The retail landscape has changed drastically over the past few years, and only those local business owners who keep up with the times and use today’s marketing tactics will survive. In fact, this year has seen so many retail store closings that it’s been dubbed the Retail Apocalypse.” That’s sounds ominous, but the truth is many of those local store owners were still relying on the old school methods of drawing customers into a local store, service business, or restaurant. But today’s consumers act differently than those in the past, and only local shop owners who reach out to them in new and innovative ways will reap the benefits of new business.
But not every local business owner understands the shift in the retail landscape, so we’ve put together this article that includes 2 things you can do right now to begin bringing in new business. Are you ready? Let’s talk about how to get more customers through the door today.
Use a Local Business Directory to Be Seen
The first rule of running a successful local business is to be seen by all the people in your community who spend most of their time online. That’s changed from years past when people gathered at malls, community centers and parks and talked about the stores they visited and the places they ate at. That word of mouth was huge for local business owners—and still is for some part. But the majority of people go online when they want to find USA businesses in their community.
And unless you have a large marketing budget where you can afford to build your own website, you’ll need to find another way to get that online presence. That’s where local business directories come in. These local directories are designed to give consumers local results when they look for a shop, eatery, or service business in their area. For example, if they were to look for a furniture store in their town or city and went to a local business directory like Find US Local, they would only see local furniture stores in the results. No articles about furniture and no nationwide online stores for consumers to wade through. Can you see why so many people are using local business directories to find businesses in the USA?
Keep in mind that when you claim your local business listing on directories like FindUsLocal and Bing, you should always use the exact same business name, address, phone number, and website UTL if you have one. If the business listings are on even one word, the search engine spiders won’t recognize them as your business and that could actually hurt your rankings on the search engine.
Interact with Your Customers
Another drastic change in the way people do business with local businesses is by interacting with them online. Some owners have work tirelessly to build huge social media platforms and they interact with their customers that way. But doing this takes a lot of time and patience. It’s just not possible to build effective social media platforms overnight, and once you do have one, you have to know how to use it to get more customers—and sales.
But Find US Local has created an online interactive feature that gives local business owners a way to interact with their customers for free, and it only takes a few minutes a day. It’s called the Comments Section on the local business directory and it’s one of the most forward thinking ideas to come around in a long time.
Using it, consumers can leave comments about any shop or eatery that has a local business listing on the directory. For example, they can comment on the parking situation, the dinner they ate there, or leave a comment for the owner about a product they purchased at the store. And here’s the great thing: local shop owners can also leave comments. This can be of huge benefit to your business because you can leave comments when you’re having a sale or special promotion, or when new products arrive and you want to tell the community about them. You can also use the comments section to answer questions or respond to comments made by your customers. No social media platforms needed, and you won’t have to build up a huge following because the people you do business with are already visiting the local business directory and they will find your business listing and leave comments on it.
In order to thrive in today’s local business environment, you’ll need to make some changes to the way you’ve always done business. But those forward thinking business owners who keep up with consumer needs and habits won’t have any problem bringing in new business and running a successful store. What about you? Have you updated your marketing methods for 2017?