgers and hot dogs to turn a normal summer afternoon into a festival. You’ll get a lot of attention for your business and meet a lot of current and potential customers and also helpful to connect your Community and Business.
These ideas are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what you can do to make your business more involved in the community. Some of them take time, some take money, and some take energy. Look at what you have, figure out the best way for your business to get more involved, and then put your plan into action!
As a small business owner, you don’t have to go out of your way to connect with your community. And at times, that is the best thing to increase your reach and visibility. Simple strategies and steps will help you better reach out and connect with your community. Things like holding a contest, or even helping a charity can make a big difference. Try out these 10 different ways to connect with your community as a small business, and see your small business making a big impact.