Community Involvement: Benefits and Ideas

Community involvement is consistent and meaningful participation in community activities that support and bring measurable positive improvements to the community in which your business operates.

By Brad Nakase, Attorney

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What Is Community Involvement?

Community involvement is engagement in the community where you operate your business to show that you care about the customers and the community you serve. For the average small business owner, the top priority is to grow the business by attracting new customers, keep current ones, and expanding goods and services on offer. However, one often overlooked way of growing one’s business is to become involved in the local community. Community involvement is an effective and simply way of increasing brand awareness, building a good reputation, and growing a company. Also, it lets a business owner create meaningful relationships with locals and give back to those in need of a helping hand.

Community involvement may be defined as the ability to positively impact the community in which one does business. There are many ways a business owner can do community service. Perhaps he or she makes financial contributions to local organizations or groups. Or, may a business hosts employee volunteer days where it partners with a nonprofit group.

Why Is Community Involvement Important for a Business?

Community involvement is an effective and easy method to grow your business by establishing a positive reputation and increase brand awareness. Community involvement offers an excellent platform for a small business to advertise its goods and services. It can also be a way for a company to display its values. When a business regularly engages with the community, it can at the same time build a positive workplace culture and a healthy connection with the local community.

Also, the company can support those in need, changing their lives for the better. If a company wants to stand out among the competition, then there is no better strategy than community involvement.

What Are the Benefits of Community Involvement

There are virtually no disadvantages to being involved with one’s community as a business owner. Even though the owner and employees will have to give up some time and money, the rewards are worthwhile because community involvement improves the community that your business operates.

  1. Improved Awareness of the Brand

Community involvement increases brand awareness. For example, if someone says they need a Kleenex, anyone will know they are referring to the tissue brand. This is because Kleenex has created excellent brand awareness. Brand awareness is critical for all businesses, but it is essential for startups in particular. If people do not know about a business, or that it even exists, they will not buy from it.

For example, we’re a business law firm that provides small business legal services. This article is about legal issues but helps business owners like you understand community involvement and its benefits. This article brings brand awareness to you as a reader.

When a company’s employees begin to support the local community, residents learn about the business. Even if they are not in the target consumer range, they may mention the company to friends and family. For example, perhaps a bakery community involvement includes hosting a fundraiser event where they hand out free muffins to hundreds of people. These attendees remember the bakery’s name and mention it to their friends who love delicious muffins. This type of situation is common for those who participate in community events. The more people talk about a business, the more likely your business will gain new customers.

  1. Building Trust in Operations

Community involvement builds trust in your brand. Unless they know and trust a business, customers will not make purchases. This is especially true in today’s competitive market. If a customer has any reason to distrust a brand, they can always turn to a competitor. In order to build trust within a community, a business must offer excellent customer service, respond to customer reviews, improve security, and have a presence on social media. However, another way to build trust is to be actively involved in the community. If a business devotes some of its resources to the community, then it will be considered an organization that values causes beyond making profit.

These kinds of businesses are popular with customers. If consumers meet employees at volunteer events or read about the business’ community involvement, they will be more likely to trust the company. After creating that trust, it is much easier for a business to grow. People will be more likely to go to a business they like and trust than a competitor.

  1. Creating a Positive Culture

Culture is considered to be the character of a business. Community involvement can be hosting events that makes a company stand out from its competitors. Culture is essentially a business’ values, traditions, behaviors, and attitudes.

When a business has a positive culture, it can draw in talented employees and keep them. This is a big benefit considering how hard it is to recruit and train employees. Employees who are satisfied with company culture are also more likely to be productive and willing to go that extra mile. That said, if they are not too pleased with the company culture, they will be less motivated.

One way to promote a positive company culture through community involvement is to be involved in the local community. A lot of employees like the idea of a business giving back, and they like being able to take a break from their routine to help with this. If a company offers an employee the same pay and benefits as another company, but it also offers a positive culture, then the employee will be more likely to accept the offer.

How To Become Involved in the Community

Encourage Employees to Volunteer

A business owner should dedicate time to volunteering, encouraging employees to also volunteer during this period. He or she can promote certain activities or initiatives, giving employees the option of where or how they’d like to volunteer.

Sponsor a Sports Team

Most communities have youth or adult sports teams. A local business owner can sponsor a team and get publicity by putting their logo on the uniforms. This is a great option for business owners who do not have a lot of free time.

Sponsor an Event

If a community hosts a particular event such as a marathon, festival, or fundraiser, then a local business can offer to sponsor it. The business owner can have his or her employees attend the event wearing branded apparel.

Start a Charity Drive

A charity drive allows a business owner to be involved with the community while not spending a lot of money or time. He or she can ask employees to donate canned goods, books, clothing, and other items to a local organization.

Share Knowledge

It is likely that there are residents in a community that could use a local business owner’s expertise. For instance, perhaps there is a nonprofit that could use the services of a computer programmer, and the business owner could offer to code their website for free.

Offer Donor Matching

If a business has the money to do so, it could consider matching donations up to a specific amount for a local charity. A business owner could consider creating a chart illustrating how much the organization has contributed.

Conclusion

A business does not need to have a lot of money or time to be involved in its community. With creativity and commitment, a business can create a community involvement program that helps the company, its employees, its customers, and its community.

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