Businesses cannot survive without customers, it’s just plain and simple. By the way, this doesn’t matter whether you are running an online business or something more traditional. If you want to keep the lights on, then you will need customers to support your business.
What this leads us to is the importance of communities for entrepreneurs. Not only do entrepreneurs serve these communities with their products and services, they also help to build better communities. As such, this article will look at some of the links between entrepreneurs and better communities. While you might already know some of the ways small businesses help, there might also be a few surprises.
- They Work Closely with Community Organizations
Did you know that Americans tend to be more active with community organizations than just about every other country in the world? A big reason for this is the tens of thousands of small businesses who help to sponsor these organizations.
Maybe it is because the organization aligns with a cause that is near to the entrepreneur’s heart or maybe it is just an opportunity to give back to the community for helping to support the business. One such example is the work of Ian Norris from Sabal Insurance Group in Fort Lauderdale who has worked with the board of Sunshine Caregivers – a group that provides home healthcare services people in Miami and the surrounding region.
But the work doesn’t need to be sitting on the board of a committee or providing sponsorship. Another way that entrepreneurs can help these organization can be to provide non-financial support in terms of donations, space, or even expertise. These ways help the business owner to build stronger ties with the community they serve.
- Make Volunteering Part of Your Mission
As the saying goes, ‘it is better to give than it is to get’ and this extends to volunteering. Not only is this a great way to build strong communities but for a growing number of entrepreneurs, they are taking it to the next level by making volunteering part of the mission of their business.
While it might seem that big companies have a leg up in making an impact through volunteering as they can marshal tens of thousands of employees for a cause. But small and mid-size companies can also make an impact and this starts by making giving part of what you do.
In the end, it doesn’t matter what form this volunteering takes as the goal is two-fold, give back to the community and to make this spirit of giving part of your mission. Doing so will not only help to build a culture of giving around your company but it will help to craft the image of your organization in the local community.
- Make Giving Part of Their Business Model
So, having given back as part of your mission is part of your goal of building a better community. But what about incorporating it as part of your business model? That’s right entrepreneurship and giving back are starting to become intertwined by many innovators who have found ways to make giving back part of how they do business.
In fact, it doesn’t matter if your business is a product or service company a key part of mixing doing good with a company’s business model is the donation of a percent of each sale to a cause. For some companies, this can be done by supporting causes in faraway lands while for others they include the option of allowing customers to decide which causes to support.
- Locally Sourcing Products and Materials
Granted, we live in the time of a global economy but an increasing number of entrepreneurs are trying to support other local businesses as much as possible by only purchasing goods and services locally.
While many companies won’t be able to do this for every need, trying to do so as much as possible is a great way to give back to the community. Not only does buying local help to support other small businesses but it also helps to keep money in the community and this is a great way to build a stronger community.
- Work Closely with Other Local Businesses
Sometimes building a better community has nothing to do with helping charities or buying locally as it can be as simple as forming marketing alliances with other businesses in your area. Not only does this help to promote other local businesses but it also gives other business leaders in your community a reason to support your organization – talk about a win-win.
- Add Powerful Value that’s Relevant to the Niche Community
Even if your ideal community is super niche specific, providing powerful value to that community with powerful leaders can have such a massive impact on the people. Lindsay Shearer does such a cool job of this by giving both online business advice as well as personal & spiritual growth tips to her crew of entrepreneurs. Adding powerful value keeps people moving forward and inspired toward growth!!