The decision to become a business owner is a big one but exciting, too. Whether you already own an established business or are considering a new venture, being vested in your community is a great way to not only enhance your brand but show your customers you truly do care about them and the world around you. Make community involvement your number one goal.
No successful business operates alone. An online learning class needs learners. A travel agent needs travelers. A lawyer needs personal injury clients. A Walmart cashier needs customers.
Every business needs customers, a network, and a community to thrive. The best way to build a community around your business is to jump in when you see a need. Especially with recent events like Covid-19 and a global pandemic, now is a great time to review ways your business can better connect to and help the community. Once you have this figured out, the rest of your goals will fall into place with community support.
Maybe you’ve spent the last few months in quarantine or, like many business owners, haven’t looked at your mission statement in years. Use this time to update your business plans, but your mission statement in particular. If this is the first time you’ve considered your business’s mission statement, this task will be even easier.
Consider how your business can help people in your community. Instead of the usual information about goals and profits, think about ways to expand your brand and give your business a new sense of purpose. You know your community the same way a personal injury lawyer knows the WIN Injury Network. The way they would know their way around a courtroom during the trial, you’ll want a clear plan when it comes to helping your community.
If you’re lost for ideas on ways to help your community, consider an online class. The best practices for learning online are to set time aside to take in the content when you’re not distracted. Spend time in online classes after the business day without scrolling another browser for your next trip to New York or looking for a cruise ship for your next vacation. That can wait. Your community needs you now.
Community building and networking with other businesses can be a great way to identify and implement new goals. Whether it’s swapping checklists and social media search tips, getting involved in mutually beneficial collaboration projects, or reaching out for a new learning experience, networking is always a good idea. Get involved with virtual conferences in place of those in-person cruise ship training for now.
Maybe you work in law and are hoping to make a go of it on your own. While you’re familiar with a lawyer referral service, legal documents, and how to take legal action or even answers to things like can you be served court papers at work, you aren’t sure where to start when it comes to opening shop on your own.
If your goal is to open a firm of your own and you need help with things like marketing, setting up a new business or online marketplace, how many coworkers you might need for what jobs, or someone to do the research project portion of your plan, one way to do this is to outsource. A first step in running a successful business is knowing when to reach out. While you’re there, do your community a favor and offer free legal advice for navigating landlords or restrictions in a pandemic.
Even if you’re an established business, it’s important to know when to call in someone to share bad news, to help keep case managers organized, to dissect a state’s rules, and more. Think about building a file of gig work and freelancer contact information that you can pull out at a moment’s notice. Maybe the marketing professional you hire for a part-time job could end up being the person to help with community outreach or building a new learning community in line with your brand.
Whether your goal is to start a business selling liquidation pallets or to build a course in professional development and get involved with eLearning, this is where your connections could pay off. If you’ve networked properly, volunteered, offered discounts to essential workers, and more, this should be easy.
Build on what you’ve already done to make a difference. Regardless of how well or poorly your business is doing in the pandemic, statistics prove that many around you are struggling. A common question is how someone will survive the next few months. Instead of wondering how you’ll maintain your business, consider how you can put community outreach to work.
Reassess goals by considering new projects like offering up space for vaccines, holding free classes on key differences between successful and unsuccessful job interviewing strategies, and more. When the pandemic is over, the people you’ve helped will be thankful and want to return your support.
There’s no point in having goals if you can’t communicate them to experienced professionals, customers, employees, and peers. If your goal is to run an online social media travel blog or vlog on how to get to Hawaii without flying, you’ll want people to know about it. This is where outsourcing and planning ahead might come into play. Pull out that contact list, find someone skilled in marketing or running a virtual class, and reach out. Consider swapping services with them. If your skill is in SEO content creation, write up a few articles for them while focusing on getting word about your blog out.
Use those community ties, too. Your community will be rooting for you, and the best way to get them involved with shares and word of mouth referrals is to ask for help. The next step in meeting your next goal could be as simple as pulling those connections together and holding an online discussion about how to work together.
Not all of your goals need to be around the community. It’s okay to look out for yourself too. Take care of those details like ordering business cards, reworking your objectives, and building your customer base as needed. Just do it with an eye on the community, too. By thinking about what the community needs, you’ll have a better shot at profit and productivity. Word of mouth reviews, reputation, customer retention, and local support will all help bring you closer to your goals.