Giving Back: 7 Tips on Helping Your Business Impact Your Community
Research has shown that most Americans prefer the experience of shopping with a small, local business. This is just one of the many ways these businesses enhance their community. A quick look at your business impact analysis can show you where you have room to impact your community as well.
Looking for ideas on how you can benefit your community? Read on for some simple business changes you can make to make a stronger impact.
Holding a Strong Community Identity
Just like your business, your community has its own “brand identity” that the public knows it for. Think about towns that have been categorized as “artsy”, “hipster” or “family friendly”. These towns didn’t define their brand on their own, it was defined for them by the various small businesses located there.
Your business does the same by providing a unique character to the town that can only be found there. When combined with the power of other small businesses, your community quickly develops an identity that can draw in tourists.
Getting Involved with Community Needs
What affects your community affects you, which is why it’s important to get involved with your community first hand. You can do this by running specialty sales that kick back a portion of your profit to a local charity. You can also create an awareness event to invite others to get involved as well.
If you can target a need that’s specific to your business (such as a music store raising money for a new children’s music program), it’s even better. However, you don’t have to be catchy to be a help to your community.
Enhancing Community Health
Local businesses offer something that many corporations have trouble providing, a personal relationship. Remembering the names and details of your customers and making them feel like a person (not a number) can help enhance your overall community health.
The relationships between local business owners and their customers also tend to be a more positive experience in communities. Such relationships can be one of the most important factors in a business’s survival.
Added Environmental Benefits
When local businesses pop up in communities, they tend to create pedestrian-friendly town squares. Here locals can shop, eat, and simply hang out. With such close proximity to businesses, car and bus use often decline, resulting in better air quality within the community.
Also, local businesses tend to do most of their manufacturing in house. This means less import and export than other businesses which results in less waste. You can further these benefits by choosing to use environmentally friendly products and providing extra opportunities to keep your community clean.
Hiring locally also reduces the need for long commutes, allowing some employees to even bike or walk to work. Which leads us to our next point…
Keeping Jobs Local
Many corporations tend to outsource or bring employees in from other locations. Fortunately, as a local business, you can focus on hiring locally, and encourage growth within your community. By hiring locally, you’ll be an important source of work opportunities within your community. You’ll also give a more nurturing work experience than corporations with faceless owners.
In addition to hiring locally, you can also start local internships and job training to help prepare the next generation for their career.
Being a local business in a community means trust. Which means being able to provide payment opportunities that larger corporations don’t offer. By offering your customers layaway plans, payment plans, or even special discounts you can help your community get the items they need. This can be a major help for those under financial strain.
Instead of harsh and impersonal credit checks, local businesses can open credit lines for customers. This is one of the major benefits of having customers that you know and trust.
The greatest way to lead is by example, and local business owners do just that. It’s important to show the members of your community that it’s possible to own their own successful business. This will inspire them to follow their own dreams instead of just helping someone else build theirs.
This also increases the chance that more small businesses will appear within the community. With more local businesses the community will see greater economic growth.Remember, there’s nothing more inspiring than to see someone who started in your home town become successful.
Innovation and Competition
There’s one major factor that pushes businesses to give their customers their all, and that’s competition. Without the threat of someone taking their place, businesses have no reason to grow or evolve. In the end, they are the only choice their customers have.
By creating some local competition between businesses, you’re pushing other business owners to offer their customers better quality and prices. This also enhances the overall quality of the town, making it much more appealing to visitors.
Choosing Local Products
There’s nothing better than when local businesses help local businesses. There are countless ways to keep your investment budget within the community. You can start by finding new local products to offer your customers or even hiring a caterer for the business event you’re hosting.
Not only are you more likely to get a better price, but you’re also helping other businesses stay open which draws in more customers for everyone.
Using a Business Impact Analysis to Benefit Your Community
Whether you’re starting a small business or have a full-fledged international company giving back to your area is key. With a quick business impact analysis, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to serve your community.
You may even choose to make some changes internally, like how you handle your manufacturing services or engineering. Contact us today for more information on taking those important next steps.