Growing up in Chicago, my mother instilled the importance of community in our lives. Whether participating in neighborhood cleanups, organizing rallies, or joining parades, the sense of community became a cornerstone of my upbringing. As I transitioned into adulthood and found my voice as a poet, I carried this commitment to the community with me when I relocated to Las Vegas; particularly when witnessing nationwide movements like the Trayvon Martin rallies. Little did I know that my involvement in community activities in Las Vegas would not only shape my journey but also play a pivotal role in the success of my small business.
In the dynamic landscape of modern business, success is no longer solely measured by profit margins and market share. Thriving enterprises and small businesses including my own, recognize the indispensable role that community plays in shaping trajectories. Being an active part of your community is not an optional accessory to business; it is a pivotal element that significantly contributes to sustainable success. This blog post will delve into why community involvement is crucial for your Balloon business's Success.
Building Trust and Credibility for Your Balloon Business Success
A strong sense of community involvement fosters trust and credibility. Businesses that actively engage with their local community, whether through sponsorships, partnerships, or events, establish a positive reputation. Trust is the foundation of any successful business relationship, and being an integral part of the community helps build that trust with customers and stakeholders. My consistent involvement in community events led to strong relationships, providing a solid foundation for the success of my balloon business.
Before I started my journey in balloons, I already had developed a strong foundation in my community and had previously curated well over a hundred events over the years as well as formed many community organizations and won multiple awards for my involvement. I remember posting my first balloon column on social media and my journey to balloon school and starting my business; the Las Vegas community has watched from day one and cheered me on. I had people waiting and ready to see me succeed and I often receive messages from people telling me just that.
This came from my years of being involved in my community and building trust and credibility; so it made it easy for my business to take off because people just wanted to support me. It's the saying of one door opening the way to another.
Understanding Customer Needs
Closely connecting with your community allows you to better understand the needs and preferences of your target audience. By actively listening and participating in community activities, businesses can gain valuable insights that inform product development, marketing strategies, and overall business decisions. My experience in community events helped me realize the lack of affordable balloon options, leading me to tailor my offerings to meet the specific needs of my local market.
Why didn't I see balloons being used at events in my community? This was the first question that came to mind when I started my balloon journey and I early on found my answer; Balloons can be expensive for a lot of community organizations. With balance, I have tried to find a way to offer affordable options for my community so everyone can witness the joy of what balloons can bring to your events.
In the realm of business, the influence of word-of-mouth remains formidable. Active participation in the community makes a business a focal point of discussions among community members. Positive experiences and interactions with the business are naturally shared, fostering organic word-of-mouth marketing. Cultivating enduring relationships with community members ensures that when people are in search of products or services, your business is the first to spring to mind
In an era where scams abound, this aspect holds significant importance for business success. During a recent conversation with my boyfriend about small business owners hesitating to share information due to the fear of client poaching, I emphasized that a strong word-of-mouth reputation alleviates such concerns. People generally prefer convenience and ease, opting for businesses they already know, rather than sifting through a multitude of business cards in search of a potentially elusive alternative/another business that has slipped them a business card behind their back. Just about 75% of all my phone calls start with, so and so referred me to you and it's a 99% percent chance that with good services provided that referral will turn into another one.
Adaptability and Resilience
Communities are dynamic, and businesses actively involved in them tend to be more adaptable and resilient. This adaptability stems from a deep understanding of the local market and the ability to respond to changes effectively. Engaging with the community allows businesses to stay informed about evolving trends, preferences, and challenges, positioning them to adapt swiftly.
I think during Covid we all became way too familiar with the words adaptability and resilience and how to pivot. My daughter was in her senior year right as COVID-19 was ending, but society was not back up and running 100%. Graduation ceremonies were back up and running, but senior proms were still not being organized; so I organized a senior prom for my community. When I tell you the happiness it brought to not only the children but the parents that had waited four years to see their children have this moment and we were able to provide it for our community.
Balance when engaging in the community:
While prioritizing community engagement is crucial, seasoned business professionals are well aware that requests from community organizations can become overwhelming over time. To prevent burnout, consider implementing the following strategies:
Establish a predetermined limit on the number of community events you commit to at the beginning of the year, and steadfastly adhere to that number.
Explore the option of offering your services in exchange for something of value from those seeking your involvement, creating a mutually beneficial arrangement.
Implement a percentage-based approach, linking your level of engagement with a community organization to the amount they have spent with your company in the current or previous year.
Selectively collaborate with organizations whose mission aligns closely with your values and objectives.
Take control of your community involvement by creating and hosting your events, allowing you to dictate the timing and level of commitment required.
How do I get involved in my community?
1. Join your local chamber of commerce
2. Find non-profits whose mission and values align with yours and donate to them.
3. Volunteer at food pantries and other community giveaways
4. Visit your local Recreation center and see how you can start an after-school program
I can go on and on about different methods of getting involved, but the truth is there are a million ways to be involved in your community and if you want to be involved you will find a way.
In conclusion, being an integral part of your community is not just a noble endeavor but a strategic business decision. The positive impacts of community involvement ripple through various facets of a business, contributing to long-term success and sustainability. As we navigate the ever-evolving business landscape, let us not forget the profound impact that community connection can have on shaping a prosperous future.