Connecting With Your Community: How To Build Strong Relationships as a Local Business

Running a business is not just about making a profit. If you provide a service to your local area, chances are you’ve been asked to participate in local events or donate to a local charity. Building relationships with community members enables you to contribute positively and strengthen your reputation.

Here’s how to be a force for good in your local community.

Be Visible and Accessible

We can’t stress enough how important it is to be a known physical presence in the community. At the most basic level, how will people know you exist as a business if they’re unaware of you?

There are several ways to build visibility without advertising or traditional marketing methods.

  • Attend local events – Most communities organize events, from fairs to charity events, that you can take part in.
  • Sponsor or organize community events – Related to our previous point, an excellent way to announce your presence without announcing your presence.
  • Use your social media to share local news and updates – Your social media doesn’t have to be just about your products or services. You can use it for advertising local events, charities or anything in your area.

Encourage a Spirit of Giving and Taking Part

Your support of local charities and events should be more than lip service:

  • Encourage your staff to participate and volunteer by allowing them time off if needed. 
  • Give freely by sponsoring events or local causes.
  • Consider offering incentives or paid time off for those who volunteer.

Building an ethos of giving takes time and effort and must be embedded in every part of your company. If you take this path and don’t commit wholeheartedly, others will soon understand the truth of your actions. That, in turn, may hurt your reputation as people perceive you as false. If you decide to become more involved, do it with your heart and mean it.

Collaborate With Other Businesses In Your Area

An excellent way to build visibility is to run cross-promotions and collaborations with local businesses. Look for companies that complement yours in some way so that working together makes sense.

If you offer street cleaning services to your local municipality, you could partner up with a refuse collection company and offer a joint package or discount on your services.

You can also get involved with local business associates or networking groups, allowing you to network and build business relationships that could be beneficial in the future. These groups are great ways to share resources, tips, tricks and advice.

Provide Exceptional Customer Service

When someone purchases your product or services, the experience should be seamless. Personalize your interactions with them by using their name and preferences. You could create a customized package for your customer’s needs. Allow them to build a service that fits their budget. Doing this will encourage them to return to you over your competitors.

Customer feedback is crucial here. Ask your customer what they want and then provide it (if it fits your financial situation). A customer survey is an excellent way to spot gaps in the market and allows you to design a service or product to fit that gap.

Educate and Empower The Community

Related closely to the idea of getting involved in your local community is the act of supporting your community to grow.

You can:

  • Offer workshops or classes where you can share your expertise and skills.
  • Provide internships or job shadowing opportunities.
  • Mentor or support local youth programs.

Get Involved In Your Local Community and Build Your Business

Getting involved locally can be simple. Getting involved can be incredibly rewarding on several levels, both for you personally and your company’s growth. Make a start today.