Many small businesses are focused on growing their base. Rightfully so, because having a strong customer base is at the core of building over time! But how do you get your name and your offerings out if you don’t have a huge budget for advertising and marketing or a brick and mortar store in a high traffic area?
You can build awareness around your business and brand through creative partnerships with your community!
Local nonprofit organizations are engrained in their local communities and are always looking to partner with businesses within their area. So how can you work with them to build your business AND help them achieve their goals?
Be a Vendor at their Community Events
Have you ever been to an event hosted by a community organization? Oftentimes, they have multiple vendors in attendance selling everything from candles to jewelry to clothing, and even food and beauty products. Oftentimes these events are open to hundreds of people who might not have otherwise known about what you offer. It’s your change to engage with potential customers in person and tell them how amazing you and your products are. And there’s a good chance that those people will tell others about your products too!
Many businesses that work with nonprofit organizations offer back a percentage of sales from the work that they do. For example, if you own a restaurant, you can allow an organization to hold an event there on what would otherwise be a slow night. You can then give back to the organization a percentage of the food and beverage receipts from the evening. It’s a great way to get some additional revenue and show that you’re a willing community partner!
Sponsorships & Advertising
Local nonprofits are always in need of direct support for their initiatives. Whether it’s buying advertising in a newsletter or event brochure, sponsoring snacks for a charity golf tournament, or purchasing cases of water for a 5K fun run, providing sponsorships for these organizations can be a great way to market yourself to the community and build a good reputation around your business and name.
Offering Your Expertise
Maybe your business doesn’t offer a product, but you offer a service—perhaps legal, accounting, gardening, etc. Could you spend 30 minutes of your time to speak with members of the organization about your area of expertise? If an organization has economic empowerment as a focus area, maybe you can talk to them about how to start a small business or make sure that their bookkeeping is accurate. Or if the group focuses on the environment, maybe you can use your green thumb to talk them through how to start a sustainable herb garden, and even offer discounts at your nursery! Offering yourself as an expert for just a little while can help build trust and make people more likely to utilize your services!
There are so many ways to engage with your community. All it takes is a little bit of creativity and willingness to be a partner for good!