It can feel awkward when you’re in a room full of strangers and forced to introduce yourself. A few sweaty handshakes and nervous chuckles later, you’ve made some new acquaintances and are no longer alone.
It’s not quite this easy when you’re attempting to introduce your new small business to the community — or is it? After you’ve developed your business plan, hired your employees and acquired business insurance, it’s time to open your doors and give a warm hello to the community. Don’t stress: here are four easy ways to make it seem like your business has always been part of the community patchwork.
Offer customer loyalty programs. Local customers will return to your business instead of finding what they need online or elsewhere if you offer an incentive. Why should they continue to give you their business? Because you value their business, you let them earn cash back, points or high-percentage discounts for every dollar they spend. This will boost your business’ reputation and make it clear that you’re in business for community drive as much as you are profit. To push it a stretch further, offer discounts to teachers, firemen, policemen and military veterans.
Join the local Chamber of Commerce. To show your community that you’re here to stay, join the local Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber of Commerce is an organization made up of businesses around the area that work together to advocate on the behalf of the small business community at large. In an interview with InfusionSoft, online marketing director Jayme Pretzloff said, “The Chamber of Commerce is a great way to connect with other like-minded business owners which can prosper into wonderful relationships.” In joining the Chamber of Commerce, you can help create and direct business campaigns and get to know other small business owners in the community.
Participate in community functions. If it’s tradition for the local high school to decorate store fronts for Homecoming or for preschoolers to go trick-or-treating the morning of Halloween, make sure your place of business is open and ready for it. By volunteering to help the town with homecoming, parades or other community functions, you are demonstrating to the community that your business shares the same values and wants to continue supporting community traditions. Get Busy Media notes that “volunteering shows that you are willing to give your time to be a part of something bigger than you or your business. It makes you a team player.” To be considered as part of the community, you have to prove that you want to be.
Become a recreational team league sponsor. You know what wins favor with just about everyone? Doing something nice for the kids. Sponsor a little league team or donate a monthly stipend to the upkeep of a local park. When parents read that the soccer field was reseeded thanks in part to the generosity of your donation, they’ll want to do business with a company that they see gives back.
While you’re building your business and taking care of your community, your small business insurance will be taking care of you. Visit CoverHound for a free insurance quote today.