The Value of Strong Community to a Small Business Owner
Your best customer is the person that trusts you. That’s why it’s important to play an active role in the community that your small business operates in.
Depending on what type of small business you run, it’s always a great idea to open that business in the community you live in because it’s familiar, you already have some local connections that trust you and it’s a great way to give back.
Let’s start with that last reason. Businesses sometimes receive a bad reputation, with people saying all they want are customers and to make money. Of course that’s true, but customers and the community want your business to improve the community. Your small business can benefit greater in the long-term if it has a relationship with the community that people can trust. Honesty is the best advertising any small business owner can utilize.
Now let’s get to the business side of things.
If you’re involved in your community, whether as a member of a service club or on the local school board, you’re constantly meeting prospective customers. And whether you realize it or not, you’re constantly crafting your image to those prospective customers. The better the image, the better chance of turning those prospectives into clients or customers. That’s why it’s so important to be involved with organizations that are influential in your community.
Your small business takes up many hours each week, but putting some of your extra time to help your community could be the best time spent for your business.
Once you land more customers, those customers will go back into the community and recommend you. Social media is a great tool for advertising — but it can’t beat old-fashion word of mouth. All of that starts with your involvement in the community.
Another great way to keep your business growing and part of the community is to apply for small business loans at your local banks. You will have a much easier time developing your business plan and applying and being granted loans when you work with people that know who you are. All of this goes back to being part of a community.
Conversely, communities may not realize the impact that small businesses can make. Sometimes, economic development organizations focus too much on recruiting outside industry, when they really should be focusing on small business.
A 2007 Oklahoma-based research project surveyed more than 1,200 households and found that one in every five households owned and operated a small business. These businesses generated an average income of $135,000 and employed at least one other person. Researchers drew the conclusion that small business plays a crucial role in a community’s economic system.
Nancy Binzel Brown, who runs Double Dog Day Care in Stow, Ohio said her business has been successful because of her involvement in the community.
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A 2007 Oklahoma-based research project surveyed more than 1,200 households and found that one in every five households owned and operated a small business.
“Community involvement is important because too many
businesses take all they do is try to get people to buy from them,” Brown told Patch. “A better long-term strategy is to build a relationship with the community that includes giving and being part, not just asking and taking.”
The smartest thing you can do to help your small business is to help out your community first.
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