How Communities Can Help Grow Businesses

Did you know that your community can help your business grow and thrive? Your business helps your community through job creation, the products and services you offer and the events or groups you sponsor, and in turn, your community boosts your profits, brand awareness and employee recruitment efforts. The more your community engages with your company, the more satisfied customers you have, the easier it is to retain the best talent and much more.

Community Engagement

Your business engaging with the community and the community engaging with your company are two sides of the same coin. Small businesses like yours fuel local economies, which fuel small businesses. Giving back to the community can help bolster recovery efforts after natural disasters, recessions and illnesses, which is why small businesses and community engagement feature prominently in plans by Suzanne Clark, the next CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and government agencies.

To take advantage of community engagement to expand your business, you will want to encourage conversations that provide feedback on how your products, services, and policies affect the community. This engagement, in turn, leads your clients, including local community members, to stay engaged with your company by offering that feedback and becoming loyal customers. Your community will need other types of engagement as well, such as local charity or service events, sponsoring school events and even donating time or products to community raffles, safety fairs and holiday celebrations. Volunteer opportunities and trade shows can also be excellent places to network with other local business owners and keep you and your employees grounded in local needs and culture.

Brand Loyalty

Consumers like to shop at businesses that garner feelings of familiarity, have friendly staff who remember regular customers, and are seen helping the community. Shopping trends are determined by brand awareness, especially on the local level. So, the more you encourage a sense of community in and around your business, the more loyal and aware people are of your brand. People want to shop at the grocery store which sponsored their kids' play, which handed out coupons at the local safety fair and whose employees were in the newspaper article about cleaning bike trails. Those same people will be more likely to recommend a brand like that to their friends and family, earning you more loyal customers. Customers are also more likely to stay loyal to a brand that positively engages with client feedback and either makes changes to fix issues or explains their efforts to improve products and services.

Talent Retention

Some of your best workers will be those who became aware of your brand by engaging with your company at community events. These employees will stay invested and engaged at work, have innovative ideas to grow your company and advertise your business as the place to shop to everyone they know. Volunteer and fundraising events for local nonprofits can give your workers a chance to socialize and enrich your company culture while off the clock and while helping the community. Knowing that you have friends at work is one of the most effective ways to keep your workforce the best. Talent retention is more cost-effective than hiring and training new employees every few months, which is why workforce turnover rate is a marker for the health of a company. The more your community is invested in the health and prosperity of your business, the harder it will be for your employees to find a better job.

Growing your company while enriching your community can be a never ending circle of benefits. Your work with local events and non-profit organizations can double as marketing or recruitment events, even if you pay for ad space in a school play program or on an event flyer. Your customers can help you improve the products and services you offer if they feel that you value them and their feedback. As your community rebounds from tough times, it pulls you with it and vice versa. You can fuel this process by engaging with the community through volunteering, event sponsorship and much more.

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