Locally owned small businesses offer their communities various, undeniable benefits when compared to the large chains and super stores, as you know. Your business likely puts some of its profits right back into your community, too – you generate jobs and tend to provide better wages, and greater flexibility and working conditions that larger companies cannot or will not offer employees.
It can be rough to compete with large chains – your budget probably doesn’t come close which means you need to get a little more creative when it comes to marketing to reach your target audience. There’s an interesting study of how a software company, 888 ladies, developed a new game. Their first steps in the process involved numerous people across various teams, all to agree on a single idea. They wanted to create something one-of-a-kind, and utilized their entire team for the development process.
As you work to promote your local business and personal brand, keep the winning process that 888ladies used in the front of your mind. You may be unsure how to capture your market’s attention, and want to find ways to save time marketing your small business, too. Collaborate with your team. Participate in community events and donate money to help support them. This does more than just improve the quality of your community – it promotes your small business candidly to your customer base. Here are three ways to promote yourself without being annoying.
A cash donation is a common form of charitable support. Many people give monetary donations, even if it’s a few quarters in the bucket outside of a store. Each community has a range of non-profits.
Remember though, if you donate money with the intent to promote your business and build your brand, you need to take the time to find opportunities that will increase your business’ exposure, and cultivate relationships with other business leaders in your community, and potential customers, too. The opportunities are out there, from community initiatives to expos. Put in the effort to help fund those initiatives. The recipients of your kindness will often acknowledge your business during the event in programs, promotions, signage and social media. Sponsorship is an affordable way for a small business to gain a lot of exposure and boost your traffic.
If you can’t afford to hand over a cash donation, don’t worry. Instead, consider donating products or services. Charities often welcome donated items to use as raffle prizes or for auctions, gifts for volunteers, and so on.
If your small business doesn’t have tangible goods, donations may not work for you. Instead, you could solicit donations from your staff and clients or create vouchers good for your services that can be auctions or raffled instead.
Keep in mind that sometimes a financial donation isn’t what charities need as much as they could use specific products and services. Think of ways your business can save the charity money and time.
Volunteering to help at events and joining committees increases your business’ visibility in your community. This helps your business. It seems today that no one has spare hours and that’s the reason many people neglect to get involved with volunteering. In reality, there are countless opportunities to help that don’t mean sacrificing a large amount of your time. Encourage and support employees if they want to volunteer during work hours and reimburse that amount of specified time. If a local event aligns with your business, send employees in attire with the company logo to represent your organization. Pay the employees for that time, of course.
As a small business owner, you have an opportunity to help your community and increase business exposure though participating in community events. Strive to connect with non-profits and explore the numerous ways you can grow your brand and your business – and can better your community at the same time. It’s a win for everyone!
How do promote your local business?
Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. ChamberofCommerce.com helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide. She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources and business news. Megan has several years of experience on the topics of small business marketing, copywriting, SEO, online conversions and social media. Megan spends much of her time establishing new relationships for ChamberofCommerce.com, publishing weekly newsletters educating small business on the importance of web presence, and contributing to a number of publications on the web. Megan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.