As a small business owner, it’s important to engage with your community. People always prefer patronizing businesses owned by people they know, like, and trust. Community involvement helps you build trust with your neighbors and fellow residents. Here are 7 tips for small business owners to help you connect with your community.
- Participate in local events. Find out what organizations and meetings are held in your area. Check the listings for local MeetUps as well. Starting your own MeetUp is another idea to help you meet and connect with people. Also take part in events such as block parties, fairs and festivals, where businesses set up tables. This gives you a chance to meet people and hand out samples or brochures.
- Sponsor local organizations, charities, and teams. It’s not expensive to sponsor a Little League team or perhaps a school team. This is a great way to get your business name and logo in the public eye. Look for opportunities to sponsor charitable organizations in your area.
- Give stuff away. Coupons, discounts, and contests are always popular. Or set up a table inside or outside your business to give away food or beverages. This is a simple way to entice people to check out your business.
- Volunteer. One of the best ways to meet people and contribute to your community is to volunteer. Possibilities include churches, food banks, EMS, animal shelters, or any worthwhile organizations that perform good works. Some areas have volunteer fire departments that always need help.
- Join a community board. Find out what community organizations are active in your area, such as the Chamber of Commerce or a downtown business council. In addition to general business organizations, see if there are also more specialized ones for your type of business.
- Partner with other businesses. Reach out to other businesses and think of ways to work together. You might, for example, collaborate on ads in local publications or online. If other businesses sell complementary products or service, it’s mutually beneficial to promote one another.
- Hold your own events. If you have a good-sized space, hold your own events. Arrange for a lecture, reading, or networking event. It’s also helpful to give people and excuse to visit your business.