By Lisa Schardt, Nexstar® Network Business Enhancement Coach

Getting involved in your community is admirable. Whenever you donate your time, talent and financial resources, it tends to come back to you. Sometimes it’s in the form of new friends, customers and new business and sometimes it’s just that warm, wonderful feeling inside your heart that comes with giving.

Whatever step you take, community relations moves your marketing forward. Whether you’re sponsoring events, supporting your schools or raising money for a non-profit organization, you’re enhancing your presence in the marketplace and setting yourself apart from your competition. You’re also exposing your business character and personality and that’s a good thing!

Our Nexstar® members are some of the most generous people I know. Take Applewood Plumbing, Heating & Electric in Denver, Colorado. They donate $1,000 to a local charity every month and by doing so, they’ve also inspired countess other peer contractors to do the same. Wouldn’t you like to do business with this generous, giving company? I would!

MacGregor Plumbing & Heating of Harbor Springs, Michigan supports their local Kiwanis, Veterans organizations and baseball teams They top it all off in true MacGregor Highland fashion by sponsoring the appearance of the Sault Ste. Marie Pipe and Drum Band in the annual 4th of July Parade. As owner Julie Wieman says, “It’s our gift to the community.” And what a gift it is. Residents have noted that when the pipes come down the street, it’s like a roll of thunder! Can I
add that it also puts a little boom in business?!!
In addition to being good in their communities, these stellar contractors are good to the industry. In 2012, Applewood gave $12,000 and MacGregor gave &10,000 to the Nexstar Legacy Foundation to provide scholarships to students pursuing careers in plumbing, heating, cooling and electrical trades.

Here at Nexstar headquarters, we’re all given a paid day off every year to volunteer at a local charity. Habitat for Humanity, food shelves and other charities benefit from our help and I love working at a place that cares more for ME and the
community more than the bottom line.

While giving back builds your external marketing, it can also strengthen your internal public relations. Employees like following a leader with a big heart and if you stop, look and listen, you will hear about things that fill their hearts with passion and they’ll be things that you could support in your community. As a result, you feel good, your staff feels good and the community feels good. Win-win-win!

Take These 3 Easy Steps to Moving Forward by Giving Back

1. Select a non-profit organization or community event that your company can wrap their arms around with passion and commitment.
2. Seek out opportunities for a sponsorship, fundraising and giving and make a commitment to provide support as a company and get your staff and your customers involved. For example, customers feel good knowing a portion of their payment goes to charity and it helps build their loyalty to your company.
3. Sit back, feel good and see the good that comes from your giving.

Oh, one last thing – remember that giving requires that you run a profitable business because without profit, you can’t give back. I can help you get started with that. Call me. 888.240.STAR.

Nexstar Network is a business-development and best-practice organization for residential PHCE contractors.