Several of my LinkedIn connections and friends are business owners. I notice a commonality among successful owners, and that is they are all community-minded. But, why is that so important?
According to studies, including from Cone, the majority of consumers — over 80% of respondents — consider social responsibility/community involvement when deciding whether or not to patronize a business. And, that makes sense.
We always highlight the fact that a person’s car is likely his or her second most valuable investment, and the top slot is often occupied by a house or other form of residence. Furthermore, an investment in real estate in general will help build or secure wealth for the homeowner as opposed to a household’s vehicle, which generally depreciates in value over time.
So, back to our community-minded business owners, these individuals know that being stalwarts in the neighborhood sends a message to residents that their businesses are invested in the area’s future. Especially in areas that are building up or revitalizing, this message can be extremely powerful to current and prospective residents and other business owners.
Even as carwash chains, particularly in the conveyor segment of our industry, continue to build national presences, their successes or failures will continue to be in the individual local markets in which they operate. Carwashing has been and will likely always be a community-based business.
While attending Chamber of Commerce and local group interest meetings take time and energy, the purpose and payback of these efforts can be immense, and they can also open doors that may not have been previously available.
Some benefits of Chamber of Commerce membership include: discounts on business needs, credibility, networking, marketing assistance, business referrals and much more.
We highlight one possible outcome of such community-minded efforts in this issue. Our senior editor, Meagan Kusek, looks at servicing fleet accounts. From auto dealerships to rental car outlets and other businesses requiring fleet vehicles, securing these accounts can represent recurring, steady revenue for your business.
It is important to be aware of the national trends as well as market shifts and then adjust your carwash and detail businesses accordingly. However, your business’ future heavily depends on your investments in the local community.
Do not look at costs incurred to get involved as anything less than an investment in your business and the right thing to do for the community.
Once you get involved, spread the word to customers through social media. Remember, customers and potential patrons like to know that the businesses where they spend their money are involved in the area.