Reach out to your local community
Over the last couple of months I’ve been getting more involved with chambers of commerce as an alternative to lead referral groups for my networking and one of things I’ve noticed about each chamber I’ve attended is the focus on the local community and supporting local businesses. What I’ve found is that chambers are an excellent resource for local businesses, both in terms of advocacy for businesses and for the networking opportunities they provide.
As you spend more time at chamber events and get more known, you also learn a lot more about your local community and the needs it has. You learn about the school district that’s making more cuts and is trying to figure out how to preserve its programs, employees, etc., and how you can actually help out with that work.
The more I’ve gotten involved in the local community, the more I’ve come to realize just how important it is to be aware of what’s happening at the local level, as well as how you can help your local community out. For small businesses, the local community is the lifeblood of the businesses. Involvement in a chamber provides insight into the local community because not every member of the chamber is a business person. You get interaction with people from across the community with their own concerns and perspectives on issues.
Reaching out to your local community is essential to really understanding the bigger picture of having a small business. A small business doesn’t exist in isolation and the networking contacts you make can help make your business grow. Networking at a chamber provides a benefit of enabling you as a business owner to connect with your local community and with people in that community who can support what you are doing.
Attending chamber meetings isn’t enough. Get involved on a committee and also learn more about situations that are occurring in your community and figure out how you can help out. And take time to frequent other local businesses. Show your support of them by visiting them and buying from them.
The more you reach out to your community, the more your community will know about you. Your chamber of commerce is one way to reach out and connect with your community. What about you? Are you involved in your chamber? How else would you suggest reaching out to your community?