Friday, March 28, 2014

Community involvement

     Free daily advice for people in small business
     from someone who has been there, done that. 

     It's Friday, and that means it's business externals day.

     Community involvement is important to the health of your business. Whether you are a single proprietor working in a home office or yours is a machine shop with 8 employees, putting time in your community will pay off in your business.

     There are many ways to get involved. Only you can decide what's best for you.

     Join your neighborhood association. Or throw your hat in the ring for the next town council election. Or for a seat on the local school board.

     A popular alternative is involvement with local sports teams--softball, bowling, golf and others. You can ante up cash to help buy uniforms and equipment, or you can offer your time as a coach or helping out.

     Depending on your business, you might be able to barter services. Say you have an embroidery business with downtime on one of your machines. Offer to put team names on uniforms in exchange for placement of your sign at team events or an ad in their flyers.

     If you are a print shop, offer to do the flyers. If you're in promotions, offer to do press releases and write-ups. If you engrave trophies....well, you get the idea. 

     Community activities enhance your reputation. Involvement pushes referrals and extends your reach in the community. You want that word going around. 

     Partnerships with local schools--whether formal or informal--are possible. Pet shops and farmers can introduce kids to real animals and how they are cared for. Short, after-school apprenticeships can be offered by vehicle repair shops, machine shops, florists, plumbers and electricians. For an hour of two every day, expose kids to real, adult life situations. Don't run afoul of child labor laws, but at least show kids there's more to life than a computer game. 

     Put on your thinking cap. Come up with a project that involves your community. One that uniquely extends the reputation of your business.

     Big companies call this branding. They can afford to build a stadium and put their name on it. You have to do more with less. But you deserve the same benefits.

     If you have questions on this or any other topic covered,
     email me direct at: and put BLOG in the subject line.

     (c) 2014, Al Warr   


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