People are always encouraged to support local businesses run by their neighbors. Some great reasons are promoting a smaller carbon footprint and helping the environment, creating more jobs and community relationships, and boosting tourism. However, not many talk about why these businesses should be involved in improving their local community.
Community involvement is actually good for business. It helps local businesses obtain great hires, improve employee retention, and increase sales. But more than that, it’s the perfect opportunity to give back to everyone who supports you. If you want your business to prosper, you also need to do your part in helping your community. Continue reading to find out how.
1. Share your knowledge and skills
You don’t have to be a big business or team to donate knowledge to your local community. If you’re an expert in your field, whether creative or technical, your experience and skills are of value to others.
For instance, if you own a woodworking business that uses the latest laser and engraving machines, why not teach others how the equipment works? Introducing new machinery to the local and fellow entrepreneurs can help streamline their operations too.
Aside from the equipment and technology involved, you can also share your creative skills in woodworking with students or young ones who have an interest in the art. Who knows, they might be your team’s next designer or craftsman.
2. Donate your products or services
Aside from your industry knowledge and skills, you can also offer your products and services to the local community. This is a great alternative if you find donating money to be conflicting or uncomfortable.
For example, if you’re a retail shop owner, you can donate some clothes and other goods to local charities or non-profit organizations. Do you run a restaurant in town? Give out meals to a local homeless shelter or feed frontline workers. Look for community members who need locally prepared meals or goods, and donate what you can.
These little acts of generosity can lead to bigger things. And while donating shouldn’t be treated as a marketing strategy, it doubles as one.
3. Promote volunteering in your team
Encouraging your people to volunteer their time to support the community is not easy. For one, you need to earn their trust first to avoid conflicts. Plus, you’d also need to consider if your team is truly passionate about helping out. Carefully explain the importance of participating and avoid forcing your employees to do so. It’s called “volunteering” for a reason.
While most companies are the ones that choose the charity their team will support, it’s best to start by giving freedom and flexibility. Let your people choose the cause they want to support, whether it’s renovating the community hall, clearing up the park, or planting more trees. No act is too small. The best part is, volunteering can also boost employee morale and promote team building in your business.
4. Sponsor non-profit organizations
Sponsoring a local non-profit is an amazing act to give back. This strategy helps not just the worthy organization but also your business. You can find worthy non-profits that might need your help by participating in your local community events. Or, you can directly ask the community leaders in your area.
In most cases, non-profits require sponsors to pay for their administrative expenses and fund their major events and projects. You can include the organization’s name and goals into your marketing campaigns, particularly if you’re a major sponsor. They will also do the same for you, helping you get more visibility for your brand in the community.
5. Organize or host community events
If you’re a small business, hosting community events might sound more financially possible for you compared to sponsoring a non-profit. You can organize a contest and offer free stuff to the winners. It can be your products or services. Or, you can host a school field trip for the local kids and make your brand visible to the young members of the community.
Plus, their parents will more likely be glad to support your business as well. If you want everyone to have one while introducing your business to the public, throw a fun barbecue party. Rent some grills and dress up your commercial space for the mini festival.
Running a business in your local community allows you to build strong bonds with your neighbors. And in these simple ways of supporting the community, there’s no doubt that the locals will also do the same for your business. Inject community involvement in your day-to-day operations and long-term business goals now.