Over the past few months, the reality for many small companies has dramatically changed. COVID-19 has reduced budgets and forced people to return to their roots. Small companies have their origins in the community. This blog is for you if you serve people within a 50-mile radius (give or take).
- If your digital marketing plan needs additional support
- If you want to attract and retain customers in a cost-effective manner
- If you want to get the word out about your business
- If you want to reconnect with your community or establish long-term relationships
- If you want to have a long-term positive effect on the community
Then community outreach is the answer you’re looking for.
Giving back to the community will get you closer to the people while still directly boosting your sales and improving your local business brand profile. Locals are always eager to purchase from companies they are familiar with.
Furthermore, community engagement encourages the employees to care for more than just the money they earn; it also teaches them to engage with locals and the community which they serve.
There’s even an unanticipated advantage for you. Many small business owners forget that they, too, are a part of a community, and lending time and resources to those who value your business is an effective way to form long-term relationships and gain standing in the eyes of other local businesspeople. Many marketing campaigns fall short of this goal.
So, here are some small business community outreach ideas that you can implement right away. The majority of these will require your funding, but if done correctly, the ROI will far outweigh your initial investment.
Easy Community Outreach Ideas for Any Local Business
Let’s begin with something that won’t cost you money. Have any unused or unused tools or supplies? If so, that’s great; you can donate them or hold a sale and donate the proceeds.
Check your inventory; is there something that needs to be upgraded, like your computers? You can give your old ones to a local school, library, or a needy family. It doesn’t have to be computers; it could be building equipment (if you’re a remodeler or builder), lawn mowers (if you’re a landscaper), or paint that’s about to expire (if you’re a painter).
Make contact with your local school to see if you can assist them. Concentrate on areas where their funding typically does not extend. That is where the importance of your community outreach lies, and they are unlikely to refuse your assistance.
The best thing about schools is that they play such an important role in the community. Students bring you closer to local families and to your community as a whole. Helping local schools can be a more successful tactic than using social media marketing on a local level.
What’s more, students can serve as the ideal spokespeople for your company. They speak and share with their peers and families more freely, more often, and usually more passionately than other groups of people, so if you maintain a long-term partnership with their school, your business outreach is practically unlimited. You will become an integrated part of their school, and you will be able to quickly grab their attention with various brand promotions.
This is one of the most mutually beneficial community outreach ideas for businesses looking to promote their brand while also encouraging community participation in sports. Staying active has numerous health benefits, and as the sponsor of local sports teams and events, your brand can only benefit.
The amount you donate is entirely up to you. You can provide uniforms (with your company logo), new equipment, snacks during games, and anything else you can think of.
Do you have a youth orchestra or a local theatre group? These organizations are frequently underfunded, so any help is greatly appreciated. You could, for example, sponsor a play and place your logo on the tickets and at the theater entrance. The good you do in your community will always come back to you and your company.
Young people’s internship programmes are a fantastic opportunity for both parties. They gain valuable experience working in a small business, and you gain additional hands and minds to assist you with your day to day.
Partner with a local school or another educational organization to connect you with eager young people looking to gain experience before entering the workforce. It may appear to be a small-scale outreach, but it has the potential to snowball, and it demonstrates your company’s willingness to assist those who lack experience but not determination.
One thing that the COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare is that there are a lot of people out there in our communities who are not having an easy time making ends meet. Offer care packages with essential foods and supplies, and be the ray of hope that people in need.
The recipients may not become customers, but good deeds are often multiplied, and the positive change you will make will not be overlooked. And if you want to look at things from a purely cynical marketing point of view then the PR such acts may generate will prove priceless.
Approaching other local businesses and putting your heads together is probably the smartest, least-obvious community outreach move you can make. You never know when an unlikely business partnership will begin to bring you more customers.
Do you own a catering company and know someone who works as a wedding planner? Do you own a bakery and there’s a café down the road? You will always find other local business owners eager to join forces in a mutually beneficial partnership if you are willing to look.
If you want to make a lasting impact in your community, consider donating to a local construction project. It could be for a new library wing, a children’s playground, an information centre, or a community centre renovation. You can group together other small businesses to share costs, or at least a portion of them. It would have a huge impact on how the locals perceive you and again, good PR in abundance awaits.
This does not imply that they be hired as your employees, but rather that they be involved in certain decision-making processes. Are you looking to update your logo or add a seasonal dish to your restaurant’s menu, for example? If you’re looking for new product or service names, you can make use of community outreach there too.
Nothing is too small or too large to ask for help with ideas from your community. Including them in the process will be a great PR move that will boost your local visibility and sales. Are you getting the idea here? Apart from the warm, fuzzy feeling community outreach offers its GREAT for public relations.
If you only remember one thing from this blog, it should be that community outreach does not imply handing over your hard-earned cash to make locals think you’re cool.
Giving a helping hand to those in need is what community outreach entails. Often, all you need to do is volunteer at local events and projects and donate your time. If you can’t afford to donate to a cause, no one will blame you, but everyone will appreciate your help in making it happen.