Small Business Saturday is celebrated every November on the Saturday following Black Friday. Small business owners can increase the impact of Small Business Saturday and keep that momentum throughout the year by getting involved in their communities.
There are several designated days and weeks dedicated to small businesses throughout the year. Small Business Saturday is celebrated every November while National Small Business Week (NSBW) takes place during the spring.
According to studies from the 2017 Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey, 84 percent of consumers aware of Small Business Saturday keep shopping small. Once the holidays have ended, consumers want to shop at small businesses in their communities.
The ball is back in the small business court. How can mom and pop shops stay engaged with their respective communities year-round? Let’s take a look at why their involvement with local residents matters.
Involvement increases visibility
Sure, your business may be visible during celebratory holidays but what about the other remaining days of the year? Getting involved means naturally increasing your visibility. No matter what the activity may be, from volunteering at a soup kitchen to adopting a highway, your business is showing it is active beyond its storefront.
Participating for a cause increases overall visibility. It also creates incredible word-of-mouth for your business. Customers new and existing alike see you’re out there doing good and it makes them curious about your company. They become naturally inclined to learn more about you. This means they will start visiting your storefront, website, and social media handles — all because your business made community involvement a priority.
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It allows you to create partnerships with other like-minded businesses.
Are there other businesses in the area you’d like as partners? The answer is most likely yes. However, it’s impossible to partner with a business if you keep yourself isolated in your own bubble.
You’re reaching more than potential customers by getting out in the local community. The business is also able to connect with other like-minded companies. If they’re particularly like-minded, they’re probably participating in the same events you are! Introduce yourself and share more about what you do. See if the owners would like to meet up over coffee and discuss potential partnerships together. Again, this will be good from not just a business perspective but for the entire community. A successful partnership could increase the awareness of both businesses at once, allow for more local hires and benefit the entire area.
Getting involved shows that you put relationships first.
It’s easy to think that success in business means sales, sales, and more sales. It’s even easier to try to run a company using traditional business stereotypes, such as acting cutthroat to get to the top.
This type of behavior is, thankfully, swiftly evolving in today’s digital landscape. Businesses are more transparent and authentic with their behavior. The key to success lies in the relationships they establish and how they keep building and strengthening them over time.
I want to get started… but I’m nervous! What can I do?
If you want to get involved with your community but have no idea how to get started (or are too timid to take big steps forward!), act as a participant.
Attend local Chamber of Commerce and community meetings to see who shows up. Mingle and network with business owners and potential customers alike. RSVP to charity or workshop events you have been invited to, and volunteer your time and energy. Getting involved with the community doesn’t always mean you have to make sweeping grand moves. Sometimes, the best approach is simply to lay out a base foundation and work upwards from there to build a name for yourself.