What makes your local dive bar special? Or the mom and pop store on the corner? Why are you loyal to your local pizzeria, even when you know you can now get a decent frozen pie at your local big box store? It’s that personal connection to these stores and the people you meet there. You know the owners—they’re part of the fabric of your hometown. And you like how you feel when you’re there mingling with the entire community.
Small businesses often have more leeway in showing their personality than larger stores and more opportunities to partner and interact with their local community. This is especially true when it comes to community involvement and giving back. After all, it’s not just about making money, it’s about sharing your vision, your gifts…yourself with others.
Sincere community involvement is not only personally rewarding as a business owner, it can be good business too. In fact, their connection to the community can really be a competitive advantage. This guide covers all the bases on forming community partnerships including:
· How SMBs Can Build Effective Community Partnerships
· The Benefits of Giving Back for Small Businesses
· How to Partner with Libraries, Schools and Chambers of Commerce
· Creative Ways Small Business Can Give Back to the Community
· Sponsor a Community Event: Making a Memorable Contribution to the Community
Connecting with national organizations can feel rewarding, but making a difference in your immediate community is so much more satisfying. Here are some guidelines for choosing and structuring a community-business partnership.
You don’t need an excuse to give back. Yet it’s comforting to know that what goes around comes around, and the time you invest in improving your town and helping local communities will also help your SMB. Here are just a few ways paying it forward helps your business.
Libraries and schools are experts at serving the community and connecting people. If you haven’t been to your local library recently you should know it’s not just about books anymore. They host educational and fun events all the time. Are you the owner of a local cafe? Consider partnering with the library to offer refreshments for their next reading, or an educational event on how to prepare the perfect espresso. Are you a salon? Host an event on how to choose the most flattering hairstyle for you and include a free polish. Here are a few articles to get you brainstorming about ways you can partner with your local library, chamber of commerce or school.
The first step in giving back is choosing the right cause and coming up with ideas to support it. Here’s a roundup of some of the best ways small businesses can make a real impact on their local community.
Want to celebrate the community? Consider sponsoring a community event. Fairs, food tasting events, parades, and sports events are just a few of the ways you can be active in your community (and Clover Flex can help you get there.) In-store events naturally draw customers into your store, especially if you promote them to your lists using Clover Promos, but external events can be just as effective with these tips.