Insider Exclusive: Growing Your Business Through Community Connections

Insider Exclusive: Growing Your Business Through Community Connections

By Jim Moul

An important aspect of your business’ relationship with its clients is trust. If your clients don’t feel a kinship with your business, nothing is stopping them from taking their hard-earned money elsewhere. A great way to foster essential bonds with your client base—and at the same time promote your business and entice new clients—is by connecting with your community. You’ll also be contributing to a good cause. Here are a few ideas:

Donation Drives

Do some research to find organizations near you that are holding donation drives in the community and set up a booth of your own that showcases your products and services. Have a few customer-service-savvy staff members run the booth, engaging directly with members of the community and explaining your business’ contribution to the donation efforts. It’s a great way for potential customers put faces to your business’ name.

Charity Work

Work with a charity to give a percentage of your profits back to a good cause. Try pledging 15 percent of next quarter’s revenue to a particular organization—ask employees to donate a few dollars during a special awareness month or put a collection jar in the break room. Next, highlight these charitable efforts on your company’s website, social media outlets, in email promotions, and in your office lobby. Then, all you have to do is watch as the word spreads through your community.

Mentorship

Have you ever considered a mentorship program? It’s a great way to help others in the travel and tourism industry while also helping to grow your business and gain new clients. Try mentoring other professionals starting out in travel and tourism. After some time, you can highlight these efforts on your business’ social media platforms, newsletters, and website. For community members, it is direct evidence that your company truly cares.

Partnerships                                          

There may be opportunities in your area to partner with other motorcoach and tour operators, DMOS, and CVBs—in a way that can benefit both parties. Could you promote a local attraction or tour in your office, while that business promotes your services at their facility? Perhaps you can pledge that if a certain quota is reached next month, customers can receive a discount at your partner business. Arrangements like these can work to the advantage of both businesses by tapping into each other’s client markets, and it’s a feel-good way to demonstrate your sense of cooperation to the community.

Potential customers must feel a connection with you and your company. That’s the only way that a bond of trust will start to form. Community efforts like those listed above are great ways to get started.

Jim Moul is a freelance writer based on the East Coast.

About the American Bus Association

The American Bus Association (ABA) is the trade organization of the intercity bus industry, with more than 1,000 motorcoach and tour company members in the United States and Canada. Its members operate charter, tour, regular route, airport express, special operations and contract services. Another 2,800 members are travel and tourism organizations and suppliers of bus products and services who work in partnership with the North American motorcoach industry.

Contact

Melanie Hinton, Director of Communications & Media Relations, ABA
Office: (202) 218-7220
Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)