But....there are a few who seem unable to reach out and do the same, who don’t seem to consider (or care about) the concept of working together. Isn't there strength in numbers? Don't we gain more by joining together, networking and helping each another to grow? Surely such individuals don’t think that they are above the partnerships and interactions which help to build a strong and thriving community, do they?
I don’t expect or demand anything from others just because I go out of my way to spend at local establishments who are owned by real people. To me that is an important consideration, one that is best done without expectations of repayment, and yet......what’s stopping them from participating? The cold shoulder from entrepreneurs who appear unable to step outside of their own doors, who avoid mixing and mingling and getting to know neighboring owners, is something that has puzzled me for years. If we go in and out of each other’s stores and business locations, would we not gain acquaintances and friendships, but also a directory of places to send and refer our own customers to? (Ahem, to some of you; it’s not that you can't be bothered to look outside and see what is all around you, is it?)
Let’s assume that it’s possible someone may not need your services or products right now. Perhaps they aren’t in the market for a boat broker, auto mechanic, or maybe they avoid a diet of pizza or baked goods. Being a good neighbor, however, could extend to include “liking” or sharing a Facebook page, following local neighborhood news or displaying business cards. Acknowledging other establishments is generally a great way to build contacts, encourage networking and develop a strong bond between area owners! If someone makes the effort to visit and support your company because of the quality, service, or product......why not consider making an effort to share the love?
• Get to know the familiar faces you see
• Make an effort to find out what they do
• Write down their specialty
• Be knowledgeable enough to provide good referrals
• Leave a glowing review of a fabulous place
• Share a news article on a neighboring business via social media
Whether everyone sees it this way or not, we ARE all in this together. Let’s act like it! Practice looking in the neighborhood first, visiting a nearby company to see how you might be able to co-promote or work together, or just.....enjoy getting to know one other. From my perspective this thinking stands to benefit us all - and I love knowing of the special places I can tell my customers about. Let’s agree to set a new goal of “participating locally” and being an active, caring member of our community. Try it today!