Customers are more likely to frequent a locally minded business than one solely focused on profits.
Running a small business can be tough, and without support in your local area it can be even harder. It is imperative to find ways to make your company stand out from the crowd and attract the attention of clients and customers through a range of avenues. In the past, advertising was the best way forward for trying to bring in increased revenue. Today, it takes something more to draw in the crowds.
More small business owners are starting to realize that the best way to thrive is to take steps to endear themselves to their community and show that they have a genuine interest in local issues and the health of the local economy. So, as a small business owner, how can you go about achieving this goal while still maintaining the economic health of your company? Here are some ideas to get you started.
1. Employing locals
While it is essential to employ the people with the best skills to get your company off the ground, drawing talent from the local workforce plays a key role in forging links with the community. There are numerous advantages to hiring locals. For a start, you will be choosing people with a stronger sense of loyalty to the area and a sound knowledge of the local consumer environment. You will also signal your clients that you are investing in the growth of your town, its citizens' well-being and the local economic health.
2. Holding events
Building up a healthy relationship with your local customers is an essential part of helping your business grow. What better way to do that than by offering them an experience they will not only enjoy, but also remember? Hosting a party or social event helps endear small businesses to the community and also serves as a medium to spread the word about your business. People are much more likely to choose your product or service if they have become familiar with your company through a pleasurable experience.
3. Volunteering for a good cause
Maximize your company's profile in its local area by getting your workforce to volunteer to help a local charity or good cause. This could be anything from participating in a litter pick-up on a nearby beach to joining a fun run. The benefit for your business here is easy to see. You are getting plenty of free publicity and boosting the profile of your company, while endearing yourself to the community as a locally minded firm that genuinely cares about the community’s progress.
If your company has specialist services and skills, you could offer these for free to local charities to show your community mindedness. Not only will you raise awareness of your company's work, but forge a wider network of potential future clients.
Most communities value the educational well-being of their young people, so one way to strengthen the bond between your business and the local population is to invest in the future of local citizens. Offering scholarships to local students who show promise in your industry's field will show that you have a firm belief in local talent and are happy to help your community be the best that it can be.
“Helping local families with financial aid will stand you in good stead and make your business stand out from the crowd,” says Qamar Zaman, CEO of Dallas-based. Zaman's company.
5. Charitable donations
One of the most distinct ways small businesses can contribute to the community is through donations to a local cause or charity. Assisting in local projects or supporting a cause that helps the community will significantly improve your company’s image. It could also earn you exposure to an array of influential figures who could help grow your business.
Running a business is difficult enough without having to think about endearing yourself to the community. However, you will certainly do yourself a favor if you invest locally. The goodwill that you generate through a philanthropic and community-minded deed will deepen the regard the community has for your company.
The resulting publicity boost will then boost your company’s image and raise awareness of your business. In a competitive marketplace, a customer is more likely to choose a company he or she has heard positive things about than one that focuses solely on its own profits.