Arriving into a new town can be difficult for small businesses. But if you embrace your local community you’ll not only boost your business, you might also make some friends along the way.
While some businesses like cafes or retail stores are often welcomed with open arms into small communities, others can have a hard time becoming part of the local scene. However, by embracing your locals and being part of the community you can help your business to put down some roots.
Here are 6 ways to get the backing and support of your local community:
Money talks, so offering locals a discount on your product is a great way of getting people on your side. Discounts could come in the form of loyalty cards, freebies or simply a discount for those in the local postcode. Limit your offers to the first six months – if you’ve not won them over by then, you may never do so.
Putting a human face on your business is key to being accepted and embraced. A networking event means that people not only get to know you but also each other – they may say they’re a tight knit community but you’d be surprised how few residents actually know each other. An open-day allowing locals to pop into your office and say hi can also help people learn more about your business and you.
From local sports team to charity events, sponsorship shows that you’re willing to put your money where your mouth is – and for a good cause. It gets your name out there connected to something that locals believe in and also makes for great local press.
4. Hire locally
When you’re bringing in new staff, try sourcing them locally first. Not only will this help with becoming a bigger part of the community but it’ll also reduce your carbon footprint with less commuting and give you some local knowledge and insight.
5. Local news
Befriend your local reporters. Getting the media on side is a big step to getting everyone else on board. See if your local paper can do an interview with one of your staff or cover any of the events you’ll be holding. Let them know you’re free to make comments on any issues that affect the community.
6. Get involved
Whether it’s a member of staff taking part in the local festival, your manager growing a ‘Mo’ for charity or the whole team raising money for the local kids’ club, being involved in the community brings its own rewards as well as business benefits.