If you are running a small business that aims to attract local customers then here I have 5 useful tips to help you promote your small business locally. No matter how tough the local competition is, I am sure by following these tips you will be able to take your small business forward!
Why Do You Need to Promote Your Small Business Locally When Everyone Is Buying Online?
Yes, quite a logical question! And the question reminds me of the business scenario, maybe 5-10 years back, when marketing strategies only aimed at attracting local buyers. However, the scenario has changed since then as a majority of buyers have moved online to make purchases. And yet, e-commerce marketplaces haven’t been able to wipe out the local businesses completely. Thus to survive in this highly competitive scenario, it has become really important to work out a marketing strategy that successfully caters to both online and offline buyers.
The purpose of this article is to narrate a few local marketing strategies which will help new businesses and also the existing ones who are struggling to stay afloat in this era of cutthroat competition.
So, let’s check out precisely how do you promote your small business offline.
Top 5 Tips to Promote Your Business Locally
When we are talking about local marketing, the first thing you need to clarify is that exactly which areas you plan to cover and who are your target customers. Once you know the target market, it becomes easier to implement these tips.
Connect With Local Groups To Connect With Local Businesses And Residents
For small business owners, it is very important to network with other businesses that are operating locally. But how do you find them, especially if you have just launched your venture and no one knows about you?
Here’s a simple solution. You can enquire about active local groups that may or may not be related to business. For instance, there might be popular local groups related to travel or food. It doesn’t matter whether the group matches your business theme. Simply join them to connect with local people and other business owners who are part of those groups. Make sure to attend all the meetings and events that are hosted by these local groups.
Now you might be wondering exactly how do I benefit from connecting with other local business owners? Let me explain with an example. Suppose you run a small cafe and you get to know that a local business is organizing an event to promote its product or service. They may need someone to serve coffee and refreshments to those attending the event. And you can offer your service, even if it means negotiating the rate a bit. Take this opportunity to promote your brand. How? Make sure those serving coffee, wear t-shirts printed with your company name/logo.
Also, to grow your business locally, you should join the local Chamber of Commerce even if it means spending a certain amount/fee for the registration. Trust me this amount is worth spending if you want to market your small business locally. Further, it is important that you keep track of the trade fairs that are organized by local business communities. Try to participate in these local trade fairs and spread the word about your small business.
List Your Small Business on Google My Business – The Best Way to Promote Your Business Locally For Free!
Even if you are running a small business that targets local customers it is very important to establish your online presence and this is why you need to list your small business on Google my business. Because even if you are operating locally, almost 70% of customers nowadays check online reviews before making any purchase or availing of any services.
It is very easy to add your business to Google. In fact, you don’t need any technical knowledge to complete the process. In order to list the local business, you need to provide information like the company name, address, contact number, hours of operation, and the direction to reach your place (preferably with a map). Also, if you have a website then you can share that link too. By adding photos of your small business you can provide a better idea of the way you are operating.
The best part about Google my business is that your happy customers can share their views and photos, thus encouraging others to visit your place. Remember, the higher your business star rating more customers are likely to visit your shop or office.
Get Associated with Local Social Causes
Now that social awareness is on the rise it is always a great idea to get associated with a few social causes that you truly believe in.
According to some latest statistics, more than 90% of customers are eager to try a different brand that supports a certain charitable cause. Thus, you can easily create a positive impression by supporting a foundation or charity that you really care about.
Looking for ways to establish your small business presence locally by supporting a cause? Then find charities or foundations that operate locally. Remember, by connecting with the right kind of social cause or charity, your business image gets boosted. The reverse can happen too if you get associated with the wrong ones!
How to give back to the community as a small business owner?
Donate a certain amount, yearly or monthly.
Pay a personal visit during the weekends and offer to do some charity work for them. For instance, if you are running a cafe or food business and you happen to visit an elderly care home, you can offer to cook some special items for the residents.
Help them by providing essential items be it grocery, washing and cleaning items, or anything else they might need.
Pick up a special day e.g. the Christmas or New Year to donate a certain percentage of your last month’s business sales to the charity or foundation that you support.
Distribute Flyers To Promote Your Small Business Locally
Flyer marketing, doesn’t this strategy sound a bit old-fashioned? Actually no! When it comes to promoting your small business locally, flyers do work. In fact, the flyer or leaflet is quite a versatile marketing tool that can be used for different purposes. You can distribute flyers to let people know about your new business. Else, you can distribute flyers whenever you plan to promote a new product/ service, announce a special discount/sale event.
However, flyer marketing can be a bit tricky, if you don’t know how to use this tool effectively. So, before you spend money on printing flyers, make sure you have a clear purpose in mind about how to use them and when.
Spread The Word About Your Business To Your Known Circle
I have already talked about connecting with local business groups, which does make sense if you want to boost your business locally. However, approaching your close circle of friends and family members, and asking for referrals from them can be a bit tricky.
You may feel hesitant to directly ask for help, fearing a polite rejection. Or, perhaps you worry that they may not take your business seriously, The fact is, if you can approach your network the right way, it can easily lead to your first buyer /client!
Few tips to announce your new business to the close circle:-
Start by TALKING about your business. You should sound enthusiastic, convincing, and professional while explaining your business. This gives the impression that you do know what you are talking about. Don’t be desperate to sell, just because the person is your friend or close acquaintance.
If you are too hesitant to engage in a face-to-face discussion initially, send them an email. But don’t make it a lengthy one. Keep it brief and mention the key points. Always give a hint that you will be more than happy to explain more over a cup of coffee!
Work out a special discount and/or referral program for your close circle. This way, they won’t feel obligated to hire your service or buy from you. Rather they will do so happily, knowing they are getting the service/product at a discounted rate.
Few Additional Tips to Promote Your Small Business Locally
Organize your own event/seminar/free workshop/training programs to showcase expertise in your specific field. If you think it’s expensive to host an event offline, then start with Facebook or Instagram Live. Else you can launch a YouTube channel to talk about your business.
Keep your business cards ready to distribute, if you are going to attend a networking event or seminar or hosting one of your own.
Use social media platforms to grow your follower base. And it’s imperative that a few of them might turn into devoted customers.
Get your business listed on online business directories, even if you plan to promote your business locally. There’s a big change that your local buyers might find you on Yelp or YellowPages!
And if you want to go beyond these local marketing ideas for small businesses, then check out this huge list of marketing tips and tricks to generate more leads and get more clients quickly!
As you work out the best tips to promote your small business locally, remember that nothing can assure you of overnight success. Sometimes you may need to tweak a certain strategy to match your specific business needs. Also, it’s important that you keep evaluating the performance of your marketing campaign and focus more on those strategies that are giving a better result.