5 Creative Ways to Give Back to Your Local Customers
Local customers and the surrounding community are a crucial part of your small business’ success. Targeted advertising and marketing methods can increase your brand’s visibility with these individuals, but it might not be enough. An effective supplementary way to increase brand awareness in your local community is by giving back. This practice establishes a vested interest between your brand and the local community.
There are many ways to embrace your community. Here are a few ways you can get started today:
1. Host a community volunteer day
A quick way to dive into community outreach is by assessing the community’s immediate needs. Contact various local groups and churches to find out where they could use help or funding. Your business can then work with these organizations to foster a community volunteer day. This way, your brand is actively interacting with the customers it serves while doing good.
2. Sponsor a team
Many high school athletic programs are in need of sponsorship and look to local businesses to fill this void. Talk to surrounding schools about their needs, learn the cost, and find out how you can play a role in providing some of the financial support these groups.
3. Host an informational service
Another way to give back to the community your small business serves is by doing what you do best - offer a free instructional clinic around your products or services. For example: local grocers could visit schools to talk to students about proper health and nutrition. Or, plumbers/home improvement professionals can offer seminars on maintaining a home. These events will better the community while establishing your small business as an knowledge expert.
4. Lead a fundraising mission
A fun way to give back and inspire competition is to gamify a fundraising mission for your local customers. Encourage your small business customers to donate by creating a sweepstakes or fundraising contest to benefit a local cause. Consider donating to local food banks, for example. Your small business can incentivise customers to donate by offering discounted products/services when they contribute to your chosen cause. Another way to inspire this spirit of giving is by offering a matching donation to the funds raised by your customers.
5. Eliminate waste by giving
Giving is not constrained to simple monetary donations. For example: if you own a bakery and have food products you didn't use, give them to the local food bank. Many small businesses have damaged products that can't be sold within their retail setting. Instead of chalking these damaged goods up as “waste,” find a way to donate them to those in need.