What would your business look like if you got involved in your community and gave to it instead of just took from it? What does your business have to offer? Personally, my kids have already been brainwashed by a large box store to love them because they offer Saturday morning craft activities once a month. Where will they shop in the future? The place where they have good feelings and memories. So, how do you implement something like this into your business?

If you have a showroom or warehouse space, you already have a huge leg up in having a space to host events. Now, I know your first objection will be that the people who want to learn the skills are DIY people and those are not your clients. You may be right; however, they want to be able to do a great job and have a great end result. Why not help them get there? Their friends may not be DIY people and will need a referral. Also, could you not facilitate the sale of the material and be a great resource for them? So, now you receive something by giving something away. This is a better way of business. 

Holidays would be an excellent time to step up and get the community into your store. Who doesn’t love a free Easter Bunny picture or Santa picture. On the podcast, I have pitched the idea of having Santa be at a retail store location for a couple evenings during the Christmas season. He can read a few short children’s stories, hand out candy canes and listen to the children’s gift wishes. All the while, everyone there gets to enjoy some hot cocoa. No business, no agenda, just providing a service. In fact, if someone asks about flooring, assist them during normal business hours. Let them know this is about the moment and to enjoy it. Let them walk away with a picture of their kid with Santa and call it a win. My buddy, Joshua Crossman of PTL Flooring in Yelm, Washington, heard this idea and ran with it. He even played Santa himself. His community loved it. I’m excited to see if he does it for a second year. 

There is a pizza shop near me in Phoenix. They are called Zzeeks. I’ve talked with one of the owners and she admits that their pizza isn’t anything to write home about; it’s just average pizza. Their company culture and outreach are what makes the difference. They hold drives for local charities constantly at their various locations. Whether it be for diapers and formula for teenage mothers, or a family whose home just burned down and needs everything, or collecting books for those without. There always seems to be some kind of connection with the community, and it doesn’t stop there. They support the local high school teams. They hire another small local business to do a karaoke night in their locations. When someone goes to an online community group and bashes a bad delivery or small mistake from Zzeeks, everyone comes out of the woodwork to defend the business and say how awesome they are or what they mean to the community. Wouldn’t you want this for your own business? What’s not to like about having your loyal clients defend your business? It all starts with giving. 

Now, I know a lot of this has been written towards the perspective of having a retail or warehouse space to host things. I’ll be honest in that the “Chuck in a truck” could do the same thing. Hold an event out of your garage, in your driveway, work with a local supplier to be able to host an event. Don’t let your lack of space be your downfall. What connections do you have to be able to facilitate holding events to help your community. You can then get multiple businesses involved and all of you can grow together. You are only limited by your self-imposed limits here. 

While we are gathering adults to teach them useful skills to install a backsplash, floating floors or waterproof a shower, what can you provide for the kids to do? Can you get someone else involved to run a build-a-birdhouse workshop? A piggy bank? Their first tool box? Get creative here. Use old scraps if you can to make it happen. By bringing the family together into multiple activities, you are showing off an important value and providing a place for them to make lasting memories. That is going to go a long way in the future. 

What will you do to stand out and be different? How can you give to your community instead of just take from them? How can you get them engaged in more than just purchasing your products? How can you become a hub of community outreach to keep your local area moving in a positive direction?