George Cohon, renowned businessman and founder of...
Getting involved in your local community can have many positive impacts on your franchise. Moms and millennials especially want to see that the companies they support exercise some level of corporate responsibility. The companies that do this distinguish themselves from the competition. It is becoming more and more important today for businesses to show they care about the community and are doing something to help. Supporting the community will improve your company’s image, and ultimately draw in more business. So the question is how do you go about doing that? Here are a few ideas.
Take a look around the city where your franchise is located and try to find out what the community needs. Is the school looking a little rundown? Maybe you could launch a fundraiser to fix it up. Is the animal shelter overflowing with abandoned pets? Maybe you start a pet adoption drive to find them good homes. Talk to people in the community and be observant. If you can locate a real need and address it, you will have an impact and people will greatly appreciate your good deeds.
Almost any city has festivals, parades, and fairs at some point in the year. Take advantage of this by setting up a booth for your franchise opportunity. You can interact with everyday people and spread the word about your businesses. Get their attention with giveaways, free contests, or games. By going street level and seeing people face to face, you can make a lasting positive impression.
Choose a volunteer program and create a sign-up sheet where interested employees can join. This can be a powerful way to help the community because it gives your employees a way to give back as well. It’s been proven that volunteering makes people feel accomplished and happier, so this will go a long way in boosting morale. Volunteering can also provide your employees with leadership opportunities which might be highly sought after by some people looking to improve their skill sets.
Look up a community board in your area that applies to your franchise. For example, if you business is a restaurant you could join the Council of Restaurants and Hotels, or if you run a retail store you could look up the Retail Council. There might also be community council boards for different areas in your city. These will provide you with ways to have a say in what happens in the community, keep you informed of currents events in the area, and even present you with many networking opportunities. These connections could potentially lead to new business.
Getting involved with the community is all about building relationships because people want to support businesses that they can relate to. Get face to face with the customer, show some genuine concern and they will remember your businesses.