By Jessica Merkel
Small businesses are undeniably integral to the community. They provide jobs to local personnel, have a local mindset and have a good understanding of the city itself.
A small business’s success is somewhat dependent on positive customer word-of-mouth and an excellent overall community reputation. While these things may be accomplished by exceptional service and fair pricing, another way to maintain good standing in your community is to help and give back. These are some ideas for how a small business can be involved and give back to their community.
As a small business, one of the best ways to help your respective community is to support the other local small businesses. If you are starting up a new small business, consider using a local real estate company, choosing local restaurants and coffee shops over chains, supporting your local auto dealer, or using a local insurance company for business insurance.
If you have a restaurant, buy local ingredients! Customers often love locally bought, fresh ingredients anyway. This will ensure fresh ingredients, happy customers and local business support.
Another benefit of buying locally is sustainability. Sustainability is an increasingly more important issue, particularly when it comes to restaurant materials (e.g., takeout containers, ingredients and such). Buying locally not only guarantees your support of a local business, but it also ensures a shorter travel distance, which means fresher ingredients and a lower carbon footprint. Win-win!
Next, a great way to give to your community is to sponsor local teams, events or projects alike. This kind of involvement in a community is always much appreciated by the community members. It also can provide excellent brand exposure and more potential customers or clients for your small business.
Consider hosting a local event. Maybe you can team up with another business, or host an activity in your own space. Perhaps a charitable event that aligns with your business’ values can take place, for example, hosting a food drive or toy drive during the holiday season. Or, if hosting is out-of-budget, look into bringing your staff together to volunteer for local events. This is also good for employee morale.
Finally, an easy way to give back is to offer your knowledge or expertise in your business. As a small business owner or worker, you have a select set of skills and knowledge that others can greatly benefit from, but they may not have the money or other means to gain that kind of experience. Some great ways to offer your knowledge is to give a presentation to the small business community, teach a class for a specific skill or offer help to a nonprofit or charity that could benefit from your skills and knowledge.
There are plenty of ways to give back and support your community as a small business. If you try some new things and do your best, you will reap the benefits of helping your community.