Financially Responsible Marketing

Your Business and Community Involvement – Part 1

Posted by on Aug 4, 2012

 

Business community involvement is something most large, national companies engage in, but how can a small business compete in this arena and create an effective voice in their community?

Many small businesses feel they don’t have the bandwidth or resources to embrace a role in their community and may not understand the value of engaging community support and creating a philanthropic presence.  With the movement of social media, the voice of the consumer has never been stronger, nor has the demand for personalized service been greater.  By engaging your small business in the community you are creating a stronger tie to your key consumer base and helping to ensure your company has a solid foundation of loyal customers.

In this two part blog we will first discuss the importance of developing a community presence with your small business, and then investigate methods to develop an effective corporate community strategy:

  • What is Business Community Involvement (BCI)?
    • It may be called Community Engagement, Developing a Community Presence or Business Philanthropy, and may come with a variety of convoluted definitions, but for our purposes, BCI is defined as the active partnership between a company and the communities where business operates for the purpose of strengthening its relationship within the community and maintaining business social responsibility.
    • BCI may be as convoluted as organizing an event to raise money for a specific cause, or as simple as putting together a team of employee volunteers to participate in an event, or support a local high school in their fund raising endeavors.
  • How can BCI help my small business?
    • The benefits of Business Community Involvement are many and include building your brand presence, developing a strong reputation for your brand, creating a stronger community that will support your business interests, building social capital, encouraging support among citizens and government, and assisting in recruitment and retention of valued employees.
    • We truly live in a global economy, and consumers are demanding personalized, individual attention from the companies they do business with.  Customers are considered business partners and want to know that the companies they support uphold similar values and maintain a sense of corporate responsibility.  People buy products and services from companies they know and trust, and continue to refer those businesses to friend and associates.
  • Can BCI take my business further?
    • By understanding the core competencies of your business and aligning your community involvement with strategic sustainability goals, your business can benefit beyond the reputation management side of BCI.  By connecting your brand to key decision makers in your community and expanding your partner reach, you can create business opportunities!

Join us for our next blog as we discuss how you can develop a business community involvement strategy for your small business and how to implement those tactics today.