I live in a small town, not quite Royston Vasey but we do have lots of local shops….
Like any community, businesses come and go. Recently some new businesses have moved in, in the B2C space.
What really intrigues me is how they haven’t built their network before they opened up shop. I am pretty sure that there must be a lead time, finding premises, fitting premises out, hiring staff, getting stock delivered, opening up.
Surely during all of this, in 2018, should be – engaging with local people who might be customers? Surely?
With all of the tools available for a new local business to take advantage of for free – Instagram and Twitter geo search, Facebook local groups, etc, etc, etc, it surprises me that new local businesses aren’t all over them before they open. Or at least the ones who I’ve noticed haven’t been.
So here’s something to think about.
Where are your community, your potential customers? What’s local for you? Where do they hang out? For most of us I’m not talking about geographically locally, I’m talking about the networking communities or online communities where people hang out.
‘Local’ has changed in my lifetime. Specifically since the widespread adoption first of the world wide web and then of Web 2.0 and social media.
The old approaches still work, but your ‘local’ crowd may in fact be local because you’re all in the same Facebook Group, or networking organisation, or something else which binds a group of people together.
We still need to do what the local shop needed to do — create visibility by sensibly marketing ourselves to the other local people, build our reputation and profile by delivering astonishing service to our customers, thus creating word of mouth marketing within our local community. Or the opposite of course.
For me, my customers exist all over the world, but I can, and have, identify where they are likely to be online and in r/l and go and talk to them there.
What is ‘local’ for you? And are you doing absolutely everything you can to be a trusted member of the community, with people aware of your business, and prepared to say nice things about it.
You have the tools, go for it.