The Community Connection: Build Your Business & Help the Community

The following guest post was written by Lucy Harper. The author’s views are entirely her own and may not reflect the views of If you are interested in producing a Guest Post for this blog, please get in touch with your ideas.

Many small business owners, especially those whose businesses are primarily online, can find themselves existing in a bubble, far removed from the community around them. While your focus may be in reaching out through social media marketing to expand your global reach, don’t forget the consumers in your immediate surroundings. By tipping the scales a bit so they balance community and global focus, you can build your small business while benefiting your community. As you endeavour to do both, you’ll enjoy the opportunity to gain loyal customers and followers around the world and in your own backyard.

  • Incorporate Traditional Marketing Techniques. Although you can reach consumers in your community with social media marketing, traditional marketing methods can help you target those in the surrounding area. Leave no stone unturned by incorporating methods such as flyers, radio commercials on local stations, advertisements in your local newspapers and word-of-mouth marketing.
  • Participate in Community Exhibitions. Throughout the year, communities host all kinds of exhibitions, from those promoting small local businesses to theme-based expos, such as health and education exhibitions. Most of these are planned a year in advance, which allows you to plan your participation in advance, too. Bring marketing information to pass out to attendees, and spend the day meeting and talking with those present, as well as other vendors.
  • Attend Neighbourhood Festivals. Small neighbourhood festivals and gatherings can be a great place to promote your business if it fits the theme of the festival. Check with small town commerce centres and home-owner associations to see if your participation might be mutually beneficial. Rather than merely showing up to the festival and standing there the entire day, plan some activities or give demonstrations the community members would be interested in.
  • Become Involved in Community-Based Networking. Networking is essential for small businesses, but most owners limit their networking efforts to the Internet. Get to know other small-business owners in your community and find out how they extend their local reach by attending regular networking meetings. Research networking groups available, and see if you can attend a meeting to ensure the group is right for you.
  • Give Back to Your Community. As your business grows, it’s important to give back to the community. Choose a local organization or charity to be the recipient of your gifts, and then find out how you can best donate. Some organizations might prefer a donation of your time, whereas others will benefit from products, services or cash donations.

As you reach out to the community around you, you’ll find that your investment comes back to you in the form of loyal customers. In today’s technology-based world, small-business owners are often so focused on obtaining the global reach enjoyed by other businesses that they neglect to see the value in establishing a community connection. Balance your efforts to achieve both and benefit consumers in your surroundings. The efforts you put forth in reaching out can help you grow your business in ways you wouldn’t have been able to solely through Internet marketing.

Guest post contributed by Lucy Harper from


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