In planning to make 2023 different (and better!) for your business than 2022, increasing your community visibility is a strategy that you should incorporate.
A beginning point is participation in local Chambers of Commerce and/or business associations. As a member of multiple chambers or associations, you help support organizations that advocate for local business. These organizations can be very beneficial for your business and your community visibility. Being active will put you in closer contact with other community leaders and business people. Many chambers offer networking events, including business “after-hours” meetings and you might have the chance to host an “after-hours” at your place of business- thereby letting a number of business owners (potential centers of influence for you) see your facility firsthand.
Consider serving on a chamber or association committee, as well. Often, these committees are comprised of business leaders who come together for a certain goal- it could be to study transportation issues in the region, or how to recruit and retain new association members. These committees can help you forge bonds with community leaders.
And consider having some of your key employees step up by participating in these events, including committee work. This is great exposure for the business and the individual.
Make the most of your memberships! Some businesses make the mistake of joining “in name only” in which case they are leaving opportunities on the table. Be sure to subscribe to the newsletters (most are electronic) for each association; within these, you may find other chances to boost your visibility. Some organizations have contests for “Business of the month” or “Leader of the year.” Some also host “Best places to work” competitions – all of which are worth investigating, and participating in if it seems like the right fit for your business. Chambers and associations sometimes offer a “member profile” feature in either a print or online newspaper; it’s worth inquiring to see if you can be selected. You’ll find these opportunities across many organizations ranging from business associations to chambers of commerce and your local Better Business Bureau affiliate.
Sometimes these organizations look for business experts to do presentations on topics of interest to their members. If you are a CPA, for example, perhaps offer to host a seminar or webinar on “Tax changes for 2023.”
Beyond the business associations, other opportunities include partnering with worthwhile community groups. It could be a Habitat for Humanity, a Parent-Teacher Organization for a local school, a canine rescue organization, or the local chapter of the American Red Cross. Non-profit organizations are grateful for community support and there is immense goodwill toward the businesses which lend a helping hand.
Sometimes the media offers unique visibility opportunities. Here in the Chicago area, the Daily Herald sponsors a “Best Places to Work IL” and numerous other competitions throughout the year. At the national level, Inc. Magazine has its “Inc 5000” list for fast-growing businesses, and there are other Inc. contests structured more regionally or locally. Any of these opportunities – whether for a “Business of the Month,” “Best Place to Work,” or “Family Business of the Year” can help make employees feel even prouder about where they work, and these “wins” look great on your business’s web page and social media platforms.
There are also business networking groups, from the weekly BNIs to ProVisors and USA500, and many independent localized groups. These are organizations whose main purpose is to have business representatives refer potential customers to each other and usually are limited to one business per category: i.e., one IT company, one CPA, one attorney, and so forth. The right networking group for your business can have the effect of bolstering your firm’s visibility and having an extra “sales force” of professionals looking to help send business your way.
Hopefully your New Year’s goals include having your MPS and IT systems operating safely and efficiently, and if so you are in the right place. Our additional recommendation for your business is to consider greater community involvement in 2023. Let your local neighbors know more about what you do! If we can help in any way, please contact us, email@example.com.