Timing it right

As you’re adding value to the neighbourhood, local businesses will be keen to put their name to the cause. However, approaching them at the right time is essential to making sure that your efforts aren’t in vain! Businesses will only wish to back projects that already have a significant amount of backers, so make sure not to approach them prematurely. When the time is right, pop in and ask for a chat with the store manager ‘to hear their thoughts on a local community project you’re running’. Try and genuinely get their views on the area, and see what they think about your project – they may have good advice for you!

If they’re not in, arrange a time to come back, or if that’s not possible ask for an email address/phone number.

Being prepared

When you meet them for the first time, make sure to take a carefully put together info pack that includes basic information about the project, along with a clear ask.

Another good tip is to bring in a laptop or tablet and show them your Spacehive page, and the backers tab where they will hopefully appear if they pledge to you. It’s an effective way to show them that you mean business and that your campaign is getting local support.

info pack

Don’t just do a blanket sweep of the area where you spend all day visiting every business on the high street. You are far better off identifying a smaller number based on them having a potential fit with your project.

Check out what these businesses said to get a better idea:

  1. Local estate agents, Keatons, who backed the Wanstead Playground project, said “there were many reasons we chose to back their project, to mention a few we were helping provide a fun play area for local children whilst also increasing the value of the neighbourhood where we sell and let property. We pledged some funds but we also provided some signs to help spread the word of their campaign.”
  2. Little Bird Gin backed the Peckham Coal Line project because they’ve “lived in and worked in Peckham for over a decade and are always delighted to do [their] bit to help the neighbourhood and build the community.”