Having a brick and mortar business and competing with national brands can be a real challenge. Fortunately, there is a lot of support for local businesses on a grassroots level in many communities. As a business owner, it’s up to you to get involved and take advantage of this support to grow your business. Your SilverEdge team has put together a few ideas to get you started.
Join Local Member Associations
Becoming active in your local Chamber of Commerce, small business association or even the Better Business Bureau is a great way to build your business. There are a few reasons for this. One, people buy from people they know and like, so putting a face to your business by attending events will help people relate to you and remember your business. Second, there’s power in numbers. Being part of an organization gives your business credibility in the community. Finally, it’s great for SEO. Did you know that the Better Business Bureau recently implemented more sophisticated location marketing tools on their massive business search engine? That means that as an accredited business, you can add service areas to your profile and anytime anyone is searching for your type of business, it will automatically bring up those closest to their current location.
Partner with other local businesses for promotions.
Sharing the work of a special promotion and increasing the scale of the reach is a smart marketing move. If more than one business on your block is promoting a special gift or discount at the same time, it gets customers to your neighborhood and allows everyone involved to leverage several networks.
Buy local whenever possible.
It’s not enough to expect residents to shop at your local business if you aren’t returning the favor. Find local suppliers and make an effort to build relationships with them so that you can tell the stories behind their businesses as well. When people ask your suppliers where their wares can be found, chances are you will be mentioned and customers love to see local businesses supporting one another.
Emphasize local in your social media.
How do you shape your messaging on social media to be local? By mentioning events that are happening in the area, touting other local businesses and asking your customers to post pictures of themselves using your product in recognizable places around town. A social account where posts are only about or at your business is boring to followers. Show them that you are part of the larger community.
Be prepared for events like small business Saturday.
Throwing together a marketing campaign at the last minute is never a good idea. It’s stressful for your employees and rarely reaps the return on investment you were hoping for. Devote some time before the beginning of each season to put together a simple marketing calendar that you know you can execute on and then plan ahead. This can be as simple as a one-page calendar with promotions dated and three action items that need to be completed before the promotion starts. Have materials ready, write social media posts and set up advertising buys for the 2 weeks before the event. Any sooner is usually too soon to start promoting a campaign.
Your community is there to help you succeed. And so is the team at SilverEdge. We’ll help you make the right choice in a point of sale system that can automate local marketing campaigns and more. Contact a SilverEdge representative for an appointment. We are ready to help make your business richer!