One of the biggest challenges in owning a small business is marketing your brand locally. Often sources for local advertising are limited and can be expensive for a small business budget. However, there are good solid business practices that can go a long way to boost your brand’s local reputation.
Focus on the Customer
Word of mouth by satisfied customers is the cheapest as well as the most effective form of advertising available. As Podium explains, customers who recommend your business to people they know are some of the most important lead generators you have. Learn about their individual needs to personalize the service. Being able to address a customer by name, lets them know you are paying attention. Take pride in the form of customer service your business provides, and your buyer base will grow at a steady pace. Knowing your environment can help determine what you stock or service to provide to a big city, small town, farming community, or even just a fork in the road.
Learn From Your Mistakes
When starting a new business, there is a learning curve that will include making mistakes or using poor judgment. Each community has its personality that includes buying habits, traditions, and loyalties. By doing proper research, some common mistakes can be avoided, but if a mistake is made, take note, and correct it. Failing to correct these mistakes is why so many businesses fail. In fact, according to Perini & Associates 80% of small businesses fail in one year, 95% in five years, and only about one in three small businesses get to the 10-year mark. Using this strategy will let the community know that you are flexible and eager to serve them.
Your business is an extension of you. Another strong business tactic is to get involved in the community. Join service organizations such as the Rotary Club, the Better Business Bureau, and the Chamber Of Commerce. Offer support to the local schools, church programs, and their events. Donate gifts and services to charitable fundraisers. By getting involved in your community, the local population will become familiar with you and show more interest in your business. Building trust in a local community is a vital part of building your business.
Consider your business a member of the community family. Without their support, your brand may not thrive. Excellent customer service, being flexible to correct mistakes, and getting involved are all solid business practices that require little out of pocket expenses for a large return. Encourage your employees to get involved. Create a team for the local chili cook-off contest, bowling league, or softball team. Show the pride you have in your business and your local community.
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