A local business is more than just an economic venture. It’s a hub for the exchange of goods and services that are valuable to your community, and your business can make a real difference. Here are some ways that you can be more visible and help build better relationships in the community.
Get to Know Local Leaders
Communities often gather around a social or political focus. It’s important for you to know what those points of community consciousness are, in order to get to know them. That might be a local governor, sheriff, or school board member. That might be people in charge of local shelters or welfare services. There might be local youth organizations devoted to serving the community (e.g., Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, etc.) that you can help support and connect with. When you come to know local leaders, that also means that you will come to know what issues and practices are of the most importance. You will be able to find opportunities to both advertise your business by being visibly present, as well as opportunities to make a meaningful community difference.
Donate to Good Causes
One of the primary ways that you can contribute is by donating or fundraising. Again, opportunities for such positivity are going to depend largely on what local organizations you have. While donating directly to charities and institutions (like the Red Cross or a local food bank) can be very helpful, it is conditional on them existing in your town. Talk to other business owners. Use the internet to find where you can go to help meaningfully. And don’t forget that you don’t need organizations to donate to a good cause – funding youth intervention programs can increase high school graduation rates, for example.
Utilize Community Events
A great opportunity for both advertising and contributing comes in the form of the activities and celebrations that the community holds together. Sometimes, all it takes is a financial contribution – and then your business will get its logo printed on the side of a temporary pavilion. Other times, you can even set up your own booth for fundraising or other purposes. Events that you could participate in include farmers’ markets, flea markets, parades, holiday festivals, town fairs, and more.
Your community is the foundation of your business. It would not exist without your customers, who enjoy your service and want to contribute. So, remember to give back as generously as possible. By doing so, you will not only be helping, but growing a larger community for yourself.
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