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Why Small Businesses Still Need to Network in the Local Community

It takes a village to make a small business thrive, and networking with the local community is not only beneficial, but imperative to succeed. Collaboration, cooperation, and communication with area businesses will strengthen resources and increase exposure, opening the door wide to an entirely new and pre-qualified consumer audience.

Three reasons why networking locally is imperative:

Familiarity. Statistics indicate that most consumers try to buy locally, so make sure your target audience knows that you are near. Advertising is one marketing strategy, but networking with other local businesses gives you added opportunities to get your name out and customers in your front door.

Credibility. Partnering with other esteemed businesses in your area gives you a degree of credibility, which could lead to consumer trust. Just as you recommend and endorse their companies, your networking partners’ experience and reputation can be in your favor, as well.

Growth. Working closely with other businesses in your region affords you the opportunity to predict market trends, compare sales figures, and forecast the next fiscal period. You will be aware of the struggles and challenges of other small businesses in your network, which may help you better identify and nip any similar situations in your own company. This insight relates directly to growth for a small business, particularly during the critical early years.

Get locals to patronize your networking partners with these marketing tactics:

  • Become a member of your community’s Chamber of Commerce. This will help you meet and familiarize yourself with other business owners and potential leads in the area.
  • Take to social media to reinforce your presence in the community. Provide quality content and links to your network members’ sites to garner a following online.
  • Sponsor local sporting teams, youth groups, or school program to gain a reputation in your area and to gain attention for your business. Plus, you are contributing to your community in a positive way!