Becoming a well-known entity within your community is essential to the success and longevity of your business. In many cases the majority of your customers will come from your local area. Businesses that go out of their way to become a part of their community can reap many benefits including increased word of mouth advertising, networking opportunities and discounts on products that are essential to the success of your business. Here are five ways your business can become a bigger part of your community.
Join The Chamber Of Commerce
There are many benefits to joining your local chamber of commerce. “Being a chamber of commerce member makes your business more desirable to customers. When a small business is a chamber of commerce member, consumers are 80% more likely to purchase goods or services from the business in the future (The Schapiro Group, 2012).” In many cases members are also eligible for discounts on a variety of business needs, gain exposure through word of mouth advertising, and can open up a wide range of networking opportunities.
Sponsor Youth Sports
“Each sponsorship package has benefits for the sponsor built in: field signage, website advertising, company name on uniforms, etc. Through a sponsorship, a company's brand will be in front of the youth sports market of parents, coaches, program organizers, players and fans.” These sponsorships are a welcome form of marketing and will show potential customers that you are invested in their community. It also helps to keep costs down for parents, which will shine a great light on your business.
Participate In Community Fundraisers
“Recent studies suggest that millennials have driven the social responsibility movement, with 70 percent of them reporting that they'll spend more with brands that support causes. Given that millennials represent $2.45 trillion in spending power, the notion of "giving back" may be very powerful for your company's sales, not to mention, it's overall purpose.” Helping your community raise funds for worthy causes not only benefits the cause itself, but has some great residual effects on your business. It provides a myriad of networking opportunities and helps to establish a healthy brand image. Both of which are vital to the success of small businesses.
Partner With Other Businesses
“Strategic partnerships can be a pivotal factor for growth and success, and a win for everyone involved. A partner can provide capital, give your brand more exposure or help you gain additional work by offering services you don’t (perhaps while you build them for yourself).” Partnering with already established businesses who already have a foothold in your community can help with marketing efforts, brand exposure and even help you to acquire items vital to your business at lower rates.
Create A Community Referral Program
Community referral programs are a bit different than traditional programs but can have an even greater level of effectiveness. “You reward the community or an entity in the community instead of rewarding an individual customer. It’s basically a referral program where the rewards are more like donations or charity. You give to local businesses, nonprofits, and schools and in return, and you still gain new customers out of the process.” Showing your customers that you are willing to invest in the community as a whole can actually solicit more participation in word of mouth advertising than rewarding the individual. These types of programs help your community, as well as your own business, to grow.