Small Business Resources - Tips and TricksHowever you are placed regarding our current government, it is difficult to ignore the opinions and effects being expressed or felt within every community across the land as the proposed cuts are touted, and begin to bite.

As a business, it is unlikely that you have no local involvement. You probably employ people from your neighbourhood, you may have long-standing relationships with your community, your customer base may live all around your premises.

Whilst none of us may relish the austerity measures proposed, this is an ideal time for a socially aware and conscious business to rebuild links within your local community, and hence enhance your sales and marketing activities. Not that any of this should be done purely to increase the sales on your books, but it will rarely hurt!

Corporate and social responsibility is a term which often gets thrown at the ‘big boys’ and yet the best proponents of such activities are often constantly contributing into the local economy and adding to social dynamics, without hitting the red tops, because their contribution is not seen or heard of beyond that particular locale.

Now may be your chance for 5 minutes of fame. Companies who can contribute in an innovative and novel way stand to capture the attention of the local and national media if they enhance the society and community in which they live. Bearing in mind all the cuts which are likely to take place during this term, it cannot be too difficult for every company to see an opening for community /corporate action that will attract great PR.

This is a meagre attempt at suggesting you take a look at some of the things you could do, and wherever you are, it has to be worth looking at the Big Society in the North website and associated sites, blogs and feeds for further ideas. And if you can’t actually find a way to contribute directly into your community, perhaps you could support some of the ideas elsewhere so they become commercial concerns? Which could, looking at a few of the ideas, become hardcore businesses…….

This nation is full of great ideas; many are idling on back burners as those who wish to share them struggle to be heard. If your business is locally based and is struggling to survive, how about opening your doors for a day to all those who live around your premises and ASK THEM what they would do to improve employment prospects, extend your product range, make best use of your assets and resources, and so on…..?

A simple blog, a YouTube channel, a few schoolkids with video cameras and a Twitter hashtag….you could be on Breakfast TV within a week scoring high profile publicity for a simple social media marketing campaign and a few buns and cups of tea. Just an idea!

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About the author:

A practising internet marketing consultant since 1996, Lindsey Annison helps companies improve their website marketing, online PR and information architecture. Lindsey is also a qualified adult education lecturer and author. As co-founder of the Access to Broadband Campaign, she has been instrumental in the provision of high-speed internet access to rural areas in the UK. Lindsey is also a past winner of Silicon.com's Outstanding Contribution to UK Technology