For the health of our communities, people need to step up and invest time and money in them. Very few people are better positioned to make this investment than business owners. Since every business owner depends on some sort of market demand from consumers, most small business owners, retailers, and manufacturers that do business in the Delaware Valley have to recognize how important it is for their organization to get involved locally.
A group of Entrepreneurs, led by former Commonwealth Foundation CEO, Matthew Brouillette, have formed the Commonwealth Partners Chamber of Entrepreneurs to promote the development of a pro-business political agenda in Pennsylvania. Their mission statement states that their group, made up of entrepreneurs, business executives, and philanthropists are “working in partnership to advance better public policies in Pennsylvania.”
By “better public policies” the nonpartisan group means that it is seeking to alter public policy to support a more robust and dynamic private sector by focusing on the public sector’s policies of taxation and subsidy. While, this kind of high-end entrepreneurial group is good for regional business, there are several steps you can take to get more involved in your community, and help other entrepreneurs and business owners.
- Build partnerships – Probably the best way for the new business owner or prospective entrepreneur to branch out is to get involved with other like-minded business owners in your area. Often times, these relationships can be long lasting and extraordinarily fruitful.
- Donate to causes – Most start-ups may not have a lot of financial flexibility, but making donations to area groups or events often results in increased name recognition and higher foot traffic.
- Volunteer time – If you really are serious about helping businesses in your area, there are several organizations that run events where you can volunteer your time. You can also join groups like the Chamber of Commerce that sponsors and promotes events for local businesses.
- Promotion – Everyone loves a deal. Offering promotional rates, prices, or events to provide value to new customers can go a long way toward building relationships in your community.
- Host events – Hosting events that are good for the community often work to boost sales and improve your overall brand awareness. Some events can be a great outlet for you to expose your authority on a subject. Your knowledge and experience are great assets for any would-be customer.
For the average business owner who’s just starting out, it’s more useful to present yourself as an important part of the community than it is sitting and waiting for good things to happen. By getting yourself out there, you will be doing yourself, and your employees a favor. More than anything else, your business is a human endeavor, and the people that depend on it, depend on you to get out there and build the relationships you will need to put your business on a path for success.