How Small Businesses Can Make A Big Impact
No matter if you live in a city, town or more rural area, take a minute to think about what business you frequent the most. Perhaps it is a fast food chain where you have a favorite meal, an auto shop that knows your car inside and out, or even a hair salon you’ve remained loyal to throughout the years. These are the small businesses that change lives — they’ve already changed yours.
How Your Franchise Location Can Connect With Communities
If you’ve felt the positive influence of a small business or franchise, then you know how it can be the little things that make the biggest difference. Communities look to their brands for consumer goods, but they can also appeal to local businesses for help, participation and positivity.
Your Pie is the first-of-its-kind restaurant concept offering high-quality, brick-oven pizza at incredible speed. For more than a decade, our franchisees have placed a priority making their restaurants an integral part of the communities in which they serve.
If you’re a small business looking to branch out into community outreach, then here’s a few great ways to get involved.
- Make sure you have strong company culture. The key to a successful small business is strong company culture. The employees of your business are there because they believe in its mission just as much as you do. Each person brings something to the table that makes the business better — something they can also bring to the local community.
Keep in mind, the goal of becoming involved with your community is to connect with people and make a positive contribution. Make residents feel seen, heard and respected. Depending on how you choose to get involved, your customers will connect with you on a more personal level.
- Connect with local community members. Whether you’re searching for a charity, event or group of people to connect with in your community make sure it aligns well with your business’s mission. What does your brand promise to give customers when they shop with you? Another great way to pick a local cause is to check if any of your employees have a certain tie to the community. For example, maybe an employee has a child on a local youth baseball team, or an employee works with a local food bank or charity that needs volunteers. Use your brand’s items to your advantage. Whatever way your customers already interact with you, such as buying food, is a way to get their attention and connect with them without going too far out of your way.
If you’re new to town and want to immediately become involved with the community, perhaps hold a raffle for free items or run a campaign for donations to charity. Let’s say you just started your own pizza franchise – see how many community members are willing to buy a pizza where a certain percentage of the proceeds go to the local YMCA or homeless shelters.
If you’re in search of a faster way to garner community attention and connection, think of holding a contest at your business. This is where strong company culture comes into play. Depending on the season and items you’re selling, you could have a holiday gift basket contest, a way to win gift cards or a free meal, or even free merchandise. By offering a prize, your community members will feel excited to look forward to something new, while frequenting your business in the process.
- Emphasize visibility. Once you plan some ways in which you want to connect with the community, make sure you have representatives from your business attending any meetings, planned time to schedule events, or town halls that can provide more information. If you’re looking to partner with a charity, connect with the people in your community that lead events, donations and volunteering for it. Your goal is to be fully aware of all the rules and regulations, as well as opportunities the charity has so you can relay them back to your team, both local and higher up.
If you’ve chosen to hold a contest at your business location, or even sponsor an event, provide visibility! Whether its banners, signs, hand-out flyers, televised commercials or social media promoted campaigns, you want the community to see what you’re putting out there and know more information.
Since your business is part of a franchise brand, you actually have a leg up. You have the advantage of connecting with your brand’s franchise locations in the surrounding areas. They may be interested in what you are doing and want to join you in your efforts. If not, you could look into area development agreements for more franchise locations if the community gains a larger following to your business in the process.
- Network, network, network with other partners. If your business wants to get even more involved with the community, there is no said limit to how many local partnerships you create. Keep your brand’s leaders and executives aware of what you are doing, as they may want to make it a more national, or even global, initiative to have their locations be involved with their respective communities. Also, going back to emphasizing your business’s visibility — if there are local sign-making businesses, marketing firms, etc., think about partnering with them for your needs. This way, you’re truly involving the community in every step.
Your business operates for the greater good, which is exactly what it should be bringing to the community through strong company culture and invested community outreach. Make sure your partners, charities and local customers know what your business stands for and how excited it is to help. At the end of the day, you’re looking to create real connections with the members of your community and display valuable results.
To learn more about how your restaurant business can positively impact your local community, contact Your Pie today.