Effective Community Engagement Strategies For Your Small Business

Small business owners, the more visible you are, the more profitable you tend to be. A strong community presence, can lead to a steady supply of customers, thus bolstering profits. I’m stating the obvious, right? While community engagement is first and foremost, for the benefit of the community you work and trade in, if you’re doing something in the name of or on behalf of your business, it needs to be productive. You don’t have to invest in a costly marketing strategy to reach new customers. Instead, using effective community engagement techniques can also be useful for the local community and your business – it doesn’t have to translate into revenue directly, but it does need to be clever and relevant.

 

Effective Community Engagement Strategies For Your Small Business

Community Engagement Strategies For Your Small Business

 

Here are 5 effective community engagement strategies you can use for your small business:

 

Cause-related marketing — Local charities often struggle financially, relying on the community to provide support. Consider holding a fundraiser, by supporting their events or hosting your own. Charities will usually, publicly acknowledge your support and may send some business your way, directly. Let alone what this kind of involvement does for your business reputation and visibility.

 

Sponsorship — Your business may be suited for sponsoring a youth sport team, such as girl’s softball or boy’s soccer team. For a fee, you get your logo on the back or a sleeve of each player’s shirt, giving you extended exposure to players, families and fans. Again, this usually gets you other forms of public acknowledgement and often referrals from the team. The trick is to find the right type of sponsorship to go with your business model.

 

Social media — The internet offers countless ways of supporting a community cluster while serving your business too. Online engagement strategies such as giveaways, competitions and newsletters are great – but be sure to cultivate your online following with regular updates and activities. On your business Facebook page, announce an upcoming event and your involvement. Ask people to like your page, run a contest giving away free tickets or other prizes through Facebook, and make use of email, Twitter and other social media platforms to get the word out.

 

Payroll giving – If time is short, and working up an engagement strategy is beyond your means, payroll giving is a great way to get your workforce involved in a cause, automatically donating to a charity of their choice each month, costing you minimal time and money. Just make sure it’s optional!

 

Volunteering – Another way to be proactive and visible and little to no cost is volunteering – a time-honored and useful way to invest in projects, groups, or causes. Employees can represent the company, help the community, and be part of a great team building exercise to boot. What’s more, these sorts of activities are proven to increase motivation, productivity and overall job satisfaction.

 

#ourplacemelbourne #ourplaceisyourplace #melbournemeetingrooms #meetingrooms #eventorganisers #boutiqueeventspace #melbournevenue #morethanjustavenue #melbourneevents #businessbuildingevents

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At Our Place Melbourne we are passionate about doing everything we can to make your event outrageously successful. Despite only launching in March 2017 we have made a big impact with our high value offering, our dedication to community, and our commitment to offering a uniquely personalised event hosting service for all of our clients and their guests. Stay tuned for our next big announcement. It’s always just around the corner. And please, don’t hesitate to contact us here, or in Facebook. Or email us on info@ourplacemelbourne.com We are only a message away.

5 Big Impact Of Small Businesses To Your Local Community

In recent years, a movement has started. It is a movement that have shifted consumers away from large, impersonal corporations and introduced them to people doing business in their own cities. Aside from generating new jobs, small businesses are also a valuable asset to the local community. Here are 5 ways that small businesses make a profound impact to your community:

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Impacts of Small Businesses to Your Local Community

 

Community Involvement

 

Small business owners are an integral part of the communities in which they live and work. So, they tend to be more conscious of how their decisions may impact their neighbors. In addition, local small business entrepreneurs tend to be involved in the community. For example, they may participate in community charity events and contribute to local non-profit organisations.

 

Personal relationships

 

Small business owners help to build a sense of community. Their businesses tend to be people businesses. Small business owners are more likely to build personal relationships with their customers, knowing many of them by name.

 

Many small business owners band together, forming casual or formal relationships, such as a Meetup groups or one-on-one counseling and mentoring relationships. These relationships leverage the expertise of the participants to contribute to the larger business community’s long-term success. They are also often a key tool for engendering goodwill between business owners, so that as foot traffic to one business increases, other nearby businesses benefit through increased exposure and word-of-mouth referrals.

 

Better customer service

 

If you’ve ever dealt with a large corporation, you know getting help can be a nightmare. You’ll call a hotline number, only to be transferred several times and put on hold. Even when you speak to a customer service representative, that person is so far removed from the decision-making process, there’s little concern that the company will lose you as a customer.

 

When you deal with small businesses, the business owner is usually directly connected to every employee in the store. That leads to a personal approach that often means any problem you have is taken seriously.

Entrepreneurship

 

Small businesses are the product of the business owner’s entrepreneurial spirit. By starting a small business, the business owner is taking charge of his or her future. Entrepreneurship fuels economic innovation and prosperity and serves as a key means for families to move out of low-wage jobs and into the middle class.

In a bid to further invest in local job creation, some communities have gone so far as to create a small business development centre that teaches entrepreneurial skills to the local populace. The goal with all of these initiatives is to inspire entrepreneurship and encourage continued small business development in the local community.

 

Innovation and Competition

 

Small businesses, like any business, need to stand out from the crowd in order to survive. They must serve a legitimate need in the community and do it better than their competitors. Having multiple small businesses all striving to be unique, innovative, and better can result in a healthier marketplace and better served consumers.

#ourplacemelbourne #ourplaceisyourplace #melbournemeetingrooms #meetingrooms #eventorganisers #boutiqueeventspace #melbournevenue #morethanjustavenue #melbourneevents #businessbuildingevents

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
At Our Place Melbourne we are passionate about doing everything we can to make your event outrageously successful. Despite only launching in March 2017 we have made a big impact with our high value offering, our dedication to community, and our commitment to offering a uniquely personalised event hosting service for all of our clients and their guests. Stay tuned for our next big announcement. It’s always just around the corner. And please, don’t hesitate to contact us here, or in Facebook. Or email us on info@ourplacemelbourne.com We are only a message away.

Importance of Setting Goals for your Small Business

Successful business owners set goals. Without them, they have no defined purpose and nothing clear to strive for. Consequently, they get trapped and struggle for meaningful accomplishments. Goals are stepping stones to an end result. They must be present in every business plan and working strategically towards them must become a regular part of ongoing business operations.

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Setting Goals for your Small Business

Increases Motivation

Business goals give your team something to strive for in their daily tasks. Most people strive to be successful, but having a specific standard that makes up success will really motivate them to strive for excellence. If goals are tied to other external awards, such as team recognition or perks, it can further improve the motivation level.

 

Improves Employee Worth

Including employees in the goal-setting process will increase their support for the project at hand and the business as a whole. It tells them their contribution is valued and important, thus giving them a sense of ownership. As a result, the goals are no longer only the business owner’s; they are the goals of everyone in the team.

 

Strengthens Group Cohesion

Many business goals cannot be accomplished unless all the members of the team work together as a whole to reach their goals. This can improve group cohesion and collaboration when employees realise the goals will only be reached when teamwork is present. Business owners can further impose this through team recognition or rewards given when the business meets its goals.

 

Limiting Stress

Without goals to guide you, you may develop a tendency to leap from one task to another instead of focusing on the most important needs of your business. Consequently, you may come to realise that your team productivity is suffering and you will be wondering what your team is actually accomplishing, creating a sense of worry.

 

Provides Focus

When businesses set goals for employees, it shows the team the organisation’s priorities. Employees then know what to focus on in the coming month or year, thus concentrating on projects and other tasks as they consider how their work will affect those goals. It also provides focus for business owners when deciding on major projects and how to best divide tasks among the team.

#ourplacemelbourne #ourplaceisyourplace #melbournemeetingrooms #meetingrooms #eventorganisers #boutiqueeventspace #melbournevenue #morethanjustavenue #melbourneevents #businessbuildingevents

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
At Our Place Melbourne we are passionate about doing everything we can to make your event outrageously successful. Despite only launching in March 2017 we have made a big impact with our high value offering, our dedication to community, and our commitment to offering a uniquely personalised event hosting service for all of our clients and their guests. Stay tuned for our next big announcement. It’s always just around the corner. And please, don’t hesitate to contact us here, or in Facebook. Or email us on info@ourplacemelbourne.com We are only a message away.

6 Powerful Steps to Achieve Your Small Business Goals for 2018

​Setting goals is an important part of any business as they set the stage for growth and profit. For a small business owner or an entrepreneur, being clear on what it is we want to achieve is crucial to ensuring our success. Without any goals to guide our actions, business people run the risk of aimlessly wandering until they fail.

Powerful Steps to Achieve Your Small Business Goals

Powerful Steps to Achieve Your Small Business Goals

Business goals help us to identify where we want to be and how we will get there. With our main goals in place, we can outline the steps we need to take.

1. SET GOALS THAT MOTIVATE YOU

The best way of getting something done is by making it something you want to do.

If something is not a priority to you, then it will lurk on your to-do list for eons without any plans to do something about it. Ask yourself whether this job is critical for the business or not: If the answer is no then you can remove it. If the answer is yes, break it down into smaller manageable processes to make it easier to accomplish.

It’s also good to know your strengths and weaknesses. If something is on your to-do list that you know does not fall within your ability or skills, seek to delegate as much as you can. Your time is the most vital part of your business and if you take hours struggling to do something, it’s probably not a good use of your time.

2. BREAK IT DOWN

The second step is to break down your goals. Business goals are often long-term and require a lot of time and effort. By breaking down your goals into manageable action steps, it is easier to focus on what you need to do right now and not get overwhelmed by the process.

A good way to break down your business goals is by creating an action plan made up of individual tasks that each includes one clearly defined action. By thinking in terms of baby steps, it’s easy to make progress and have small accomplishments every day.

3. COMMIT TO THE PROCESS

Effective goal setting requires clarity about what the goal involves, knowledge on what kind of effort will be required, and specific reasons why the goal is important to your business. It also includes a plan for how you will accomplish each step, and perhaps most importantly, a commitment to seeing the goal through to completion.

If you are unable to commit to the goal by taking the time to develop a plan and scheduling the time to focus on the action steps that will bring you closer to your goal, you will face an unnecessarily difficult challenge.

4. STAY FLEXIBLE

Very few things happen exactly as we anticipate, both in business and in life. It’s important to be able to adjust to changes and modify your plan as necessary, without losing momentum.

While it’s important to have a clearly defined plan for accomplishing your goals, you should avoid rigidity and narrow-minded thinking. The more flexible you are and the quicker you can change directions when you need to, the easier it will be for you to keep progress steady in the face of the unexpected.

5. ACCEPT IMPERFECTIONS AND SETBACKS

Being at the helm of your own business means that you are accountable to your own high standards. However, there are times we need to accept that not everything we do will be perfect. The fear of failure often stops us from moving forward because we fail to see the learning opportunity or new ways of thinking that may come from taking the first step.

When you find that your progress is being hindered by your own inner critic, know that there is often never a perfect time or situation to do anything. Yes, you may make some mistakes, but you will learn from them and adapt what you do for next time.

6. DON’T FORGET TO CELEBRATE

It’s incredibly important to celebrate your wins! Often it can be too easy to pick out where you feel something could have been done better, or it didn’t succeed at all. By celebrating your success you are taking the time to acknowledge the effort that has gone into your achievement. Take some time to review each stage of the process and you’ll find it’s a powerful way to close each chapter and keep you and your team renewed and revitalised for the next stage ahead.

Successful goal setting is all about making a commitment to doing whatever it takes, a little every day, to get from point A to point B and successfully accomplish your goal. Are you going to commit to making 2018 the year you finally tackle that big goal in your small business?

 

#ourplacemelbourne #ourplaceisyourplace #melbournemeetingrooms #meetingrooms #eventorganisers #boutiqueeventspace #melbournevenue #morethanjustavenue #melbourneevents #businessbuildingevents

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
At Our Place Melbourne we are passionate about doing everything we can to make your event outrageously successful. Despite only launching in March 2017 we have made a big impact with our high value offering, our dedication to community, and our commitment to offering a uniquely personalised event hosting service for all of our clients and their guests. Stay tuned for our next big announcement. It’s always just around the corner. And please, don’t hesitate to contact us here, or in Facebook. Or email us on info@ourplacemelbourne.com We are only a message away.

5 Must-Have Goals Small Business Owners Should Set in 2018

Whether it’s eating healthy, saving money or spending time with family, now is time for making changes to improve happiness. This applies to business too.

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5 Must-Have Goals Small Business Owners Should Set in 2018

As we settle into 2018, it’s the perfect time for small business owners to re-evaluate old processes and implement new ideas for a happier and more productive year ahead. Here are 5 goals that every small business owner should set this year:

1. Plan ahead financially

It is important to develop a financial plan for your business for the year ahead. Without a solid plan that includes a budget, forecast and objective, it’s hard to increase sales and income.

Once you’ve got a plan set up, make sure to keep tabs your progress. Checking key performance indicators daily will enable you understand if your financials are on track. If you’re consistently hitting your targets, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that everything is working well. If you’re not meeting your goals, constant tracking will help you make changes before your business heads too far off course.

2. Focus on your employees

Concentrate on taking better care of your employees for the year ahead. Keeping employees happy at your company is not only important financially, but it impacts everything in your business. If your employees enjoy coming to work, they’ll be more productive, and that attitude is contagious.

Ask your employees where they see themselves several years down the road and do what you can to accommodate their wants and goals. Perhaps you have to rearrange job titles or task assignments. Furthermore, re-evaluate your office culture. Look into offering occasional happy hours or team-building activities so your team can get to know each other better on a personal level.

 

3. Re-evaluate your business strategy

This is the best time to step back and take a look at what could make your company better. It’s easy to forget that there’s always room for improvement when you’ve been running your business the same way for a long time. But, now is the time for change. It’s a good idea to rethink your business strategies every so often, so your business stays relevant and your consumers don’t forget about it.

Every decision, whether large or small, plays a role in determining the future of your business and its level of success. To help ensure you’re making the right decisions for your business, it’s important to not only set initial goals in your business plan, but to take the time to periodically reevaluate them.

 

4. Talk to your customers more

Customer needs and wants change continuously. Your company’s product or service might be on target right now in terms of customer demand, but don’t get too comfortable. This year, make it a goal to talk to more customers. Whether it’s one-on-one conversations, focus groups or surveys, try to get a better understanding of where the customer mindset will be in the next year.

Once you’ve taken the time to understand your customers better, re-evaluate your product or service. Maybe it’s time to make a few small changes to stay ahead of your customer demand. Consider testing new products or services in addition to those that are already working. Maybe offer discounts to get customers to try something new.
Don’t make extreme pivots that will take your business off track. Make sure you’re still able to focus on your core offerings that make your business successful.

 

5. Devote More Time to Social Media

Some business owners love social media while others avoid it. Whether you love or hate social media, it’s undeniably an effective way to market your business.

Once you get started with social media — or revamp your existing social media marketing efforts — you could experience a significant return on investment. Just remember that you might have to spend several months building your presence and acquiring followers before you see results.

 

#ourplacemelbourne #ourplaceisyourplace #melbournemeetingrooms #meetingrooms #eventorganisers #boutiqueeventspace #melbournevenue #morethanjustavenue #melbourneevents #businessbuildingevents

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
At Our Place Melbourne we are passionate about doing everything we can to make your event outrageously successful. Despite only launching in March 2017 we have made a big impact with our high value offering, our dedication to community, and our commitment to offering a uniquely personalised event hosting service for all of our clients and their guests. Stay tuned for our next big announcement. It’s always just around the corner. And please, don’t hesitate to contact us here, or in Facebook. Or email us on info@ourplacemelbourne.com We are only a message away.

Ideas On How To Throw A Memorable Celebration In Your Small Business

While fun and office parties might not always go together, there are ways to make your work celebration creative and enjoyable for everyone. Whether you’re celebrating a birthday, a small win or a huge milestone, creativity is all you need to get started and throw a memorable celebration.

Here are some ideas on how to throw a memorable celebration in your small business:

 

  1. Throw a surprise breakfast for the team – Call an unplanned office meeting first thing in the morning, and watch your team beam their happy smiles when they find a surprise breakfast waiting for them. Provide toast, hash browns, pastries, fresh fruit and a time to relax and socialize for a bit. Don’t forget thecoffee!
  2. Bake-offs are not only for schools and competitive soccer mums – Ask your team bring their most delectable sweet treat, but keep their submissions a secret. Let your team sample all of the goodies and cast a vote for the most delicious confection. Winner is crowned the Fairest Baker in the Team! Genius tip: Make this a pre-holiday event!
  3. Hire a masseuse or two for a Relaxation Day theme party – For a unique celebration, you can hold a Relaxation Day theme party for your staff. Designate a space that can offer a little privacy, and create a serene vibe with bottled water and scented candles. Let your team take turns to have a 15-30 minute massage. Set up a smoothies or a yoghurt station for a healthy post-treatment snack.
  4. Awards!!! Forget about Best Dressed and Most Likely toSucceed and get a bit funky with your awards – Jazz up an office party is to hand out funny awards to your deserving team member. Make them specific — from Best Client Schmoozer to Most Likely to Moonlight as a Printer Repairman. Create paper plate awards for each winner to display.
  5. Make it a Musical – Another way to jazz up a party is to ask volunteers from your team who can sing or play instruments to each have their time to shine and demonstrate their musical skills. No one willing to volunteer? Rent a karaoke machine and ask everyone to take turns.
  6. Hire a photographer – This is hitting two birds with one stone. Make your office party memorable and at the same time, make it a marketing strategy. Update your social media and website with office party atmosphere. Clients like to see real people and employees like to see themselves as the integral part of the company.  A small photo album can make a great gift.
  7. Celebrate a milestone by reliving the glory days –  Invite employees and their dates to dress in their oldest, tackiest ‘fancy’ clothes. Remember the 80’s? How easy is it to dress badly and have fun at the same time? Decorate your venue with streamers and balloons, the cheesier the better. Don’t forget a cheesy backdrop for selfies and group photos and prizes for the “Best” dressed.

The most important thing to remember when throwing an office party is that employees want to feel appreciated. Acknowledge all the work they do and how it contributes to the company’s mission. Happy workers are productive workers!

#ourplacemelbourne #ourplaceisyourplace #melbournemeetingrooms #meetingrooms #eventorganisers #boutiqueeventspace #melbournevenue #morethanjustavenue #melbourneevents #businessbuildingevents

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
At Our Place Melbourne we are passionate about doing everything we can to make your event outrageously successful. Despite only launching in March 2017 we have made a big impact with our high value offering, our dedication to community, and our commitment to offering a uniquely personalised event hosting service for all of our clients and their guests. Stay tuned for our next big announcement. It’s always just around the corner. And please, don’t hesitate to contact us here, or in Facebook. Or email us on info@ourplacemelbourne.com We are only a message away.

Common Mistakes When Planning A Party In Your Business

A celebration of any type, may it be a holiday party or a celebration of a team victory, builds positive morale which results in increased employee motivation. But with the planning of the corporate parties comes a lot of stress and responsibility. There is a lot that needs to be considered  when planning it: selecting the venue, determining how food and drink will served, selecting the right decor and music, and more. With so many items to check off your party planning to-do list, there are a lot of things that can get missed.

Common Mistakes When Planning A Party In Your Business

Common Mistakes When Planning A Party In Your Business

To help you plan the perfect celebration, avoid these common mistakes when planning a party:

 

  1. Not having one – This is the worst thing you can possibly do. When you fail to recognize the need to celebrate, employees are left feeling like a cog in the machine. They begin to feel that they are not valued in the company and their contributions to your success are not appreciated. And that can send morale and commitment plummeting.
  2. Not requesting an RSVP – You can assume that everyone in the office is coming, but that may not be accurate. Ask your employees to provide RSVP’s for themselves and any plus ones, or, if its a family friendly event, their head count.
  3. Not knowing the exact number of guests – This will probably happen if you fall into the trap of number 2. It’s important to have an idea of the number of people who will be attending the party to ensure everyone has a quality experience.
  4. Planning without a budget – Decide on your budget before you make the call. Your employees are probably wanting end of year bonuses, so don’t blow those bonuses on single party. Take the time out to sit and decide how much you can afford to spend on your event. And remember that if you involve employees you can request that everyone sign up to bring something, whether it be food or decorations. This can significantly reduce your costs.
  5. Not having a “Plan B” – While it’s great to have confidence in your party’s success, it’s also smart to be prepared in case things don’t quite work out. Always have a contingency plan. Keep in mind that you’ll rarely (most of the time never) have to resort to your backup options. But having a “Plan B” is the difference between going into panic mode and knowing exactly what to do if things start to go downhill. Don’t ever leave yourself without options.
  6. Not Planning Activities – So you’ve booked the event place, you got your music and you have arranged the catering. What else do you need? You need to plan on something for people to do. Sometimes socializing will be plenty of fun, but it can get awkward under certain circumstances. It’s always best to have a few fun activities or networking games that will give everyone something to talk about during those awkward moments.
  7. Over-scheduling – It’s important to make sure that your event attendees have enough time to network and mingle with people, enjoy themselves, and, if you have activities going on in different locations, enough time to get from place to place. No one likes being over scheduled, and it’s important to make sure your guests don’t feel rushed.

#ourplacemelbourne #ourplaceisyourplace #melbournemeetingrooms #meetingrooms #eventorganisers #boutiqueeventspace #melbournevenue #morethanjustavenue #melbourneevents #businessbuildingevents

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
At Our Place Melbourne we are passionate about doing everything we can to make your event outrageously successful. Despite only launching in March 2017 we have made a big impact with our high value offering, our dedication to community, and our commitment to offering a uniquely personalised event hosting service for all of our clients and their guests. Stay tuned for our next big announcement. It’s always just around the corner. And please, don’t hesitate to contact us here, or in Facebook. Or email us on info@ourplacemelbourne.com We are only a message away.

Top Tips On How To Throw Celebratory Parties In Your Business

Celebrations in your small business can range from monthly birthday parties to rewards for company accomplishments. The benefits of these celebrations go beyond the enjoyment of the party itself. Your team will gain intangible rewards from the group events, whether they take place during work or after hours.

How To Throw Celebratory Parties In Your Business

How To Throw Celebratory Parties In Your Business

Whether it’s a company birthday, celebrating a success, marking a milestone or the annual company awards night, it’s a big deal and people will be talking about it for a long time (at least until the next one).

To pull off a successful celebratory party, there are a few top tips you can follow to make the event great!


1) Determine your budget. The amount of resources you have available will definitely determine the size, theme and venue of the event. Stick to the budget to avoid severe cuts or scrambling for extra funds right before the day of the party. But also remember to be as generous (as your budget allows). Your team have worked hard for you all year and they are looking for a show of appreciation. If you want a champagne event on a beer budget, consider getting sponsors for catering food and drinks.

2) Involve your team. Ask them about the best office parties they’ve ever been to and what they enjoyed the most. They will enjoy and appreciate the fact that their input is important, which will boost attendance numbers as they feel involved.

3) Make your event memorable by choosing the right location. A big part of ensuring a successful gathering is choosing the perfect place from a variety of party venues. Picking a place with the right vibe, a big enough space, and great amenities can make or break the party you’re planning.

4) Think about hiring entertainers to help break the ice. It can be a band, a DJ a magician, a local choral group or anything else which can cover for those awkward silences which are bound to occur.

5) Include games to encourage mingling among your team. All of that positive public exposure is the added benefit of throwing a celebratory party. Your party can build camaraderie between everyone whether they’re from different locations, departments, or generations.

 

Celebratory parties in your small business have the potential to have the greatest effect on company culture and team morale. Follow these tips and your parties will surely be remembered and talked about by everybody.

#ourplacemelbourne #ourplaceisyourplace #melbournemeetingrooms #meetingrooms #eventorganisers #boutiqueeventspace #melbournevenue #morethanjustavenue #melbourneevents #businessbuildingevents

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
At Our Place Melbourne we are passionate about doing everything we can to make your event outrageously successful. Despite only launching in March 2017 we have made a big impact with our high value offering, our dedication to community, and our commitment to offering a uniquely personalised event hosting service for all of our clients and their guests. Stay tuned for our next big announcement. It’s always just around the corner. And please, don’t hesitate to contact us here, or in Facebook. Or email us on info@ourplacemelbourne.com We are only a message away.