Is your business engaging in community outreach?
Community outreach is not only a great way to connect with your local population, it can also increase business visibility. Through the connection with local communities, businesses have a great opportunity to get to know locals and build long-term relationships.
There are many different ways small businesses can connect with the local community. This can be achieved through volunteer work, donations or even by simply pounding the pavement and going door-to- door (although, don’t be too aggressive in this approach as this tends to turn people off).
The benefits of small business engagement with local communities can be immense. Engaging in community outreach can help you to:
Connect with local neighborhoodsIn order to become visible and bring in business, you have to get noticed. The ideal population you want to connect with as a business owner is right in your own backyard. By connecting with local communities you get to know your neighbors and, in turn, they'll get to know you.
Sharing your business, whether through donations or actual time spent volunteering, is another great way to connect with locals and immerse yourself in community culture.
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People like to do business with those they trust and know, and by establishing a solid presence in local neighborhoods you do your part in connecting with locals and giving them the opportunity to get to know you.
Increase name recognitionLogic goes to stand that the more you promote yourself locally, the better chance consumers and other businesses will remember your company's name when they have a need to fulfill. People tend to gravitate towards the familiar and, through community outreach, your business becomes familiar to local populations.
Along with name recognition also often brings credibility. In order to succeed locally, you have to gain levels of credibility and the more known you become, the more credibility (and increased visibility) you'll receive. Not to mention, as your credibility grows, you can increase the level of customer referrals you receive and further widen your network.
Be rewarded for good deedsBusinesses that donate time, money or effort to their local communities add value to the area. Statistics show the majority of U.S. consumers expect businesses to support causes.
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That cause can be right in your own backyard. People are often appreciative of good deeds are will be more likely to patronize your place of business as a response/reward for the good you've done in the community.
Grow opportunitiesAs you become more and more known in the community, your level of visibility will rise not only to potential customers, but also to neighboring businesses. The more businesses who know you're there and recognize you as a fellow local, can lead to partnerships, joint mutually-beneficial projects and future networking opportunities.
Community outreach is a great way to not only increase visibility but also immerse yourself in local culture. While seeing the results of community outreach typically takes time, as results are not realized overnight, the long-term payoffs are often well worth the effort. When it boils down to it, it’s all about building relationships.