No business can survive as an island. Small business owners realize that it takes an entire community of supporters to thrive. Businesses (and individuals) are all part of communities larger than themselves, and learning new ways of getting involved with that community is important.
Here are some ways you get your business more involved with your community in a way that also benefits your business.
It's never a bad idea to look to your neighbors and see who's interested in teaming up.
In Winnipeg, entrepreneur Kris Thorkelson, owner of My Place Realty and his team are busy matching quality homes with discerning tenants. When launching the company, Kris Thorkelson and his team set out with a vision: he saw it possible that he would integrate My Place Realty within the community and find ways that it could support and sustain it.
In accordance with that mission, My Place Realty has built partnerships with a number of local businesses and focuses on building strong ties within the community by finding new partnerships and continuing to give back through community events.
For Kris Thorkelson and his team, building partnerships with other businesses is ideal for succeeding.
“”The old saying “two heads are better than one” applies here. Combining the strengths and abilities of others from different corners of your community is one of the smartest ways for businesses to solve challenges and deliver on what their customers need,” says Kris Thorkeson.
Sponsor an event
Community events can be a great way to build interest in your business, and create buzz about it in the public’s eyes. Just about any business can find something of interest that connects to what they do. For example, restaurant owners could invite a celebrity chef or wine maker to hold a tasting event or a hair salon could invite a top stylist to teach participants the latest hairstyle trends.
Rob Rae, vice president of business development at Datto suggests, “Offering sponsorships for local groups or events is a great way to show support for the surrounding community. “You can sponsor Little League teams, or support your employees who are involved in marathons, races, etc.”
Attend a meeting
Putting your business’ name in the public eye can be as simple as attending a city council meeting. Not only would it be an act of good citizenship, attending meetings can help business owners connect with influential people in the community. You can also join your community’s local chamber of commerce.
Rob Rae explains, “Membership offers you an awesome opportunity to network with other small business owners, and will help you build recognition as a local expert in your field.”
Host a webinar
One unique way to incorporate community into your business is through an online event, such as an informative webinar. For instance, if you're a small business who sells pool equipment and chemicals, your online event may involve teaching customers step-by-step ways to balance their pool and prevent algae. This is an inexpensive way to connect with your customers, answer their questions, and encourage them to buy your product or service.
Offer free services
Nothing gets the attention of the public like free stuff. To benefit your community, your business could give away free products or services to a non-profit organization. This can be a useful way to strengthen your image and give you more brand exposure. Plus, it's a good way to give something back to your community.
Small businesses tend to be more personal than their larger counterparts and have a number of traits that make them integral to their respective communities. There really is a mutually beneficial relationship between small businesses and their communities, which can mean larger profits in the long run.