When you think back to before the internet was discovered, many businesses relied solely on local customers and word of mouth. All businesses started locally in their hometowns and there would be a small office or shop set up for customers to come in.
But, once the internet was invented, it changed how businesses would reach customers forever. It opened up a whole new world for businesses to market themselves and reach people outside of their local area making it easier to gain more sales and a larger client base. If you lived in New York and that’s where your business was, you could sell to someone who lived in Florida and possibly even reach overseas.
Setting up and establishing your local business is now easier than ever before. However, people seem to take advantage of the internet, and forget that setting it up and establishing it locally is where it begins. While it may be hard to do, getting the locals into your business is where you should focus a lot of time on.
Your local community can actually help build your business in several ways and here are a few of them. Take advantage of what your community can do for your business.
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Try to locate local organizations to partner up with. This can help change the success of your business overall and this can have a lasting impact for you. Make sure you make a great impression on local organizations as people tend to support businesses they can connect with and like.
If you own a restaurant perhaps get in touch with local schools and cater to one of the school events. This gets you exposure and can give parents a reason to support your business. Consider donating back a percentage of sales that are made that night right back to the school and you may just gain more customers that way.
If you have a business that offers a service, such as air conditioning, you can still use schools in the area to gain customers. Offer a percentage back to the school for all school related parents or customers if they use your service.
Offer discounts to schools and other companies for all first timers. This will begin to make a buzz around the community and you’ll find that the more you participate with local businesses and organizations the more support you can get.
Please Local Audience
When you start at the bottom in your local area, work towards gaining acceptance from your neighborhood community. This allows people to get to know you and what you offer. Pleasing the local area first helps you grow more in the future and you’ll grow naturally without having to put in a lot of effort over time.
Some people take risks and don’t market to their local area at all, and in fact this only sets you up for failure. It’s important to get that local customer base and understand what they need.
When you start here, you can get to know who your customers are and get to know them on a more personal level. Customers like to think they are more than just dollar signs to your business so spend some time with them. Talk to them when you see them on the street and make sure you meet their needs when they come to you for your business.
Get Local Businesses Involved
When it comes to the business community, it can be hard to get off the ground especially if you are new. Finding creative ways to get other local businesses involved can be a great asset to you and it does require some effort on your part.
If you’re timid try to overcome that as it can be seen as a missed opportunity to gain exposure to your business.
You need to start by knowing who to contact with other small businesses and explain the partnership opportunity. Once you find the right person, present your idea of partnering with them to help get your business off the ground or to gain more exposure for increased success.
Use materials to present your idea to the other business you are speaking to. Offer both long and short-term opportunities to improve the community. Talk about the benefits both businesses can enjoy by partnering up. Some of these include:
- More local customers and increased sales
- Pleasing neighborhood to attract customers
- Local schools provide training and education for the workforce
- Recognition and publicity from neighborhood residents
- Residents of the area result in repeat business
Local businesses have gained a lot of popularity and are good for the economy as opposed to solely being an online business. As a local business growth and innovation can be brought to the community and can help stimulate economic growth. This also opens up employment opportunities leading to a decreased unemployment number.
Consumers who shop with local businesses are giving money back to their community and a thriving business can generate high revenue and sales meaning higher taxes are paid. This money is then put back into the community to help improve areas such as schools, police departments, fire departments and more.
If you are a small local business keep in mind that you won’t always be small. As locals frequent your business more and spread the word about what you’re offering, this leads to repeat and new business.
This means an increase in revenue allowing you to get a larger building, build a presence online and even open up more branches in the area or allows for expansion. Having a large corporation in a community leads to further success allowing you to be more successful than you ever imagined.
Having a local business is where it all starts, and takes just as much effort as having an online business. While having an online presence is just as important, you want to pay attention to both aspects. Maintain your website while maintaining your ties to the community allowing for success in a number of different areas.
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