Financially Responsible Marketing

Business Community Involvment Part 2

Posted by on Aug 18, 2012

Understanding and appreciating the importance of Business Community Involvement is important, but the real question is how can my small business get involved in a meaningful way without compromising my limited resources?

Community Involvement should create a win-win partnership between your business and the community platform(s) you choose to support.  Many businesses react to charitable requests as they are presented, and are lacking a formal plan or set of guidelines to follow.  Whether it costs your company in time, cash or product, ad-hoc management of any resource inevitably leads to inefficiencies and limited return on investment.  By evaluating your company’s resources and clarifying a set of principles for your company’s relationship with external community organizations, you create a more positive outcome for all parties.

Here are some considerations when creating your company’s Community Involvement strategy:

  • Understand your resources
    • Before you can commit to any Community platform, you need to understand what you have to offer to the cause in terms of finances, staff, product, expertise, time or problem solving.
    • Once you confirm your budget(s) select a cause you can exploit your own strengths for, i.e. by offering your particular expertise, product or volunteer time during slow periods, or offering extended networks, problem solving or exposure.
  • Shop around to ensure a mutually beneficial partnership
    • With the plethora or organizations to choose from, finding a good community partner is similar to finding a good supplier – don’t pick a community platform simply because it is the biggest or most well known – look for a Partner.  The best community groups understand that Business Community Involvement is about giving and receiving, and should be set up to offer benefits such as access to their media resources, contact lists, offer referrals, volunteer opportunities or training for your employees.  The best community groups will be willing to work with your organization to create unique partnership platforms that benefit both parties and create an opportunity for relationship building within the community.
  • Connect with a group that represents your business aspirations
    • If you are a small or medium sized business that hopes to expand geographically, partner with a community platform that reflects your target boundaries.  Whether you hop to expand regionally, provincially, nationally or internationally, understand the reach of a potential community partner to start connecting with your target audience.
  • Aim to build a lasting relationship
    • Treat your community initiatives like a valued business partner.  Put effort into understanding your partner’s needs, offer suggestions and outline your initiatives in short, medium and long term goals.  Don’t look for overnight success, and build towards creating improvement year over year.

Business Community Involvement should be easy to do, beneficial for all involved, and can be done without sacrificing resources from successful business development.  Speak with the experts at Imaginis Marketing to help build and execute a successful Community Involvement strategy for your business.