Working with local businesses
Strong links with local businesses can be incredibly beneficial for Scout groups
Having contacts in local business opens your doors to many different opportunities. These can vary from town to city and villages. The key is knowing your community and how and what you can do. It’s not just about asking for money. We have created a guide to help you on your way; whether that’s to gain new volunteers or help support a session, to sponsorship and fundraising.
If we get this right, businesses will come to us to ask where they can help before we ask them!
Key things ways you can work with businesses
How to find businesses
These are just a few ways in which you can find businesses in your area, the list is not exhaustive however these are the key one's for you to start:
- Something as simple as a Google maps search can show you a good overview of your local area
- Ask anyone local to the area - local knowledge goes a long way!
- Why not hold a meeting with the adults in your group to see if they can name a local business or two, or suggest any of their friends who work in local business who could help - you never know who might work where! Or if you can't do a meeting, why not send out a quick survey instead? Or if you can't do a meeting, why not send out a quick survey instead?
Things to consider
During this exercise it's vital you think about certain things you need to have in place before making contact.
- Have a goal in mind before you start approaching local businesses - what is the reason for approaching and what is your desired outcome?
- Remember that it is a two-way street; businesses are more likely to help you if they know you are there and what you do - be visible in the community and be seen to be making a difference. If no one sees your impact, the less likely they are going to be to put their name towards supporting you.
- Remember; keep your messages on brand, and think about how we talk to others.
Have you thought about empty shop windows?
There are often several shops lying empty on the high street. Have you thought about asking whether you can turn these shop windows into a great advert for Scouts? It’s probably easier than you think. Download our guide for some ideas and inspiration.
Don’t forget to measure your success, recording how many enquiries you receive before, during and after you put on your display.