11 Dec 2019
Small businesses are the backbone of our local community. These businesses have helped to revitalize many small towns and may benefit communities in ways that would surprise even the most ardent small business supporters.
Economists at Penn State University studied data on economic growth and residence status of business owners that was from more than 2,900 rural and urban communities. The researchers found that small, locally owned businesses tend to generate higher incomes for community residents than large, non-local firms.
Small businesses can be vital to the success of a community, and those businesses' own success may depend on how well they can market themselves to potential customers. The Small Business Administration notes that only one-third of small businesses will survive 10 years. Those that reach that benchmark often find ways to market themselves and grow revenue. Whether a small business owner is just starting out or looking to continue growing, these marketing strategies can be effective ways to connect with customers.
· Take advantage of the free Google listing service. Google My Business is a free service that allows business owners to manage how their business appears across Google, including on its Search and Map services. A Google listing is essentially the new phonebook listing, as the "Local Consumer Review Survey 2018" from the marketing experts at BrightLocal found that 27 percent of consumers looked online daily for local businesses in 2018. That's more than double the number of people who did so in 2017, suggesting that more and more consumers are finding local businesses via internet searches every day.
· Pay attention to your online reviews. Consumers often read reviews when considering your business compared to your competitors. The BrightLocal survey found that 50 percent of consumers between the ages of 18 and 34 always read online reviews when shopping for goods or services. Consumers are most likely to read restaurant reviews, but small businesses, regardless of their industries, can benefit from positive online reviews. You should make it a practice to always respond to reviews - good or bad. It shows that you care and honestly want your customers to have a positive experience with you.
· Take part in local festivals. Local events provide great opportunities to connect with new customers. Such events tend to attract residents of the community and even those from neighboring towns, providing ample opportunities for small businesses to connect with new customers and put a face to the name of your business. These events can be an excellent way to network and find opportunities for growth.
· Make your presence known on social media. A 2017 survey from the social media specialists at Sprout Social found that 58 percent of consumers are more likely to buy from a brand they follow on social media than they are to buy from one they do not follow.
· Enlist help from experts. Running a small business often means that everything from the mundane to the extreme falls in your hands. But you don’t have to do it alone. Enlist the help of a marketing agency or other local business to help with your marketing needs. The Guide has over 60 years of experience marketing to the Delmarva Peninsula, and offers multiple options at a small business budget. Visit www.theguide.com to learn more about what The Guide can do for you and your small business.
Small business owners who learn to effectively market their businesses can contribute so much to their bottom lines so that they can better serve their local communities.