Most people in the microfinance banking industry know that – unfortunately – you can drive through many low-income neighbourhoods without ever seeing a traditional bank. Yet, payday loan, title loan and cheque cashing businesses litter many of these metropolitan areas.
Financially, these types of businesses often do much more harm than good for low-income families. Interest rates on the loans they offer can reach 400% or more, and a typical family could end up paying thousands every year in cheque cashing fees alone. So, how can your financial institution let people know that what you have to offer is so much better than their current options?
One of the best ways to advertise what you have to offer is to launch community focused marketing campaigns that enrich the neighbourhood your business calls home, and that clearly illustrate how beneficial your business is for the families and businesses you serve.Make it local – clearly tailor your messages to the communities and industries in the area (you may need different messages in different locations), and demonstrate that you understand and empathise with the challenges different market segments face.
Consider Sponsoring a Financial Literacy Program
Many adults will readily admit that they didn’t understand the value of good credit or how to maintain good credit ratings until well after they’ve destroyed theirs. Financial literacy programs help people learn how to manage money before it’s too late. One of the quickest ways to bring attention to your business with a financial literacy program is to sponsor one for the youth and/or students in your community, in the form of a summer camp or an after school program.
Small Business Enrichment Programs
Make an effort to reach out to small businesses – they are the backbone of your community. Small business fairs are excellent ways to establish a strong presence. Many people have ideas for small businesses, but don’t know how to pursue them. In addition, they don’t have time to read 20 books or go to business school and figure out what they need to do to make a business successful. However, many people can dedicate a Saturday or a weekend to learning how to run a business if you offered a series of classes teaching:
How to qualify for lending,
Affordable marketing tactics,
The ins and outs of incorporation, and
- Small business legal considerations.