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Its engagement with the local community often determines a small business‘s overall success. For example, small stores benefit locals by offering a unique and personalized shopping experience. However, to attract a sustainable customer base, you need to do more than rely on friends and neighbors. Consider these five effective ways to improve your relationship in your community.
1. Join the City Council
Your community likely has a local council where residents and businesses can meet and interact. There may even be a separate group specifically for business owners. These city-sanctioned boards often prioritize the community’s budget and zoning needs. By attending regularly, you can vote in your business’ favor while learning more about the community.
Additionally, joining a community board gives you the chance to consider rising politically in the future. It would be best if you had an active connection to your community to understand local needs and interests. Never underestimate the benefits of being a locally recognized public figure with a good reputation.
2. Start a Loyalty Program
Implementing a loyalty program is a great way to keep customers happy and returning. Use rewards to give discounts and freebies that would otherwise be unavailable at large chain stores. Loyalty programs boost your profits while increasing your store’s overall reputation. You’ll struggle less during the slow season and have a boost over other businesses in the area.
Rewards can even bring in new customers who want to save more on their necessities. You’ll also be able to create mailing lists to keep customers regularly informed of recent sales and discounts. Finally, start a loyalty program to let residents know you’re dedicated to providing one-of-a-kind service they can rely on.
3. Host Charity Events
Show your dedication to the community by hosting events for local groups or larger charities in need. Hosting events gives locals the chance to meet you and learn more about your business while supporting a worthwhile charity. They’re also an excellent opportunity to draw awareness to city-wide or state-wide issues that need immediate assistance. For example, you can host an event to support a human trafficking charity group. Many nonprofit organizations need financial assistance to provide real, sustainable help to those in need. Hosting charity events bring substantial awareness to serious issues happening worldwide. Build your business’ local reputation by supporting a cause that needs the help.
4. Sponsor Local Sports Teams
Sponsor local groups and sports teams to boost your business’ brand awareness. Local teams need financial support for their transportation costs, uniforms, and other seasonal necessities. Sponsoring a team allows you to showcase your business name or logo at every game. From the banner to the flyers, locals will see your business and know you helped make the event a reality.
In addition to bringing in new customers, you’re also introduced to a larger customer demographic than before. You may be advertising to families who have not yet heard of your business and are now curious to learn more. Helping the local community is a great way to boost your reputation and future profits. Team sponsorship can even provide you with tax breaks depending on your business and contribution amount.
5. Work with Other Businesses
Don’t miss out on networking with other businesses in your area. Small businesses are often at a disadvantage against large chain stores that can quickly take over the market. No one wants to see a small business fail, especially when owned by a beloved neighbor or friend. Work together with other businesses nearby or even on the other side of town to create marketing schemes and rewards programs. By partnering with other businesses, you increase your market exposure and brand awareness.
For example, similar stores can offer coupons for other businesses with each purchase. This allows every store to reap the benefits without expending excessive energy or resources. Working with other companies expands your business’ capabilities while benefiting the local community.
Your small business needs a solid relationship with the community to survive. Draw in customers and locals with cost-efficient reward programs and sponsorships that improve your reputation and integrity. Small businesses are key to what makes communities so unique and adored.