Having lived and worked in the Hunter region most of my life I have always had a close connection with the community. One of my core focuses when I started my business in 2011 was to ensure I was able to make a positive impact on the region.
I do this not only because it is one of my core values as a person, but I also understand that community involvement ultimately benefits the bottom line when it comes to business.
Businesses can benefit from engaging with their local communities in more ways than one. When our businesses take an active role in the community, it creates positive brand recognition and attracts customers who are loyal to your company. This type of customer loyalty is invaluable and has the potential to pay off well into the future.
I am passionate about providing support to the local community and am involved with a variety of organisations throughout the Hunter. For example, the Property Solutions 101 team and I have been crowdfunding sponsors of Surfest for many years, as we are especially passionate about supporting women in sport.
This year we were also pleased to be able to take our support to another level and get involved in the 2023 Surfest Legends Expression Sessions surf event in Newcastle. This initiative was designed to bring further exposure to the shores of Newcastle and drive more business to the area. Not only that, it is an event to celebrate our women in sport.
Over the years we have also supported a range of other community initiatives such as the Hunter Academy of Sports AFL Women’s Program, the Kahiba Football Club, Sam Poolman Netball Clinics and Lake Macquarie Speedboat Crowdfunding.
Through these events we have gained a loyal following of customers and generated positive brand recognition that is truly priceless. Cultivating relationships and generating customer loyalty are the best form of marketing.
This is because community involvement opens up opportunities for businesses to build relationships with leaders and stakeholders in the area. These relationships provide access to resources, advice, and assistance that could potentially increase profits, save money on overhead costs, or create new revenue streams. For example, your business may be able to secure lower financing rates if you have a good relationship with your local bank; or you could find volunteers or interns through community partnerships thereby reducing staffing costs.
Beyond the economic benefits, community involvement also has the power to create a positive impact on society and help cultivate a sense of purpose in employees. When employees feel they are part of something larger than themselves, it can foster increased motivation and engagement. I know that my team love attending all our sponsorship and charity events. This in turn leads to better customer service, higher job satisfaction, and improved productivity – all of which positively impacts the bottom line.
Another path you can take is to develop your own community initiatives. For example, for a number of years I have organised a Female Athlete Education Evening designed for high school students. The events always feature three elite female athletes from various sporting backgrounds speaking about their lessons learnt on teamwork and team values in sport.
The evenings always present an opportunity for female high school students to understand the importance of teamwork both in sport and in life in general. A lesson, I am sure you will agree, will serve our young people well as they grow.
But I don’t run these events alone. Each time I have asked three businesses to support the events financially, so that we can pay our elite athletes a speaking fee. And I have never struggled to have businesses get involved. Because these are like-minded businessowners, who understand the connection between business and community.
I know, from first-hand experience, that businesses have much to gain from investing time and energy into their local communities. Community involvement is most definitely an investment worth making