Giving back to the community is a wonderful thing, just on the face of it. It’s also a way for a small business to show its ties to the community, attract new customers and increase networking opportunities. Your marketing should see a boost when you enhance your reputation and brand recognition by publicizing your social responsibility. The great thing is that there are many ways to give back without breaking the bank. Here are 10:
Here’s an easy way to start. Put a collection jar on your counter for the charity of your choice. You can post a sign next to it saying you’ll match all contributions one for one.
You can team up with a charity or nonprofit by giving a set amount when a customer refers a new customer. For example, you might give $25 in the referrer’s name to your local no-kill pet shelter with each referral.
Sponsor an event:
This is a great way to get a huge amount of recognition in the community. It need not be expensive, especially if you team up with other businesses. Consider events like a 10K walk, where you donate water bottles to participants.
Encourage employees to volunteer:
Give employees some paid time off each quarter to volunteer at worthwhile causes. Programs like Habitat for Humanity gladly accept folks to volunteer for a few hours, a day or more. By participating in this type of initiative, you might find it easier to recruit and retain quality employees.
Buy from your small business neighbors:
Get together with your other nearby small businesses to promote local buying. This directly helps the community by supporting local businesses in their quest to fight off the big chains that dominate the landscape. Your group can print up signs and post them in your storefronts promoting local buying and naming the participants. You can also leave positive reviews on social media.
Offer a play area:
Parents are more likely to shop in your store if you set up a play area where they can deposit their young kids for a while. Even a few minutes of relief will be much appreciated by parents, who likely will become regular customers even after the kids grow up and leave home.
Participate in community events:
The key here is to print up T-shirts for you and your employees to wear at local events, like a highway flower planting or car wash to benefit the local high school.
Adopt a highway:
Speaking of highways, contact your local authorities about adopting a stretch of highway. It doesn’t cost much, and they will put up a sign seen by tens of thousands each day that recognizes your contribution. That’s cost-effective marketing!
Sponsor a school sports team:
You choose the amount of money to contribute. Maybe you decide to pay for shirts or caps with your logo on them. Then you can take out local printed ads announcing your sponsorship and wishing the team well. Parents will be impressed.
Start a charity drive:
Think about a book drive for the local library, or a food/clothing drive for the less fortunate. Alternatively, join in on an existing drive, perhaps a soup kitchen or toys for tots. Even a small contribution will be greatly appreciated.