Today's consumers expect more of their companies, and one of the things they expect is more community involvement. And rightly so!
A company, large or small, is nothing without the people who use their services. These clients, customers and consumers are a part of a community, and by working with that community and giving something back to them, you are providing so much more than just a business service - You're contributing to the place that they call home, and that is something that is very important to us here at Sprechen.
Aside from the satisfaction we get from being able to give something back, there are many more things that businesses can glean from being an active part of their locale. One of the great things about working closely within a community is the networking opportunities and the range of people that you meet.
Not only do we become more familiar with our community and the people in it, but they become more familiar with us too - As people and as a business. People feel like they know us, and that in turn builds trust in our business and our brand. Having that trust and strength in the local community then brings about a strong and loyal customer base. This helps our business to grow, and as it grows, gives us the opportunity to give even more back to local projects and charity events.
We love being so involved, for example, with Winchester Bonfire & Fireworks and the Santa Sleigh run by Winchester Round Table - Events we are so proud to be a part of, but wouldn't be able to support without our own loyal client base.
We strive to be a business that is so involved within our community that we as a company weave ourselves into the fabric of our customers' lives and what matters to them, so that what we do becomes so much more than just the services that we provide.
We are living and working in generation Y - The time of the millennial. These are the people that will be raising families next, and passing on their values. Research is showing that social responsibility is a big thing to this generation of people, so much so that if having to decide between 2 businesses, how much they do for their community could well end up the deciding factor.
Research has also shown that when consumers are choosing a company, they give more weight to their reputation rather than just their products - at an increase of 20% from 40 to 60%. Community involvement has a lot to do with a company's reputation, and today is an age where word of mouth is not merely in person but very much in the digital realm.
Our lives are very much rooted in social media and how a business is perceived on these platforms has a huge effect on it's success. Never before has it been so easy for a customer, or potential customer, to notice a company online based on their commitment to their community.
But what difference can a small business make? It's maybe assumed that it's the big corporate chains that can make the biggest impact in helping their community and giving back, but we actually think that it's the opposite. When walking through town, it's the little privately owned shops and cafes that catch the eye and entice you in, giving the place a bit of character and charm. It's not the big branded names that makes a city.
We feel it's us smaller businesses that are an integral part of the community, and thus have a responsibility to serve and support it. We understand how business decisions can affect our neighbours. We sponsor local projects and volunteer at charity events that are important to our citizens.
Our customers are people to us, not just numbers, and we know them all by name. And by banding together with other local small companies we can create tight networks, a strong community and successful businesses.
We very much believe that every firm, even the smallest market trader, can do something to help others and make a worthwhile contribution to their local community.
Whether their involvement is a donation of their time, a monetary sum or some other resource, we believe there is much we can all do to aid and support long-term projects affecting people in the local community, and our personal efforts all go into our home town of Winchester. #SupportLocal