In the world of local business, there are often two stories. One is of a local business owner that is doing well in his community. His store, service business, or restaurant is thriving, and he almost can’t keep up with the new customers that constantly walk through his doors. He plans to maintain his business for years and eventually leave it to his children so they can continue to operate it.
The other tale isn’t as pretty. It’s about a small business owner that is doing all he can just to keep his doors open. Very rarely does a new customer walk through the door and he is quickly realizing that only relying on existing customers isn’t enough to keep his doors open. He knows he runs a valuable and needed business, but he can’t figure out why his sales are so poor.
These very distinct types of local business owners are common in the US, and while they each run good and useful businesses, the way they approach local marketing and advertising is very, very different. Let’s take a look at both types of local business owners to see if we can’t figure out what the differences are in the way they run their shops.
Local Business Owner #1: The Successful Shop
Shop owner number one, the successful one, has been in business for 20 years, but about a decade ago, he realized that in order to bring in new customers, he had to advertise his business where they would find him. That’s why when he first heard about local business directories and how important it is to create a free small business listing, he was one of the first to jump on the bandwagon. In fact, he listed his business on a free business directory the day he heard about it.
Since then, he has been consistently and pleasantly surprised by how many new customers have found him online. He no longer relies on the phone book, newspaper ads, or mail outs—all of which can cost a lot of money. Instead, he uses free small business listings to market his local business to new customers and has been rewarded by booming sales and a business that is likely to last for generations.
Local Business Owner #2: The Unsuccessful Shop
On the other hand, our second local business owner hasn’t kept up with the times. When the internet was first invented, he thought it was a phase and refused to create an online presence, no matter how many articles he read or how many people told him he needed a website. He continued to place an expensive ad in the local phone book every year, and ran a weekly ad in the community newspaper. But new customers never seemed to find his shop. And eventually his existing customers either moved away or started shopping at the competition. He is confused and doesn’t know what to do. He wanted to leave his business to his children, but now all seems lost.
The Key Factor in Local Business Success or Failure
The tale of these 2 local business owners should highlight one important fact in your mind: you need an online presence in order to attract new customers to your local shop or restaurant. In fact, if you don’t already have one, you are quickly headed to the same fate as business owner # 2.
Luckily, it’s easy nowadays to get an online presence. Simply log onto a reputable and free small business directory like FindUsLocal and claim your small business listing. Soon, you’ll join the ranks of people like business owner #1 and watch as new customers find and shop at your local store.