When you live and work in the same area, it is crucial that you learn how to build positive and strong connections within that community. Rural businesses in particular, thrive on building connections within their local communities and often, the success of your local community can also have an impact on your business.
It is therefore in your best interests to ensure you are doing what you can, to build healthy connections in your local community. Here are my top pointers for getting started with this powerful business-growing tool.
Raise positive awareness among local businesses and contacts
If you want to raise a positive awareness of your business, you need to work on building trust. Know that how you act and behave on a day-to-day basis can (and will!) have an impact on your business. When it comes to your overall business image, if you live and work in the same community, there is no such thing as a day off. You need to be true to your word and show up as a helpful and useful person to know.
Referrals are so important in the local community and they can carry a lot of weight. My grandfather used to say in life, it’s not what you know, but who you know. So look to actively build your own referral database so you can promote, support and build strong connections with other local business initiatives, by referring their services and products. And whilst you are at it, look to actively seek out referrals from your satisfied local clients, too.
Promote and support local charities and community organisations to build strong connections
You don’t need to be a huge organisation or have a large budget, to help build strong connections with local organisations and charities. Sometimes, it’s simply a case of showing up or helping raise awareness of the organisations you represent and have an interest in.
Whether they’re a charity-based organisation or a business-based one, help raise their visibility by sharing and promoting their posts online. Offer to lend a hand in person, by helping to hand out leaflets promoting their events or providing something for their next raffle or auction.
If you work with a charity-based organisation, you could also look to volunteer your business services or generally lend a hand in your spare time. And if you are given the opportunity, look to sponsor an event they are running or donate a percentage of your income to their cause – it will really help make a difference.
Don’t be afraid to think outside the box
If you want to build strong connections, you need to get involved. But often, there isn’t a clear way for you to naturally get involved in local events, so you need to learn to think outside the box.
Agricultural shows and craft exhibitions, for example, feature big in rural local communities. They give local businesses a chance to network and showcase what they can offer. But this type of event may require a little out-of-the-box thinking on your part, to work out how you can get involved.
Any local event offers you a chance to build connections within the local community, so don’t be afraid to think outside of the box for ways you can get involved.
No matter the type of business you are in, there is a way you can actively build strong connections within your local community. By following the advice above, you will ensure you are tapping into this powerful business-growing tool and building strong and healthy local connections that will benefit you and the wider community.
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