During the recession, Detroit was among the hardest hit cities. However, through resolve and hard work, small business owners in Detroit stayed strong and survived. For instance, Autobike, a company that creates and sells custom bikes, is well known in the community and was even featured on Business Insider as one of the coolest small businesses in Detroit. They accomplished this by getting their name out there, and the best way to do that is by getting involved with the local community. Below are three ways to start engaging with those in your neighborhood to build a great local reputation.
While it seems obvious, the best way to engage with the Detroit community is to get out there and network. Here are two great ways to start networking in Detroit.
- Join the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce, and just as importantly, be sure to attend the many events they offer. From conferences to lectures, there are numerous opportunities to network with other business owners and community members.
- Use online resources to find networking events in Detroit. Network After Work is a great tool to find after-work-hours networking events in Detroit, and thanks to social media connector tools, it also shows who else will be attending. Upcoming events for Detroit Network After Work is available online. Eventbright also has a current listing of networking events.
Volunteering is not only a wonderful way to give back to local charities and organizations, but it is also a great way to really get immersed in the Detroit community. Below are some various volunteering methods small business owners can try in order to get more involved in the community.
- Find and select a local nonprofit organization to join, and become a volunteer. Detroit nonprofit organizations are available from the arts & culture sector, such as Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit to the healthcare sector like Kids Without Cancer. There is a huge variety of places to volunteer.
- One way to meet other business owners is to join a board of a local nonprofit organization. The other board members tend to be involved in the community and can also share other events and opportunities in Detroit that might be less known.
- Sponsor and volunteer at local events or festivals. Experience Detroit offers a listing of all the major festivals in Detroit, and is a great place to start.
Collaborating with other local small businesses and their owners provides an excellent chance to engage the community. Anytime you are shopping at or visiting a local small business, simply introduce yourself as another local small business owner to the owner. This opens up a dialog to collaborate and may even lead to an extensive list of businesses open to community collaboration.
This article was written Suzy Fielders for CBS Small Business Pulse.