Q: How can I position my business to grow in the new year?
A: One surefire way to increase visibility and garner a favorable reputation is to elevate your role in your local business community, as well as in any professional or industry associations pertinent to your industry. Get involved! Join your local Chamber of Commerce and be an advocate for issues facing small businesses. Support events that have an impact on your community.
Q: What are the advantages to joining local industry groups?
A: Being part of a business group can position your organization as a leader in your industry. When you interact with peers, you can advocate on behalf of your business and share best practices. Business community groups are also an excellent resource for networking.
Q: How can I leverage groups for support?
A: Use your membership in industry groups to collaborate and solve problems together, something that small business owners don’t always have time for. Sometimes you “can’t see the forest for the trees” and peers will provide a fresh perspective. They may even help you turn a challenge into an opportunity.
Q: Are there online resources to help my business gain influence?
A: LinkedIn, the professional social networking site, is a great tool to increase your visibility among other professionals in your industry. Since it brings together members of the same business communities who are interested in similar issues and topics, it’s a good place to share stories, tips, and exchange best practices.
Q: What are some other ways to increase visibility for my business with the broader community?
A: Consider sponsoring a local sports team or club. School-sponsored and community teams look for local business sponsors. This can be a great way to get your name in front of current and prospective customers. Think about mentoring students who want to pursue a career in business. Many high schools feature Future Business Leaders of America clubs or something similar.
Q: How do these community programs help my visibility in the community?
A: Serving as a sponsor demonstrates that you care about the community in which you do business. Parents of the sponsored athletes or students will remember your name as they see it on signs, jerseys and event programs, and you can feel good about supporting local organizations that ultimately support your business. It’s a win-win for everyone!
Nancy Harris is Senior Vice President and General Manager, Canada, Sage North America.
This post was provided with support from Sage North America.