How can we, as small business owners leverage our marketing, networking and sales processes to help our community?
One of the most important things to us here at Patriotic Insurance Group is our community outreach. As I’m out networking and speaking to people, of course I am always trying to generate business, but what always comes up first in conversation is some of the veteran not-for-profits that I work with. As a veteran myself, these not-for profits are extremely special to me.
What’s your niche?
One of the first things I think all business owners need to do is figure out what their passion is. If your passion is helping the hungry, children, animals or veterans. Decide this first, and in the end it is about selecting your ideal customer for your business.
For me, it’s all about the veterans. To give you an example, we run a program called Suits For Soldiers. I have a physical office location, and am constantly out talking to people who own suits, who own interview clothing. Every single time I do a presentation, regardless of audience, I mention Suits for Soldiers and I am able to collect suits for our veterans transitioning into civilian life. I’m also out talking to rotaries, schools and any businesses that have done suit drives for me. So I am able to leverage my connections in the community and leverage my connections in my business world to help the community that I live and work in.
What is my passion?
Another great give back to veteran’s program I am involved in is Boxes For Soldiers where every Memorial Day we mail about 350 to 400 boxes overseas to our active duty military.
A couple of years ago, a woman came into my office and she had just started Boxes for Soldiers, and was tirelessly doing most of it on her own, and out of the kindness of her heart. Being in the veteran space for many years at this point, a lightbulb went off. I said to her, I have the veteran connections, why don’t we make this bigger? Over the last three years, she has done a great job growing the charity, and I do very little. My job is just to make the connection for her with my network, and we’ve been able to leverage these networks to grow the charity. We have a realtor that pays for the shipping, we have some large companies that donate some of the food that we need. We have a company that donates the boxes for us, the list goes on. Even recently, we had a storage company reach out to us for what we’re doing and offered a free storage unit for a couple of months, so we could store all the food. This is the way it should work.
I think it is extremely important for business owners to give back to their community. So again, find your passion, find something that’s really important to you. Find something that’s personal for you, and then leverage what you’re doing on the marketing side and the sales side. Whether you know it or not, we all have networks set up, we all do marketing all the time. We’re always out selling. Why not leverage that to help someone else in your community?
Owner – Patriotic Insurance Group
Chester, New York