Startups have a long list of items to get in order, from new hires to budgeting. But have you thought about getting to know those around you? No matter how busy you may be, consider putting community networking near the top.
A Civic Economics survey revealed that 48% of each purchase at a local small business recirculates through that same community, compared to the 14% that will remain after buying an item from a chain store. Shopping locally is important, meaning that small businesses connecting with their communities can truly help everyone.
Businesses who work to build relationships with their communities gain more than just monetary benefits, including an expansive network of resources. Whether you’re a coffee shop or a small construction company, engaging with others in your zip code can help you make vital connections.
Are you ready to get started? Here are some ideas to try (some ideas are from TriplePundit) :
Get involved with local boards and chambers. Startups can begin to make their presence known by building trust among other leaders in the community. Being a part of these groups means potential new relationships, customers and partners.
Learn about local publications. Research local papers, magazines and bloggers and reach out to them. Let them know you about your mission and invite them to come check out your business.
Join networking groups, or start your own! Many cities have small networking clubs or regular gatherings. If you are not seeing anything you are interested in, invite local business owners to your place for a reception or a round-table talk.
Hold a charity event. Learn about local charities and how you can best help them. Do they need monetary donations? Consider giving a percentage of each sale to them over a period of time. Are they collecting a particular item? Help them meet their goal by collecting in your store. Advertise your efforts so that consumers know they can contribute.
Become part of local traditions. Does your city or town have an annual festival or event? See how you can help! Encourage your employees to volunteer, or set up a booth so that others can learn more about your business. You can meet more people, advertise your brand and show others that you are interested in getting involved.