Tag Archives: buy local

How to Use Online Business Listings Effectively Now and in 2018

bbOnline local business listings is a growing arm of the advertising industry and the speed in which it is evolving can trip up small to medium enterprises (SMEs) who may sign up with the wrong directory. There are some online business directories that are industry specific and cater only to manufacturing firms and factories which means SMEs will not be able to garner any significant business revenues as the volume requirements and other criteria of these companies are based on large scale orders.

Who is Your Market?

Today, a local business is no longer limited to local clients. With the available shipping methods and e-transaction technology, you can stay local but be open to inquiries from around the world. However, first you have to get listed on a find US local business directory that is gaining top rank in search engines like finduslocal.com.

Even the potential for customers from other parts of the country is constant and available to SMEs. Based on 2016 figures, ecommerce in the US alone almost reached $400 billion while worldwide, there was an increase of 246% from the previous year. If you are not feeling even a little bit of the outflow from online buyers national or international, then your advertising and marketing efforts need to be reworked and you may need to get on a few of the reputable local business directories.

The Buy, Hire American Campaign

The Buy American campaign is old news. In fact, it was originally launched in 1933 – more than 84 years ago! The “Buy America” is not as old but still a campaign that was approved in 1983. These are two separate laws. The first does not include services and is limited to federal government agencies while the second is part of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act. When Donald Trump became president, part of his government’s agenda was a “Buy, Hire American” campaign.

The thrust of this new campaign is what you should be interested in: preference for domestically manufactured products so if your business involves the production of local products, then you will begin to feel this advantage soon.

As for those businesses who don’t produce their own but sell as a US firm, they still have nominal advantage being a US company – and they should grab it. The business environment in all industries has become so competitive because of the Internet, experts recommend using every advantage you can get to corner a piece of the market.

How to Maximize your Advertising ROI

When using online local business directories or local business listings, you should always factor in the return on your investment (ROI) – even with free ads! This is because with or without ad fees, you still spend time and effort creating and perfecting your content so you might as well get the most out of it.

Here’s how you can maximize ROI:

  • Perfect your SEO marketing
  • Make sure contact details are easy to find and read
  • Include certifications and awards
  • Don’t forget to offer some kind of marketing teaser like discounts or coupons
  • Solicit reviews and feedback
  • Respond quickly to inquiries and reviews

In addition, measure, analyze and improve your ads. Some of the stats you can measure are the number of people who respond to your local business listings, number of people that lands on your website or walks in to your business store, and revenues generated from the local business directories.

Customer Experience is King but So Are Your Employees

The people who respond to your ads and inquiries are customers and employees. Treat them right and they will happily buy from you or assist customers so they buy from you. You can set up your own online customer service or tie up with a company that can do it for you.

The latest stats on customer experience will prove that they can make or break your business:

  • 89% of customers shift to a competitor after a bad experience including a no response action
  • 86% would continue to do business if happy with the experience – and would recommend the business to their network
  • 84% are frustrated when they don’t get answers and 42% expect a response within one hour
  • And here’s the clincher: 57% would rather call a business than chat online or send an email

As for employee satisfaction, it isn’t just their pay grade that will make them empathize with your business goals, but the whole experience with the job and the business owner or manager. In fact, employee experience depends on three things:

  1. Work tools, software, technologies
  2. Environment
  3. Employer’s attitude towards employees

Meet all these and you will have people willing to work hard and stay committed to your business.

Finally, be active in managing your ads and business listings regardless of whether you are a home-based business, have a staff of one or employ more than 20 people.

7 Local Businesses That Will Pay You to Use Reusable Shopping Bags

reusable-grocery-bagsAre you one of the few people who haven’t yet switched from using plastic bags to reusable shopping bags? Maybe you live in a city or town that hasn’t yet outlawed plastic bags (If so, it’s probably coming soon as more and more cities enact the laws), or maybe you just don’t feel that making the switch will contribute that much to the environment and its health. If that sounds like you, we have some news: you can actually be paid for using shopping bags that aren’t made of plastic.

Yes, you heard us correctly. And just to prove our point, we’ve decided to list seven stores that are likely in your local community that will deduct money from your shopping bill for every bag you use.

Sprouts

If you have a Sprouts in your local area, you’ll receive $.05 for every reusable shopping bag you use to load your groceries. And if you forget yours, they also sell shopping bags with the Sprouts logo on it.

Whole Foods

Another grocery store that offers a $.05 reward for every bag you use is Whole Foods. The store policy claims that it offers “at least” a $.05 discount, so you may be offered more.

Trader Joe’s

This up and coming grocery store offers two types of incentives, depending on the store. Some Trader Joe’s stores give $.05 per reusable bag that you bring, while other stores give you an entry into a weekly raffle that awards the winner a $25 Trader Joe’s gift card.

Lowe’s Foods

You can get a $.05 discount for every reusable shopping bag you bring to this store, but keep in mind that they limit the discounts to a total of 20 bags.

Reasor’s Foods

This chain offers a slightly bigger discount of $.06 per reusable grocery bag, and they don’t put a limit on how many you can use.

Kroger’s

This chain, which also includes King Soopers, Fry’s, Tom Thumb, Ralphs, Fred Meyer, and QRC, offers a few different programs, depending on which store you shop at. You could receive a $.04 discount per bag, 5 fuel points for every bag, or a free bag of your own on certain in-store celebrations.

Target

Finally, it’s not only grocery stores that offer discounts for using reusable shopping bags. You’ll receive a $.05 discount for every bag you use when making purchases in Target stores.

As you can see, using reusable shopping bags will not only help the environment by reducing the amount of plastic waste, but it could also put money in your pocket. So the next time you decide to shop local, be sure to take along a good supply of reusable bags. And if you haven’t yet made the switch, what are you waiting for?

Why Buying Local and Reusable Shopping Bags Go Together

Shopping-Bags-Strawberry-ready-optimized-720x600The “buy local” movement has been spreading across the nation like wildfire for the past couple of years as consumers turn away from the big box stores and giant corporations and look instead to the local mom and pop stores that are a part of the community. And while this has been a huge boon to local economies, we believe those in the movement can go a just a little father in their efforts. We’re talking about doing good for the local economy AND the environment.

Why the Buy Local Movement is Growing

The landscape is changing in how consumers buy their products. In the past, they blindly relied on large corporations to tell them what was best for them, or which products they should trust. But today’s consumers have a distrust of large corporations and instead want to rely on their own research. This is especially true in the food and restaurant industries, but it expands to every area of their lives.

That’s where local business comes in. Today’s consumers trust smaller, local companies to adhere to their values when it comes to manufacturing and sourcing products. Local businesses across the nation have seen profits rise as consumers, who have always given their money to big business, have begun to shop locally. And many of those consumers are finding those stores on local business directories like ours.

Let’s Take it One Step Further

Many proponents of the buy local movement also quote the environment as yet another reason to shop locally. When you buy online, the footprint increases expodentially because you’ve got to consider packing materials and shipping, where a local consumer can simply walk out of the store with the purchase.

But if that consumer walks out with a plastic bag, all their good intentions go down the drain. Here’s a brief explanation of why:

  • Plastic bags are quickly polluting our environment. Recent studies show that there is currently a floating mass of plastics in our ocean the size of Texas.
  • Plastic bags don’t get recycled. It’s time consuming and cost prohibitive to recycle plastic bags, so they end up sitting in landfills across the nation.
  • Plastic bags take forever to decompose. About a thousand years—that’s the estimate from experts.

The Answer is Reusable Shopping Bags

If you’re going to go to the trouble of shopping locally, you may as well do all the good you can at once. Reusable shopping bags are easy to use, cost effective for the local stores, and won’t end up in landfills for a thousand years after you use them.

And you won’t have to settle for the old school reusable grocery bags that are emblazoned with tacky brand names. Today, you can find reusable shopping bags that are fashionable and fun. For instance, LA Pop produces a set of colorful shopping bags that are shaped like fruits and vegetables—perfect for that trip to the local store or farmer’s market.

If you’re in the buy local movement, consider upping your game by using shopping bags that won’t harm the environment. And be sure to spread the word—as you know, a movement begins with just one person.