How to Build a Sense of Community at your Small Business
As humans have changed the way they interact and more and more emphasis is placed on social media and digital communications, the sense of community embraced by local business owners and employees of small businesses has been systematically diluted. While there is a ton of "digital community" being shown in Instagram and so on, the old school face-to-face interactions are falling to the wayside - below we have some tips on how to foster that good old fashioned sense of community around your business.
Even though the days of all-remote meetings, drive-by graduation and birthday parties, and the like are long gone, it’s been tough rebuilding that sense of in-person community, especially for small businesses. Here are some ways to strengthen your in-person community to improve your business for your employees and customers.
Staff Gatherings and Meetings
Try to encourage staff to come together in-person for work meetings, and organize regular social gatherings outside of work hours to foster camaraderie among the team. Offering an incentive for in person meetings - something as simple as some coffee or lunch - can be a great way to do this.
Think outside of the box of what your business offers. Host events like cooking classes, chef demos, or food tastings to bring together local residents and businesses. Events are a great way of also attracting customers as well.
Collaborations and Pop-Ups
Partner with other local businesses or restaurants for joint initiatives and pop-up events. If you have the space for it, one popular thing that is growing are pop-up dance parties. You don’t even have to operate at night to do it - consider offering a brunch time dance social on a weekend and see what happens.
Get out into the community
Get involved in local festivals, fundraisers, and community gatherings to increase engagement within the community. You can pitch a pop-up tent and get some good face-time in - maybe with people in your community who haven’t heard of you yet!
Engage Regular Customers
Create a welcoming atmosphere for loyal customers, engaging in conversations to make them feel part of the community. Say hello and ask how their day is going - and mean it. Some businesses even keep notes on their regular customers (not in a creepy way!) so they can better serve them.
You can keep track of important milestones such as birthdays, anniversaries, and graduations so you can be top-of-mind for them when they want to celebrate and use your services.
One small business that’s built a sense of community in an unlikely place is Dinobi Detergent. Their laundromat has become a hub for their neighborhood, and their neighbors came through for them when they raised money for their next step on Honeycomb Credit and they raised over $25,000!
Growing a sense of community can grow your business!
Small businesses that have a strong sense of community are those that do the best on Honeycomb Credit’s platform. Honeycomb allows small businesses like yours to raise capital from investments from their communities. Learn more by filling out the form below!