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How to Prevent Amazon from Stealing Your Local Business

C-a-8VDUwAAJht6The verdict is in: Amazon is taking over the world. In fact, Jeff Bezos, the owner of Amazon, has recently been named the richest man in the world. In fact, according to James Cakmak, a leading equity analyst, Amazon could soon become the first trillion dollar company. He predicts that Amazon stocks will rise to $2,000.

But all that success for Amazon has led to what many have dubbed the “Retail Apocalypse.”   So far this year, more retail stores have closed than even in the Great Recession. And that news has a lot of local business owners reeling as they try to figure out how to keep their doors open.

The Reason for the Retail Apocalypse

If you own a local business, it’s imperative that you understand how the landscape is changing and what steps you need to take in order to avoid becoming a victim of the current retail apocalypse. Most experts agree that the driving force behind so many local business closings is the internet. People are shopping online these days, and that’s forcing many small business to either change the way they try and draw in new business, or face a store closing. But here’s the interesting thing: recent studies have shown that consumers actually prefer to shop locally, but because the internet is designed to help people find national chains and informational articles, they give up when trying to find local businesses and instead make their purchase online.

Is your business struggling because it’s losing sales to the internet? If so, here are some steps you can take right now to prevent any further damage to your local business.

Be Seen Online

One of the biggest reasons local business owners are having to shutter their doors is that they don’t have an online presence. That’s a deadly mistake these days because most consumers go online when they want to find a local business. But the good news is that you don’t have to spend a fortune to build your own website. Local business directories like FindUsLocal.com offer a free local business listing that gives you that all-important online presence. The key is to ensure your business is listed correctly. When you list on multiple directories like Yelp and FindUsLocal, you’ll need to list your business name, address, phone number, and website if you have it, exactly the same on each business listing. If you don’t, the search engine spiders won’t attribute the local business listings to your store, and that may actually hurt your ability to be seen online.

Get the Conversation Going About Your Shop

The new world of online marketing is based on a simple concept: the interaction between a local business and consumers. In other words, it’s not enough to simply list your business on a local directory and then sit back and wait for people to walk in your door. The key is to get people talking about your business, and the best way to do that is to engage with them. You can do that with your social media accounts as well as the latest tool in the local business owners took belt.

When you log onto FindUsLocal.com, you’ll see a comment section on each of the business listings there. That section is one of the best ways to boost your online rankings so you can be seen. Here’s how it works: consumers have the ability to leave real time comments about your business, which will be seen by everyone from your community who visits the local business directory. And as a business owner, you have the opportunity to respond to those comments, which will spur on the conversation. For example, if someone leaves a comment complaining that you didn’t have the right selection of products, you can respond by apologizing and asking for suggestions. Or is someone leaves a complimentary comment, you can thank them publicly. Either way, the comments left by you and your customers will create an online conversation that will not only get the attention of other people from your city or town, but also the search engine spiders, which will boost your online visibility.

As you can see, the new local marketplace is full of opportunity, but it requires local business owners to think differently when it comes to attracting new business. You can no longer rely on old school methods like the phone book or local advertising. These days, your number one goal should be to put your business in front of people who look online to find local shops, restaurants, and service businesses. And listing your business on a local business directory is the best way to accomplish that. Have you listed your business yet? If not, head on over to FindUsLocal.com and take the first important step in being found online.

How You Can Skyrocket Your Sales in 10 Minutes a Day

sales-growthAs a local business owner, you’re undoubtedly always on the lookout for new and inventive ways to get your shop or restaurant in front of the local community in order to boost your sales. After all, the more people know about your store, the more will come—and that always leads to more sales. But finding new business is a problem that has plagued local business owners for years, especially since the advent of the internet.

It used to be easy to attract new business. All you needed to do was pay for an ad in the local phone book, or perhaps buy a place in the blue coupon book that went out to the people in your town or city. But times have changed and the methods that used to work don’t anymore. That’s because people now look online when they want to find local businesses, and if you can’t be found there, your business will suffer.

Luckily, technology has kept up and there are some steps you can take to ensure new customers can find your local business, all in about 10 minutes a day.

Where People Look for Local Businesses

If the people in your area aren’t using phone books and mail promotions, where do they go when they need to find local businesses? Local business directories. These directories allow people to see all of the local business listings when looking for a shop or restaurant, and the sites allow them to skip all of the purely informational sites, or those that aren’t local. People love them, and as more and more local business owners are claiming their listings, local business directories are quickly becoming the go-to place for shop local consumers.

If you haven’t already set up your own local business listing, we highly recommend that you do so now at a quality local business directory like FindUsLocal.com because you’ll need to do that in order to take the steps we’re going to outline below.

Now let’s talk about 3 quick and easy ways to boost your local sales.

Attract New Customers Passively

We’ve all heard about the joys of passive income, but what about collecting new customers passively? Yes, it’s possible when you set up your local business listings. Simply go to a local business directory like FindUsLocal.com and claim your business listing. It’s free and will take you about 5 minutes to complete. Just be sure that if you claim more than one business listing on sites like Yelp and FindUsLocal, you use the exact same business name, address, phone number, and website address if you have one. If there are any variations, no matter how small, the local business listings won’t be attributed to your local business, and that can end up hampering your efforts.

Interact with Your Customers

Another way to dramatically boost your sales is to interact with the people in your community on a daily basis. And only 1 local business directory allows you to do that with ease: FindUsLocal. The site has a proprietary feature that allows both consumers and business owners to leave comments about the business, which means you can spend a few minutes a day leaving a comment and reap huge benefits from it. For example, if you’re overstocked on a particular product, you can announce a sale in the comments and everyone from your area who checks into the site will see it. And what’s even better is that the comment section is a two-way street that allows you to keep the conversation going with people from your local area.

Ask for Reviews

Not many local businesses are successful these days unless they have a good number of online reviews. And while it’s possible for people to leave a review for your business on local business directories, many of them won’t do it unless they’re asked. And that’s where our third quick marketing advice comes in. When you check out a customer, simply ask them to leave a review on your local business listing. It will help if you offer them a card or brochure with the URL of the local business directory on it. This quick question will result in reviews that will be read by other people who are considering your business.

There you have it. In about 10 minutes a day, you can take great strides in boosting your sales. Local business directories aren’t just good for consumers, but they also offer a way for local business owners to quickly and affordably (it’s free!) market themselves in a world that has gone online.