SMALL SPACES, BIG IMPACT
Get Baked doesn’t use all the space in its building, so Tracy uses
the extra square footage to host regular pop-up markets where local
artisans sell their goods and services. She started in 2013 with a
few small events a year, to help fellow entrepreneurs. They were so
popular, she increased the frequency and size of the markets. Now
she hosts events almost monthly, sometimes with as many as 40
vendors. Since every vendor promotes the event, each business
reaches new prospective customers. At the last holiday market,
“there were lines of people at the bakery,” says Tracy. Tracy also
supports local causes by donating baked goods and gift cards and
sponsoring events, like the town’s flagship pie-eating contest which
raises money for scholarships. When Hurricane Sandy hit, Get Baked
donated two months of tips to a family who had lost their home to
the storm. To give back on a larger scale, Get Baked donates its tips
to the MS Society. So far, it has contributed more than $30,000.
This February, Tracy got a dose of community spirit herself when
The Hartford hosted a “HartMob” at the bakery. Inspired by the
idea of a cash mob, The Hartford runs these events throughout the
year to show appreciation and support for its more than 1 million
small business customers. Each time, a “mob” floods a di;erent
small business customer with The Hartford’s employees, causing a
boost in sales. “It was complete insanity—in a good way,” Tracy says.
More than 100 of The Hartford’s employees attended the event, where
they patronized the business by purchasing baked goods. The event
caused a buzz in the community and The Hartford promoted the event
on social media, which helped to raise awareness about the bakery
and generate even more business. Some of the event attendees also
promised to be repeat customers. Tracy adds that The MS Society
benefited, too. “It was our third-highest day for tipping ever, and that
money went directly to the charity.”
Giving back is more than the right thing to do. It is also a way to increase business visibility and
strengthen customer relationships. Done correctly, you just might make yourself a community staple.
Community engagement and service can attract new customers, build relationships, and bolster sales.
Ready to engage your community in a way that drives business objectives?
CONSIDER THESE TIPS
PARTNER with a charity,
and plan a community giving
event at your small business.
Tracy tries to support the
charities her “hardcore regular
customers” are involved in. Try
asking your customers about
the causes they care about.
TEAM up with one or
small businesses. Create
joint promotions to extend
your reach to prospective
customers. For example, extend
a special o;er to your partners’
customers on their first order.
WORK with your local
Chamber of Commerce
to host an event, like Tracy’s
Seek sponsorships or
support from your vendors
or suppliers to give it more
USE SOCIAL MEDIA as
an extension of your physical
Share photos and videos
of your community outreach
and engage customers by
responding to their questions
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