If you are reliant on customers in your local community, you don’t want to do anything that alienates them. Quite the opposite, in fact, as you need to garner their support. When you have them on your side, you will:
- Improve your reputation
- Win new customers
- Make more sales
- Increase your profits
What’s not to love? So, don’t undervalue the presence you have in your community. If you can convey a positive image and create an impression of ‘a business that cares,’ you will do much to gain support and grow your business.
So, what can you do to win their support? Here are a few suggestions that we think you will find useful.
#1: Keep a tidy exterior
If you’re running a store or any other kind of business premises, you do need to keep things nice and tidy outside. You will create a better first impression for your business if you do, and you won’t alienate those in your neighborhood who take offense at anything that looks unsightly.
So, make it a habit to have a litter pick up every day, and make sure your trash doesn’t spill out onto the street. Take advantage of those services that offer dumpster rentals to keep on top of the items you discard, and make sure your trash cans are collected regularly. Get on top of graffiti too, and any other nuisance eyesore that poses a problem to people walking past your premises. After all, a tidy exterior is a healthier exterior, so the community will appreciate your tidying efforts.
#2: Run an ethical business
How could your business be unethical? Well, if you are treating your employees badly, you aren’t being ethical. You aren’t being ethical if you engage in criminal activity either, or if you are polluting the planet with your business processes. If people in your community hear about the unethical aspects of your business, you will incur bad word of mouth and bear the brunt of a bad reputation.
So, treat your employees well, as they won’t then grumble about you when they are in earshot of others. Be honest in all that you do, and don’t work with those suppliers or agencies that fall away from the side of the law. And do what you can to run a greener company, as you will win more support if you care for the environment.
You stand a greater chance of being loved rather than loathed if you stand on the side of all that is good and proper, so think carefully before doing something that incurs the wrath of others.
#3: Make a difference to the lives in your community
Of course, cheaper prices will make a big difference to the lives of people in your community, and you will win a lot of support if you create a product that they will appreciate too. However, we are talking about making differences of another kind.
You could support local charities and causes, for example. If you could donate a share of your profits to a cause that means a lot to others, or if you could actively fundraise, you would receive the gift of loyal support in return. You could also open up the doors of your premises to local charities for their own fundraising events, and you could let them use any spare rooms you aren’t using if they need a place to house their service.
You could also spend more time in the local community, perhaps by volunteering at local soup kitchens, or by attending local meetings where support is needed. Not only would you be doing something worthwhile with your time, but you would get your face seen too.
And there are lots of other things you could do to make a difference to the lives of the people around you. You could give jobs to the local unemployed, or offer training to them. You could run an internship program for local graduates, and you could visit schools and colleges to share advice on making it in business. You could sponsor football teams too, add your voice where needed when supporting the vulnerable in your locale, and offer your services for free to the local nonprofit groups who lack the relevant funds.
There is much you can do, and while you might reject these ideas if you’re busy, remember that the community support you garner will help you to increase your profits.
So, what can you do to win support from your local community? Use our ideas and think up a few of your own. When you have local people on your side, you will do much to increase the chances of success in your business.