When running a small business (or any business, really) it’s important to give back, not only to your customers and clients, but to your whole community. When you actively support your community, they, in turn, support you. Being involved in local events and functions is an excellent way to show the public that you (as a business) are dedicated to helping others. Besides giving you that warm fuzzy feeling of goodness inside, you earn muchos kudos in the eyes of your surrounding community members. You don’t have to donate thousands of dollars to charities (as a small business, you probably don’t have thousands to spare anyway), but even simple things like supporting a food drive, cheering on runners in a race, or adopting a highway to de-litter show that you are committed to the betterment of your local community and people will recognize and respect that.
Obviously, you should be helping in your community from simply the kindness in your heart, but keep in mind that it can also be a fantastic way to draw awareness and appreciation to your business. Think about it – aren’t you more inclined to support a company when you find out they donate a portion of profits to assist the homeless or a local environmental foundation? Don’t you feel a little better about a restaurant when you find out they source their food from local farmers? Don’t you feel a little spark of gratitude when you see those folks wearing Marketing Java shirts handing out water and orange slices along the course of a mini marathon? Admit it – you do. If you as a consumer feel that sense of admiration for these involved businesses, then your customers will feel the same when they see you take part in supporting the community.
To add to that, being involved in your community means consistent participation. Props to you for picking up trash once, but don’t expect to be hailed as an environmental savior. Showing your support regularly will benefit both your local public and your business, so better to have plans to do something every so often, rather than once in a blue moon; that also benefits your exposure as a small business in a great way.
So go out there and make your name known and respected 🙂