Many business owners complain potential customers don’t know about their company, sales are slow, and profits are down. These business owners sit in their offices, have management meetings, and can’t seem to figure out where to start. The place business owners need to start is in the mirror.
Business owners can advertise and hire a sales team but the owner should also play a role in raising the company’s profile in the community. Business owners can delegate authority but not responsibility. Business owners have many opportunities to serve the community while networking with other business and community leaders.
There are countless boards and committees that are constantly looking for members. Business owners should not sign up on the first board/committee they are invited to. This is a strategic marketing decision.
What is your target industry?
Who are your target customers?
Who are the businesses the owner wants to align themselves with?
Once the business owner answers these questions, they can identify community boards and/or committees that will serve the interests of both the community and their business. Business owners must take their public service seriously and faithfully serve the board/committee. Service comes first; then building relationships with other board members. If the business owner has selected the right board and cultivated the right relationships, the business will come. If the business owner shows up to the first board meeting with a stack of business cards, brochures, and a pushy sales pitch, other board members will be averse to doing business with the owner.
Here are some examples of local service opportunities:
- Animal Shelter / SPCA
- Boy Scouts / Girl Scouts
- Boy’s / Girl’s Club
- Chamber of Commerce
- Economic Development
- Food Bank / Soup Kitchen
- Habitat for Humanity
- Kiwanis Club
- Lions Club
- Main Street
- Meals on Wheels
- Religious Institution
- Rotary Club
- Salvation Army (or similar charity)
- Wildlife Conservation / Audubon Society
- Workforce Development
- Youth Sports
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