My Promise for 2013:  Support Local BusinessesSmall business drives the heart of our economy. It fuels our local cities and communities. Let’s promise to make 2013 a better year – and then each do our part to making that happen.

Make sure you are starting the year out right. Here’s my tips to grow your business in 2013:

Support Local Small Businesses

If we each made it a point to patronage the small businesses in our community, imagine what that would end up doing to our local economy. Seek out local businesses that provide services to keep your own business on track for growth. Employ local vendors.

One thing that social media has taught us, is the power of relationships. Just as we search outside our circle of friends to stay connected in our industry, also seek to foster those relationships within your community to make sure you stay grounded by those that know you.

Join Your Local Chamber of Commerce

Join your local chamber of commerce to meet other like-minded business people. And get involved. Get to know the local businesses in your community. Attend ribbon cuttings to get to know the local business owners. This is such a special day for them, they’ll remember those that attended and be appreciative of your efforts in joining them. If you can’t make the event, send an email congratulating them on their success.

Find Your Local Small Business Development Center

Small Business Development Centers – or the SBA – are designed to provide assistance to small businesses. These centers are filled with a wealth of information intended to help small businesses grow. Regardless of where your business stands, these centers provide the guidance to get you in the right direction. Get to know the services and classes they provide and map out a way to take advantage of these resources.

Make sure you keep on top of the upcoming tax and health care laws. Seek out information from reliable sources through your local small business development center.

Kick Up Your Networking

Get involved with Meetup! Meetup is a great social networking tool that can help you find local networking events and groups. Sign up and then search for events in your area. Setup your profile and make sure you present your business well with a worthy profile and image. Setup your interests so you can find those local events that match.

My Promise for 2013

I promise to use local vendors more in my services to my customers. I promise to buy local when I can given a competitive choice. I promise to patronage local businesses when I can. At the same time that I am reaching out to build my online community, I am searching for those local businesses that will help strengthen and enhance the services provided by my own business. This is what I can do to make my own community stronger and to make my 2013 a better year. What are your plans?