No one has to tell you businesses are the backbone of this country. Campus stores hold a unique advantage over big boxed retailers and eCommerce sites, they know their community. Campus stores employ and service members of the community on a daily basis. Retailers need to become part of the community in which they serve. Most campus stores are engaged with their on-campus community, but what about the community outside of campus? Aside from the fact that community events can be fun, involving your store with the surrounding community improves the image of your college or university and can increase your sales. Your personal involvement can help build loyalty and increase visibility, making a positive impact on your bottom line. Here are a four simple ways to get involved in your community.
- Provide Education
It is not uncommon for campus stores to host book signings and readings, but check with faculty at your school about teaching a class in their expertise. Conduct the class right in your store and open it up to the community.
- Help sponsor an event
Whether it’s Relay for Life or a local fun run, communities have at least one large event in need of sponsors. If you cannot find a local event that fits your store’s mission, host your own. It takes a little planning and media coverage to make your event pop.
- Join an Association or a Club
Build a direct bond between your campus store and the community. By joining Better Business Bureau, the Chamber of Commerce, or another club you to make more connections and continue to learn about the resources off of campus.
- Create a scholarship.
Start a scholarship at your local high school for students who want to attend your school. In addition to sponsoring a student, give them 10% off purchases for their first semester to encourage recipients to shop.
If your store has given back to the community, let us know how it worked for you in the comment section below!