>> << Latest Posts
One of the benefits small businesses have over large corporations is their importance in the community. Often, consumers look to support small businesses because it gives them a sense of belonging and exclusivity; they are proud of the small businesses found in their area that is not located anywhere else.
To sustain this loyalty, it is important for small businesses to establish their place in the community. Loyalty is only gained if it is returned. This means small businesses must support the community if they hope to receive support in return. Here are a few ways a small business can be recognized as an integral part of the community and then remembered.
Ways a Small Business Can Establish Itself in the Community
Participate in Community Events
Throughout the year, most towns host festivals or parades to bring the community together. This is a perfect opportunity to reach as many potential customers as possible. By displaying a booth at a festival, many people are willing to give you a couple minutes of attention as they walk by. To captivate their interest, consider handing out free samples of your product or special discounts on your services.
Fort Lauderdale realtor Tim Elmes suggests that realtors starting out should go to as many community events and set up a booth where they can answer questions regarding real estate. This allows potential home buyers a chance to get to know you in a more personal matter. He also recommends always carrying at least 20 business cards with you. No matter where you are, you never know who might be your next client.
Make sure to bring email sign-up sheets for those willing to stick around your booth long enough to see what it is about. Your presence at community events will introduce your business to new customers who may have never been aware of your existence. To top it off, the community will recognize your business as one of their own if you are willing to identify with the community through participation.
Partner with Another Small Business
Instead of seeing other small businesses as competition, think of them more as teammates who can help you reach your goal. Especially if you are merely starting out in a community, partnering up with an already established small business can help your business attract new customers. However, do not seek to partner with just anyone. Be specific. You are looking for a small business that sells to a similar audience but doesn’t sell the same goods/services.
Once this business is identified, then you can approach them with the concept of Reciprocal Referral. Basically, you’ll offer to recommend their business to your customers if they agree to recommend your business to their own. This can be carried out through email lists, discounts, package deals, samples, etc. Depending on the small business, there are several different methods to choose from. Pick what is best for both of you.
Sponsor a Local Sports Team
Even if you view this type of sponsorship as a charitable contribution, there is the beneficial side effect of advertising. Although most people are inclined to tune out traditional forms of advertising, many are curious when it comes to companies supporting youth sports, especially parents. Awareness of your brand is increased as it is seen on the sports team’s website, jerseys, fields, etc.
All of these advertising mediums are seen not only by players and families, but by coaches, fans, program organizers, and referees. Your contribution to lowering participation fees for children will build goodwill. Ultimately, community members will recognize your company as a supporter of youth sports and will remember your business as a trustworthy, wholesome brand.
Volunteering has the advantage of boosting a company’s reputation. By volunteering your time, consumers associate your business values with being more than just making a dollar; they will respect your effort to help improve the community. There are many opportunities to choose from, such as working at the local soup kitchen or giving school groups tours of your facility.
Not only will your company stand out as a supporter of the community, but volunteering can also boost morale amongst employees. When they are able to utilize their skills for a greater cause, they feel better and in return, perform better. Therefore, volunteering is a win across the board.
Giving back to the community can be extremely beneficial to a small business. By establishing a presence, a small business will be recognized and remembered. Because people are often busy and tend to forget, your constant presence is a gentle reminder that your business is just down the street with an open sign flickering on.