Customers tend to purchase products and services from businesses they know. Having this recognition is important for those businesses that have a lot of competition. But simply standing apart isn’t enough — to really become a leader in your neighborhood you need to wow your customers and exceed their expectations. Continually improving on your customer service is one way. Making connections within your local community is another — it will ultimately lead to increased customer loyalty and a boost in visibility for your business.
Find your passion
Determine those community organizations and initiative that you want to support, and the most effective way you can become involved while obtaining the best visibility for the business.
One of the best ways to get yourself known in your area is to serve on a community board. Try finding one that suits a personal interest and aligns with what your business is all about. If you’re in the heart of the town, you may want to try something like a downtown revitalization committee.
The power behind volunteering is a strong one. Volunteering shows that you are willing to give your time to be a part of something bigger than your business. It makes you a team player. Better than just volunteering by yourself would be to organize your employees to volunteer at an organization together.
Play as a team
Giving your staff an avenue to give back is a great way to boost morale. Volunteering also provides leadership opportunities for employees, which leads to increased performance and fulfillment and, ultimately, increased collaboration and productivity.
Share your skills
Select volunteer activities that literally draw upon your strengths and abilities. Does anyone on your staff paint or draw? Maybe they could help non-profits and local events create signage and flyers. Education is a major component of helping your customers have a better experience — take what you know about CBD, for instance, and put on an informational seminar at the local senior center.
Make it, don’t fake it
Community involvement doesn’t work if that’s your only agenda. Community involvement is not just a marketing strategy, and it won’t work if you treat it that way. Doing something you truly care about is the important part — the rest happens naturally — sharing your passion and helping others delivers multiple rewards for your business.
Getting involved can help build a bond between your business and the community. It also lets you meet others who share common interests and needs. But don’t simply write a check. Get involved — that is the only way you will get a true return on your investment.