Grow Local: The Complete Guide to Growing a Local Business
- Why Growing Locally is Unique
- Marketing Channels Perfect for Local Businesses
- It's All About Who You Know
- Fostering the Right Online Presence
- Local Search Marketing
(Free and Paid)
- Using Social Media Outlets for Exposure and Local Advertising
- Turning One-time Customers into Lifetime Customers
- What the Experts Said
Congratulations! You’ve thrown paint on the walls and opened your doors for business. Now it’s time for a huge line to form around the block.
Well, hopefully. The truth is that getting customers and clients for a local business is way harder than it seems. In order to grow, you’ve got to build relationships, get the word out, and create a referral engine.
After all, there are seven other chic coffee shops and three other puppy trainers in your town. What’s going to make someone choose you?
You not only have to get people in the door, but you have to convince them to visit you again and again. There’s a lot to do!
Fear not. We’ve come to the rescue with this complete guide to growing locally. Get ready to grow, grow, grow.
Very thorough and thoughtful as to the tactics that work most efficiently for local businesses. It even includes cost estimates which is exactly what small businesses need when they're laying out a marketing plan.Hannah Richards Ethos Marketing; Westbrook, ME
A guide that is actually insightful and actionable. A must-read for any local business owner!A.J. Ghergich Ghergich & Co
Welcoming Your Business to the Neighborhood
So you want to take your "hometown" business to the next level. The key to growing locally is building relationships. In order to do this, you need to become the "go-to-person" locals think to call. This guide will help you put your strategy for growth together.
Building relationships is essential to growing your business locally – but it's not the only thing. Marketing plays an important role as well. That doesn’t mean you should create a ton of social accounts and spend thousands of dollars on PPC. First, you need to decide which marketing channels will help your business grow. To do this, you have to consider location, customer market, product, and more.
A few ideas we review in this guide include:
- Attending weekly or monthly events
- Advertising in local print ads
- Advertising on radio
- Creating pop-up shops
Branching Out Online
When you're ready to take your business to the web, you have to think strategy. Creating an online presence isn't as simple as setting up a website and creating social networking profiles. Your online presence needs to:
- Be consistent on all channels
- Communicate important information
- Deliver the feeling of your business
Whether you hire a web designer or create your website yourself, your site must provide basic information about your business, social media links, and testimonials that prove your business works. To ensure that each of the qualities are met – and on a user-friendly platform – we do suggest hiring a web designer to build your website. If a designer doesn't fit into your budget, there are a number of solutions such as Squarespace and WordPress that can get you up and running.
Once your website is up, you need to make it easy for potential customers to find you. That's where PPC, SEO, and social media come in. In this guide, we outline your advertising game plan.
You Have an Online Presence… Now What?
Your website is up, your online presence created, and customers are coming! But no, you’re not done. The key to keeping your online presence successful is by managing it. To do this, you have to go where your customers go: review sites.
Sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, Amazon, and even Foursquare are breeding grounds for reviews – both good and bad. Remember, it's important to acknowledge both positive and negative reviews. Give thanks to customers who recommend your business, and try to interact with customers who’ve had poor experiences. Dealing with both can help you learn more and grow your business in the long run.
Your most loyal customers are essential to supporting your business financially and by word-of-mouth. So when you come across customers who have shown their loyalty, aim to please them! You can do this by providing loyalty programs or delivering top notch customer service.
Get more insight and guidance from well-known names that were in the same position you’re in right now. See what they had to say on growing a local business.
New Biz on the Block
It's time to take your local business to the next level. This guide will help you through every stage of the process – from strategizing your online presence, to building your website, to managing your online reputation. Before you know it, out-of-towners will be stopping by your business because they heard it was the "best in town".
Grasshopper provides 800 and toll free numbers as well as local phone numbers for businesses and allows them to use a virtual phone system to keep their employees connected anywhere, on any phone with features like call forwarding.