How to Build Community Relations?
For any local Fort Collins business that has withstood the test of time, it seems clear that community involvement and the relationships they’ve created have helped drive businesses forward. It’s not enough for a company to just be.
“I feel strongly that a business should support those who support it – it comes full circle in the time of need. During the recession, Mantooth was fortunate to not feel the hit as hard as other businesses, and to this day, I credit the reason to the clients and the community we serve,” says Connie Hanrahan of Mantooth Company.
Simply put, when a business plays an active role in the well-being of the community, the community responds with an outcry of support and loyalty.
A prime example of this is when McCabe Callahan opened the first Mugs Coffee Lounge in Old Town Fort Collins in 2002. He wanted to open a location across from CSU but was “turned down” by banks and investors so he turned to members of the community. One customer chipped in, then another, resulting in the final tally of $100,000, which allowed him to open his business.
Though Callahan is an extreme example of community support, ongoing community relations help all businesses or companies achieve visibility. Things like becoming an active voice in environmental, performing arts, construction and urban renewal projects, as well as social and educational programs are just some examples of finding a supportive solution that benefits both businesses and individuals.
Patrick Edmiston, founder of PHOCO, puts this perfectly with his motto, “If you want to go somewhere fast, go alone, but if you want to go somewhere far, go together.” When businesses choose to align with community efforts incredible things can happen – we all know the power of word of mouth and this is only amplified when you build support from other like-minded, community-centered individuals and businesses.
Getting involved is easy – start with causes you are interested in or topics your business is centered around. Be present; attend meetings, lunch and learns, and get to know your neighbors. The tides of collaboration will be churning in no time!