Community Spirit: How Giving Back Can Grow Your Business

Community Spirit: How Giving Back Can Grow Your Business
Youth sports are another favorite way to participate in the community, whether by purchasing soccer jerseys, coaching or just having a presence at sporting events.

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Whether it’s volunteering, donating, supporting local sports teams or joining a community business organization, you need to be invested in your hometown. As a small business owner, community is everything: It’s where your customers live, where your future customers will come from and where your reputation is earned. 

Additionally, community involvement gives you a leg up on your competition. According to a study by Cone Communications and Echo Research, 82 percent of consumers consider social responsibility when deciding on services and products. In other words, they notice. Your customers appreciate your efforts. 

We spoke with pumpers and portable restroom operators at the Pumper & Cleaner Environmental Expo in February to learn how they stay involved with local communities. Here are a few of the responses, which will hopefully inspire you to get out there and make a difference. 

Free or discounted services

High on the list for pumpers and PROs are free or discounted services to churches, community organizations and government bodies. For instance, Ardell and Janelle Kick from Purple Pumper in Hinckley, Minn., donate pumping services to their church as well as to a local bible camp. And the Houseknecht family from Sunset Septic & Excavating in Rolling Prairie, Ind., maintains the fire department’s septic system free of charge. 

Portable restroom operators can use the same tactic, either donating restrooms to charitable events or offering discounts to community-organized activities. Amy Beier, co-owner of Northland Portables in Grand Rapids, Minn., offers discounted rentals for the county fair as well as local firefighter events. 

“I make darn certain my restrooms stay clean,” she says. “Word of mouth is very big.”

Sponsor youth activities and events

Youth events are an important element of any community, which means they provide ample opportunity for small business promotion. At Sunset Septic & Excavating, that means sponsoring trophies for the county 4-H livestock sale. And bonus: The 4-H livestock market sale, which pairs rural youth with local businesses, not only offers great publicity, but you get to keep the meat from the livestock auction. Your freezer will thank you. 

Youth sports are another favorite way to participate in the community, whether by purchasing soccer jerseys, coaching or just having a presence at sporting events. The Kick family sponsors a banner for the town baseball league. 

“It’s mostly just about making connections,” says Janelle Kick. 

Join a local business association

Aside from networking opportunities, local business associations are a way to embed your business within a community. You’ll stay on top of current events, concerns within the community and more. And be sure to consider any related associations, such as builders’ associations, where you can find partners and contacts that might bring more business your way. Remember, it’s all about word of mouth. 

However you choose to give back to your community, make sure your customers know about your efforts. Include your involvement and volunteer efforts on your website and on your social media pages. Post pictures and add sponsorships to your advertising material. It’s OK to toot your own horn and let the public know your business is intertwined with your community. 

Community efforts are rewarding, both from a personal standpoint and a business standpoint. So think about the needs in your community and find those unique opportunities to promote your business. It’s a win for everyone involved. 

Now go out there and get creative.



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