By Mark Sturdevant
La Habra Business Journal
La Habra businesses need to be creative in generating new customers. How about participating with the community? By getting involved in the community through non-profits, the Chamber or City government events and projects; you would be getting the word out about your company and products while helping the community.
Whether you choose to sponsor, participate in or organize an event, you are generating positive word of mouth. You are generating goodwill within the organization you are helping. Positive word of mouth and goodwill leads people to begin to know like and trust you and your company – the cornerstones of any referral growth strategy.
It is important that your willingness to give is genuine. It is also important for people to know your need to build your business. It is this honest understanding that people appreciate and builds a trusted relationship. Within any non-profit, you are exposed to and can network with people who work, own a home, own a business, have children, have friends, etc., making them likely customers too! Go easy on the hard sell, this is a long term relationship building and not for those looking for the quick sale.
Most community organizations also have an online presence – and are constantly looking for good, local content. Offer to write an article for their web site or newsletter to inform their subscribers about something you are an expert in. Remember you are writing to inform not sell, however, this is a subtle way of selling your abilities and your company. Some examples:
- l If you are printer, write information on creating fliers or banners or brochures.
- l If you have a Computer business, write about the different ways to stay up with technology.
- l If you offer accounting, write about tax saving ideas.
“Every business should have a philanthropic arm,” according to David Deleon, recreation manager for the City of La Habra. “The reason is to position your business as a real supporter of the community, not just a consumer. The City provides plenty of opportunity to get involved; you just need to make the effort. The bottom line – people need to know who you are and what your business offers. You can buy ads, put up signs or run specials but it does not compare with working shoulder to shoulder, side by side next to a potential customer. Allowing people to see the human side of you is good for business.” We agree!
Check with the Chamber about getting started with our community organizations, non-profits and causes you are passionate about. If possible, get your employees involved as well. For more information contact the Chamber at (562) 697-1704.