Article by Jane Tweedy, Business Advisor, Western Sydney Business Centre
Giving back to your community
As a small business owner there are many ways you can give back to your local community, whether you do this in a completely altruistic fashion just to give, or whether you do it with some intention of getting some eventual return. At the end of the day, your local community will benefit.
One way of helping your community is to sponsor events. These events may be things like school fairs, providing some food or nibbles at a fundraising event, or it may be supplying a venue if you have one suitable at your premises. Sponsorship can be cash or ‘in kind’ – providing the services or products that you have to offer.
Promo items for goodie bags
Many events give away goodie bags upon entry and often allow businesses to provide items for the goodie bag, particularly where they are items rather than flyers or brochures. Take advantage of the opportunity, preferably by providing something useful for the target audience, though something edible will go down well too (prepackaged small packs of lollies for instance with your logo as a sticker)!
Donating a raffle prize or gift voucher
Under the changes to laws this year, if you sell a voucher you must have three years to use before expiry. However, if you give away a voucher, you can still have a shorter lifespan on it. This can be useful for giving away a raffle prize or voucher that can be redeemed for products or services at your business. Quite often unless these are for a silent auction or other auction where people choose to bid for your prize, vouchers often go unused. Don’t be alarmed by this, it just means the person that won probably isn’t your target customer. However, other people at the event may hear about your business through being mentioned or through posts on social media. For instance, I heard about the Major Oak Restaurant in St Marys through a lucky door prize at a networking event. Subsequently I looked them up, booked and had a great night out.
Donating your time and skills
Alternatively consider donating your time or skills purely to help out. I help with Max Potential community coaching and do this through myself personally. On social media I can still share posts for that from my business, which helps shows the type of person I am, but also the type of business that I have too.
Think about the charities, schools and clubs you may like to support and contact them directly. Alternatively keep your eyes out on business posts in Facebook groups where people are asking for promotional items or sponsorship.
Also consider providing voucher type flyers for businesses who target the same clients as you. A newborn photographer may offer vouchers for a discounted service to clients of a pregnancy yoga business, and vice versa. Collaborating with other businesses is a great way to improve your local presence as you can also market the collaboration online as well as in person.
The charities benefit through your donation and you can also get some great exposure to your local community and potential new clients.
Business Connect can assist you in brainstorming ideas for collaborating and raising the profile of your business in your local community, as our advisors are mobile in your local areas. We can also connect you with tools, Government Departments and private providers to assist with implementation. Arrange to see your local Business Connect Advisors by contacting Western Sydney Business Centre.
Western Sydney Business Centre, offers 4 hours business advice at NO COST with a NSW Government funded Business Connect Advisor. We can talk about any concerns with your business, and help you connect with others. Please book here now!