Yesterday, I received 2 thank you letters from a local Girl Scouts’ Cadette Troop who had asked me to speak at their Business Women’s Seminar in June and it prompted today’s marketing blog topic, “Give To The Community and Help Your Business”. Whether your company sells business-to-business or business-to-consumers, the model of helping your community as a way to help your business succeed is a positive model that works to help your business!
Beyond the obvious of the “good-will” and potential PR opportunity or marketing exposure a business gets by sponsoring a community event, it also helps to build a strong environment and richness to the community your business has made home. When the community is attractive it draws attention from others and brings in the best candidates for positions that may open up in your business in future years. The popularity of community organizations in your local area and their well attended events will also create excellent business networking opportunities for your business without you needing to travel a great distance to connect with key prospects. The home court advantage of sponsoring the local community event that is only a few miles from your office helps you or your sales team to easily get prospects to consider stopping over to your office while they are in town or to schedule a tour of your company at a later date. When people become familiar with an area and they associate it with a positive experience, they are more willing to return or do business in that area and that helps your business.
So, what does a company do if they do if they only have $2000 a year to give to the community organizations or events or an amount that is considered small compared to larger businesses? You can choose to give that one lump sum to one event in a sponsorship or donation, or you can divide that amount up in to $100-$200 increments and donate throughout the year to more than one community group. My advice is to reach out to more so that more groups benefit and connect with your business.
Also, do not discard the importance of volunteering your skills or physically helping during the actual community event. This is a great way to get to know key people within these organizations and also to connect with some of the larger corporate sponsors of the community events. Smaller businesses may not have the cash flow that some businesses have, but volunteering your time or giving a gift certificate or gift basket with your business name on it to be auctioned or raffled off at the event is a great way to be part of the larger picture and get the exposure you need to grow your business.
Finally, if you are actively helping the community and there is a chance for a photo opportunity or a press release to be sent please do not be shy about sharing this on-line and with the newspapers and other media organizations. Put it up on your own social media networking pages like Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter and blog about it as I have done here.
All my best to your success~ Charlene