Local businesses may be entirely focused on the immediate population, or combine a local offering with regional, national, or global markets. Services like building trades or gardening assistance will generally be confined to the distance you could reasonably drive within the working day, whereas retail stores or services like beauty salons could add an element of commerce to their business. Whichever model you are following for your own start-up, you need to have a strategy that encompasses a set of marketing activities that focus on building up your reputation in the local community, so that you are the name that comes to mind whenever anyone is in need of your service or products.
Taking a pragmatic approach
Marketing is not an exact science, and even the most carefully constructed strategies can misfire sometimes. It’s very rare for a business to start making a lot of money within the first few months of operation, so you need to be patient and keep up your efforts on a long-term basis. You can’t let your profile slip by failing to keep up the momentum in your campaign, but equally, you need to understand when a particular strategy isn’t delivering and adjust it for better results. If you aren’t making progress, it can start to have a negative effect on both your motivation and your finances. Should your personal finances begin to suffer from a prolonged period of underperformance, don’t lose heart. Marketing success doesn’t happen overnight, but if you have the right offer and you remain committed to your strategy, it should start producing results in the end. You might need to consider alternative funding options if it’s taking longer than you envisaged, in which case you should get some impartial advice about credit products such as Emprestimo negativado confiavel, or loans at the best rates.
Websites for local businesses
Having your own website will be fundamental to raising your profile and thus boosting sales, even if you have no market beyond your immediate geographical location. For one thing, it will act as a shop window, advertising all the products and services you provide and giving potential customers valuable information about the type of business you operate. It also acts as a contact point where people can find out how to get to you, when you’re open, and make contact by phone or email. Another key function of your site will be to raise your profile so that when people search online for the products or service you provide, they will see your business at the top of the results page. Make sure your site is optimized for search engine queries that include a specific location as well as the service or products you are promoting so that your pages have the best chance of a prominent position in the rankings.
Social media for local businesses
As well as your own social media accounts, it’s a good idea to become involved in community pages that feature local news, events, and topics of interest. The most effective way is to make contributions to conversations without constantly plugging your business so that people will read what you’ve written and add to their store of knowledge about you without feeling that you are just there to try and sell them something. Twitter conversations can be some of the most influential to get involved with, so set up alerts for hashtags that are relevant to you and your business and join the conversation when suitable topics are under discussion.
One of your best strategies for marketing a local business is to become involved with the community. There are several ways of achieving this:
- Contributing to good causes and fundraising events: assisting with the organization and staging of events, donating raffle prizes, providing services that help with the event, for example if you run a coffee shop you could deliver refreshments for a charity sports day; or taking up a place on an organizing committee are all examples of how to become involved in these kinds of events.
- Sponsorship: for instance, providing prizes for local shows and competitions and supporting these events by paying for advertising space.
- Sharing your time and space: Offering your facilities for use by local groups or inviting schools and organizations to visit your premises, and volunteering your time to speak to these groups about an area of expertise you possess.
- Building up a relationship with a relevant local organization or charity: Associating yourself closely with a selected cause such as the local children’s home or pet rescue center not only raises the regard in which you are held, but you’ll benefit from being featured in all the publicity the organization is involved with too.
- Serving on local committees and getting involved in community improvement projects: Lending a hand with local committees and projects will impress residents and make them more inclined to favor your business over any others that offer a similar product or service but that doesn’t concern itself with making efforts to contribute towards making the area a better place to live in.
Use local media for more than placing ads
If you run a business, you presumably have specialist knowledge that could form the basis for informative articles in local publications and on websites. You could offer your services as a writer for a regular column or blog or contribute to a readers’ Q&A feature, for example writing a plant care advice column if you run a gardening related business. You should check correspondence pages for any letters, to which you could reply or topic queries for which you could offer some insight. This is basically much the same as following community social media pages, and you may also find that there is additional content on a website for a local magazine, giving you an extra outlet for your contributions.
Marketing your small local business is most likely to succeed if you employ a combination of online and offline resources. This will maximize your potential exposure and bring you closer to achieving financial success.