Commune With Your Community

Community is the key to your business.  While businesses generally tend to focus on the bottom line - their customers and clients, it is important to note that your business community goes beyond customers and clients.  It includes the neighborhood where you do your business.  It includes your local business bureau.  It includes your vendors.  It includes your business partners and collaborators.  

Thinking on your own business development, how do you interact with your local community?  Do you know the shop owner at the deli on the corner where you periodically grab your lunch?  Do you know the name of the delivery guy that brings your supply orders?  

If you don't know the names of any of these people you interact with on a regular basis, what's the probability they know your name?  Short of the delivery guy that you may see on a regular basis, which community members know what your business does?

This is where building a solid relationship with your community is the key to your business.  

As a local business owner, attend community meetings.  It is the best way to get to know your neighbors.  It is also a great way to find out what is happening in your neighborhood that could affect your business dealings - for good or bad.

Take part in community events.  Whether you participate in the local community fair as a volunteer or as an event sponsor, your participation gives the community an opportunity to get to know you.  Take the opportunity to participate as part of the community fair by getting a table where you can introduce members of the community to your business.  

Most importantly - give thanks.  Do something fun in your community, like hosting a movie night in the local park or in conjunction with the local theater.  Participate in a kindness campaign where you distribute something helpful to community members.  It gives you an opportunity to introduce yourself to your neighbors, and it lets them know you appreciate your community.  

Missy Sorg