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Take Care of Your Community, and They'll Take Care of You

Customer loyalty is not just built in your store. There is no doubt that having a good relationship with your customers is important, but showing you care for the community outside of your business is vital. Being active in the community where your business is located can make a world of a difference when it comes to the loyalty you receive from your customers. If you commit to the area around you the chances are good that people will want to commit to your business. 

Community service can be shown in a multitude of ways. You do not always have to spend your time at a local shelter, or something along those lines, to take care of the people around you. 

One way companies have shown support to local communities is, donating a percentage of each purchase to charity. For some, the time it takes to go out and help just is not there especially if you are a new business. This is the perfect way to show you care. Some gas stations have donated a five-cents for every gallon of gas sold while others have asked customers to donate twenty-five cents after a purchase, the choice is yours. 

Provide incentives for your employees to volunteer on behalf of your company. Contests are a great way to get people involved. Perhaps, you can offer a free day off to whoever does the most community service, or let's say, you offer a bonus on their paycheck. Once again there are many options, but if you do not have time as the owner to help than its not a bad idea to see if your employees can. Not only does it show the community you care, but it adds a new dynamic between yourself and your employees. 

Sponsor an event or organization. This is an opportunity to have continuous outreach and promotion from a different source other than yourself. When you do one of these strategies, you generally have an opportunity that comes around every year or multiple times a year where your company can showcase its goodwill and its support. The more you get that message out the more it will stick with potential customers and maximize your opportunity to grow your client base. 

Lastly, Host an event yourself. Just like earning loyalty in-store this gives you a chance as a business owner to 'hit the streets' and get to know your customers one-on-one. Show them the type of person you are and the business you operate. The events you plan at something like this are limitless. Whether you want to host something of a fair for your loyal customers, which may be a stretch, or simply have a B-B-Q and raffle off some prizes with all proceeds going to charity. This may be your best bet as it really puts a face with your company and shows what type of brand you want to create and display for your clientele. 

Choices such as the few listed here go beyond just helping the area around you. It comes full-circle when people recognize what you do and decide to give back and support your business. From another monetary perspective, you create tremendous value for your business. Valuing a company is not all about the 'dollars and cents' that you make each quarter. Your companies goodwill matters and what people perceive of it. If you create a business that people come to respect and want to support, then you can put a price on that. That type of commitment is future revenue and that has a present value in your company. 

Giving back in a lot of ways can benefit your company the most. While it is important to keep your business successful, it is also important to cater to the people who give you business without the need for something in return. Help people because it is the right thing to do, not because you get something out of it. Just know that you can heavily influence a community with a little help and you will understand that influence the next time they come into your store and make a purchase.  

Tell us how your help your local communities and maybe we will feature it in our Newsletter. Click link below to apply:

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Sources: CS News.

in Building Your Business, Merchant Spotlight, C-Store Trends