This is the time of year when many business owners start thinking about how to give back to their communities. While the holidays are a great time to show your support for a local cause, at The Stasko Agency, we believe contributing to your community shouldn’t be a seasonal thing.
We’ve noticed that some of our most successful clients are often those who are committed to giving year-round. In fact, community involvement is one of the key elements we look for when engaging with a new client. We want to help our clients figure out how to best serve the community in which they operate.
That’s because a community is the strongest when the residents support their local businesses and services and when the business owners help support community events and efforts. It is a win/win when the residents and merchants work In-tandem and take pride in the area where they work and live.
When a business invests in its community, both through financial contributions and volunteering, it is helping secure the future for the community. Think about the neighborhoods where you like to spend time. Those areas often feature a variety of activities that succeed because of resident participation and merchant support.
Of course, for new business owners, determining how and where to best allocate your resources can be a daunting task. If you’re new to an area, it might be difficult to even know where to start.
Here are some strategies for business-owners looking to increase their community involvement:
- Research the area and get to know the boundaries of the neighborhood. This will help you determine a “community target market.”
- Become a member of the RNO (Resident Neighborhood Organization). If the community is smaller, they might have a Business Alliance within the RNO group. If the community is larger there is likely a group just for the merchants, usually a Merchant Association. Being involved in these groups will help expose you to the members of your community, fellow merchants, and will offer you great insight into the happenings and events taking place in the community
- Once you establish your name and business with these groups, look for opportunities to volunteer your time, services, or merchandise to local events or for fundraisers. This will start to raise your presence in the community and will let leaders know that you are ready and willing to help.
- Host a Happy Hour for all residents and fellow merchants. Invite them to come see your place of business and provide food (preferably from a local restaurant) and drinks. Take a moment to welcome your guests and tell them about your business. This is one of the most effective ways to market your business and “correctly” tee-up your word-of-mouth marketing. Be sure to have your guests wear a name tag, so you can start to know and identify community members easily.
- Identify a cause or organization you can support in a variety of ways. For example, if education is your passion, you can team with schools on fundraising projects or provide learning opportunities for students or showcase schools programs or projects in your shop.
We have more than 20 years of experience helping clients make key community connections and are happy to guide you if you need support. Click here to contact us.