Six Things You Should Know About Fiberglass Pools

it's a high-profile organization — it will give many potential customers another reason to visit you.

For those who want exposure to the community but don't want to join a local organization, here are some ideas. Hold a parking lot aerobics class (in warm weather) three days a week at no charge; allow anyone to participate. The ones who enjoy the benefits will love you, and who knows how many hundreds of people will take notice as they drive by.

Try working with the local government and have a bus stop in front of your store, or better yet, as one ski shop in Camarillo, Calif., did, organize a city-sponsored bus service to the beach in the summer (the pick-up was at the shop).

Work with your school district; offer incentives to parents of students who achieve high grades, as does a surf shop in San Diego, Calif. Many schools and cities have work programs for youth; get signed up with these kinds of programs. Go to the source, ask local school principals how you could assist, and let them know that you want some exposure in trade.

Many franchise chains have jumped all over that idea. Also, don't forget about sponsoring youth sport teams.

Take notice as to what your community does already. Ask yourself, "How can I add to the activities currently in place." Take time every morning to view and list your options in solving your challenges and things will appear simpler and solutions will become known. Be sure to understand the value your customers are looking for and find your unique niche. Achieve these things and you will get a greater piece of your area's retail pie. ¦ Ed Rigsbee, CSP, author of PartnerShift — How to Profit from the Partnering Trend, is a freelance columnist. His Partnering University Web site is located at

Six Additional Ideas To Partnering With Your Community

  1. Show the community that you care by words as well as deeds.
  2. Write articles that will be of interest and assistance to your community in your business area of expertise. Then offer the articles to the print media.
  3. Get on a local radio or TV show and talk about the therapeutic value of spas, which help those suffering from a variety of ailments including arthristis and diabetes.
  4. Use the public access equipment that the federal government requires cable TV businesses to provide and produce a video for broadcast. The cable companies will teach you how to use their equipment. Remember the production needs to be "informational."
  5. Contact your state highway department and join its Adopt a Highway program. Your store cleans a mile-long section quarterly and you get your name on a sign on the highway for all who drive by to see.
  6. Hold pasta feeds for sports teams. Consider local high school or college teams, and remember to tell the media.
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