Building goodwill in a community can be a smart business move. There is the upside of feeling good about contributing to your community and it’s a good way to put your name out there without folks thinking you’re selling something.
There have always been tried and true ways to do that. Over the years, one of the most popular has been to sponsor a local baseball or soccer team, with the jerseys showing the name of your business across the backs of the players. Another method has been to join a local business group, such as the area Chamber of Commerce or the Rotary or Lions clubs.
Bu there are other ways to involve yourself in the community. Here are a few ideas:
Allow a community group to use your space: If you have a room, lunch area or other space that mostly goes unused, especially at night when your business is closed, allow a community group or local club to use it for monthly meetings. This builds goodwill and allows them to become familiar with the work you do.
Sponsor a community event: Is there a local parade, festival or fireworks display in your community? How about sponsoring it? Or co-sponsor it if the cost is too much for one business. You can support a local arts program at a school. You can also be a collection center for a local charity, such as for food or eyeglass donations.
Contact places of worship: Local churches, synagogues and mosques are always involved within their communities. Contributing time, money or resources to these organizations is a good way to help.
Be a supporter: Attend your clients’ or customers’ events that they are sponsoring or supporting. This allows you to meet people beyond your usual business circle.
When deciding on how to get involved, choose a charity or local organization that is in line with your interests or beliefs. Many charities are already equipped with programs or have planned fundraisers that you can sponsor. In the end, getting involved in your community can help boost your small business’s image in ways that paid advertising cannot accomplish. And you’ll feel good about it.