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The UPS Store Small Business blog
  • 13 September 2021
  • Liam Edwardson

Being a Small Business Resource for Your Customers

What do you think of when you hear the word resourceful”? Really think about it for a minute…

class with adults raising hands

Whether you provide an expert service or the perfect product for customers, it may be likely that portraying yourself as a resource is too broad of a term to use within your small business’ day-to-day operations. However, being a small business owner who is also a trusted resource for your customers is a proven way to develop and maintain deep, long-lasting relationships that go beyond purchase transactions.

There are two basic resource strategies – “in-bound” and out-bound” – that you can use to guide your endeavors in this area. Both are equally important.

Being an “in-bound resource”

Think about all those times your customers come to you with questions like, “Do you know anyone who...” or for other small business referrals. This is the essence of being an “in-bound resource” because customers are coming to you for trusted information and solutions. Never discount the value of one of these opportunities because they establish an in-bound reason for ongoing connection. Using your influence to help others also keep you and your small business top-of-mind as a valuable solutions provider, which in and of itself is important.

Some other ways of leveraging your small business as a resource include:

Providing workshops/events

Many small businesses host events that help bring the community to them. If it makes sense for your business and you can spare the space, this is an excellent way to build awareness of the solutions your small business offers within your local community. Having the event with a virtual option can increase your reach even more (and beyond just locally!).

Promoting neighborhood events

A simple way to do this is by showcasing the flyers and business cards left behind by your neighbors in your store via a community bulletin board. Visitors who want to stay in the know about events happening in their backyard will come to rely on you as a reputable community happening resource.

Being an out-bound connection”

Being a small business resource for your customers also provides an opportunity for out-bound connection. That is, it provides a way for you to tout your services, products, and business values. This takes the form of participating in community events or sponsoring a local Chamber of Commerce luncheon. This outward connectivity also keeps you and your small business top-of-mind! It is out-bound because you are communicating outwardly and tangentially about your small business. 

Leveraging out as a resource could also include:

Donating to causes important to those in your community

Schools, local sports teams, and clubs are always looking for donations to help them pay for the essentials and materials needed for growth. As a small business, you can help by donating and inviting customers to do the same.

Offering specials to people in the community

Customers in your community appreciate being seen as valuable. When you can offer them something special just for their loyalty and for living nearby, you can build a reputation as a trusted friend and more than just a business.

To become a trusted resource for your customers, leverage both in-bound and out-bound resourcefulness strategies. Doing so will only benefit your small business by building and maintaining deep, long-lasting relationships.


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