The world around us is changing at breakneck speed. The way we communicate, travel, do business, shares our happiness and our sorrows are also changing. At this very moment, most of us are either checking in on our social media profiles or searching for a great restaurant for the perfect dining experience or buying that great hand-made bag. Small businesses are cropping up and the way people are interacting with them is all but digital to say the least.
The biggest surge in latest times is in the small local business sector.
So if you are a business just starting out or already on your way and looking to grab a good chunk of your local market and wondering as to how you should go about it, you are at just the right place. We will take you through the very basics of how you can make some noise in your local market and see your business make profits. And worry not, for we are going to do that in the simplest way possible; just the fundamentals of how you can dominate the local market.
- Get Online
If you are a small business and are trying to get noticed, there is no better place than to do it but the membership of all business activity, the World Wide Web. We know, as a small business, one often tends to restrict to local media and flyers for announcing the business, but in an increasingly digital world, where even groceries are bought online, it is safe to say that you have got to make your presence felt on the digital domain.
- Get Wide
Before the explosion of the web, businesses were listed and found traditionally like in the yellow pages and directories. The platform has changed, but the method is tried and tested. Generate profiles for your business on such sites that host business listings. Make profiles on maximum sites to have a wider reach and be easily found.
- Reduce, Refurbish, Reinvent
Sounds much like a motto, well make it a point to make it yours. People have less time and more options. In all that, you want to give them what they want, the way they want. Keep your websites clean, clutter free, keep refurbishing old data, and reinvent. Just having an online presence will not be enough. You need to look after your websites and keep the content fresh and free flowing.
- People First
Your modes of interaction with your clients will help you start apart from the others in the same field. You should not only have great technology but an even greater user experience. The key is simplicity. Make it a pleasant experience for your customers to visit your business online. Dedicate time and space for making your customer feel like they matter the most. And that is the fact of the matter after all.
- Create a Buzz
You need to act constantly and consistently to stay ahead of the game. Make you presence felt on social media. Having a Facebook page is not enough; you need to ensure there is activity there, that you are visible to your intended customer, that the page is generating enough buzz to pull customers. And social media does not begin and end with Facebook. Explore other options like video marketing. They are less expensive options as compared to official ads; you can create your own videos, video snippets, clips and post on social media sites.
- Keep the Buzz Going
Merely creating a buzz will not help. You have got to keep the energy going. You can run contests like giveaways which is a great way to get people talking about you and reaching out to more people. You could host events, connect with other local linked business and network with bloggers who blog about things related to your business.
- Respond, Resonate, Communicate
A lot of customers these days make their choices based on reviews and general reputation of the business. And just as the internet has made it easy for us to get online, it has also made it easy for unsatisfied customers to vent out their frustration. Take all these comments very seriously and respond to comments. It shows your commitment towards customer satisfaction, the number one thing to retain your customer base and add more.
Recent trends have shown that most people search on their mobile and handheld devices. Make your websites mobile friendly so that you can tap into the huge chunk of people who are looking for their needs on smart phones and other handheld devices.
Most small businesses like your own are always linked to other small businesses. For instance you are a handmade clothing store which caters to luxurious hand-crafted pieces; your intended customers are people who have the likings for all things fine and hand-made. So your customer is definitely already looking into similar businesses like hand-made bags or hand-crafted shoes etc. You can have back links from such businesses to your sites.
- Seek Help
Staying afloat is the easy part, staying ahead at all times takes work. If you want your business to be heard and talked about and you products and services used, you need to keep monitoring and tracking people’s behaviour online. A little help from professional online marketing teams will come in handy to analyse what people are typing or searching to get to the products or services that you have to offer and how you can be ranked higher and found easily. It is not a one time job and the local market is a stiff, complex and ever evolving environment with more competition being added every day.
We know how competitive it is out there and it gets scary as you cannot slow down, but you don’t have to sweat over it. You have decided to venture out on your own, have a little piece of you out there serving people in your own way and that is a big step. The best part about local market is that it is local, it is yours and you know it.