You’ve crafted the perfect business plan, and you’ve received the financial backing you desperately needed. Now it’s time to open your dream business. Whilst you may have some big ambitions for the future, if you’re in a small local market, you’re going to need to build a powerful local business presence. Here’s some tips to get you started:
Network, Network, Network!
Taking time to meet and bond with other business people will pay off massively in the long run. As a local entrepreneur, you should be active within the community, and a fierce supporter of other local businesses and products. Taking time to shop locally and get involved in community projects should be high on list of networking tasks. Local people are very loyal with regard to the shops and services they support, and it’s wise to plug into that network as quickly and seamlessly as possible.
Form Solid Partnerships
Just as it’s important to network within the community, it’s also vital to form partnerships as well. Your mileage will vary on this one, and it’s heavily dependant on what your business does. For instance, if you’re a restaurant owner, make a point of using a local butcher, and advertise the fact on your menus. Bike shop owners could sponsor cycling events or give away prizes. Gareth Jones at www.garethhjames.com, a local businessman agrees, saying; “Anything that gets your name know within the community will increase sales and build brand loyalty.”
Be An Expert In Your Field
This one is obvious: If you’re the go-to guy for advice and experience in your field, you’ll get more respect, and plenty more sales. If your business revolves around a pass time or hobby, then perhaps think about offering classes or workshops to extend your fan base.
Employ A Strong Local Staff
Your staff should feel they have a connection and a stake in your business. If you’re recruiting locally, and selling locally too, you’ll see huge brand loyalty in the years to come as your staff spread the word about your products and services.
Even local businesses need to stand out from the crowd. Quirky advertising campaigns and plenty of attention to detail will get you a long way, as will positioning yourself in the right niche and creating a loyal tribe of patrons.
You need to communicate what your brand stands for, and share your values across the community. Anything that highlights the fact that you’re a dynamic, energetic and passionate new business will give you huge credibility.
Give Something Back To The Community
Not everything you do should be about profit. Take the time to give something back to the community that supports you. If you’re in the restaurant trade, you could organise tasting events or cooking classes. Businesses that cater to hobbies could start free tutorial groups or social events. In the end, a local business will thrive or fail on the strength of the relationships it forms within the community.
Wendy Lin is a successful entrepreneur and activist. She firmly believes in equality in the workplace and has set many campaigns in motion.