Summer is in full swing, and everyone is heading outdoors to enjoy the sun. If you’re a small business owner, then this is the perfect time to engage with your local community. Small businesses with a strong community presence enjoy greater brand exposure, as well as the opportunity to mingle with potential clients and partners. Don’t forget to have plenty of business cards on hand!
Participate in Events
Even small cities have festivals, parades, and other events throughout the year, giving small business owners a ton of opportunities to get out and mingle. Participating in a local event is a great way to gain brand exposure and let your local community know that you exist. Set up your own tent or table where you can hand out business cards and swag, set up a contest, or simply walk around and engage with fellow event attendees.
Find a Good Cause and Jump In
What types of outreach programs exist in your community? Sure, as a small business owner, you’re already wearing a few too many hats and the idea of putting something else on your plate seems unrealistic. However, whether you volunteer by yourself or get your entire staff involved, you’ll be making a worthwhile investment in your community, get positive brand exposure, and meet new people.
Use Your Voice
In all likelihood, your community has at least one community board that’s relevant to your business, whether it’s a specific counsel for small businesses or a board for businesses in a specific neighborhood. If you’re committed to being involved, then you will probably eventually have the opportunity to get yourself on the board. This is great for your business; you can connect with other business owners in your area and create partnerships, and you’ll have the opportunity to have a voice in your community.
Sponsor a Local Team
Team sponsorship is an often overlooked but uniquely powerful move for small businesses. For a relatively small amount of money, you can support a Scouts troop or an athletic program organized by a local school or even the parks and recreation department. In exchange for helping young community members develop leadership, teamwork, and problem-solving skills (an important investment in the community’s future), you get a ton of brand exposure and some extra positive press. If other local businesses have beat you to the punch and there aren’t any teams in need of sponsors, then consider adopting a highway or park.
While large corporations often prove to be formidable competitors for small, locally owned businesses, small businesses have a variety of traits that make them an important part of their community. Not only are they more locally-minded, but they provide a personal experience to local customers that the big businesses can’t match. Engage with your local community as a small business owner, and you’re sure to reap the benefits, whether that’s more brand exposure, developing new partnerships with other local businesses, or bringing in new business. No matter your goals, making an effort to make connections outside of your workplace gives you the opportunity to enjoy greater success while doing your part for the community.