Small businesses are the heart of communities around the world, and it’s essential that they thrive and support the local economy. If you are the owner of a small business or are thinking of setting one up, there are a great many factors to consider and manage to make your venture profitable. Your business plan will be the key document that covers all the tasks that need to be accomplished, analysis of figures and preparation of budgets, and the knowledge you’ve gathered from research into your sector, niche, and market.
Your business plan
Because it’s crucial to the success of your business, your marketing strategy is one of the most critical parts of your business plan. Unless local people know you exist and are aware of what you’re offering, they can’t become your customers. With that in mind, what are the most effective ways to publicize a small business that serves a local community?
It needs to be targeted just as a national or international business would be, but in your case, the target market is the local population rather than a specific type of person who could live anywhere.
One of the fundamental selling points of a local business is the very fact that it’s local. People don’t have to travel out of their way to get a haircut or buy their vegetables, so your focus needs to be on creating a local profile so that as many people as possible within the area know who you are and what you do.
Local publications like newspapers, circulars, anything that is distributed among the local populace is somewhere to advertise your business. Local directories, even churches, schools, and hospitals very often have a newsletter that takes adverts.
Don’t limit yourself to just placing ads, either. Get to know the editors and local journalists, and let them know about forthcoming events, awards you’ve won, or any news relating to your business that could make an interesting story. A feature article costs you nothing but could be even more effective than a paid-for ad.
There are bound to be numerous websites focused on other local businesses, organizations, and interest groups, and they are also great places to advertise. You can be quite ambitious in your efforts to get noticed, for example, many local websites offer very reasonable rates for advertisements on their home page, including video ads.
With the availability of low-cost video equipment and editing software, you can make your own ad for a reasonable cost, and that could be a highly effective way of getting your business into people’s consciousness. Make sure you tag your ad using the Video Ad Serving Template (VAST) so that it plays exactly as you wish. You can check that it’s correctly tagged using a tool such as the VAST tag inspector tool at Vastinspector.com.
If you want to be a successful local business, you need to become a recognizable part of the community, so getting involved in local projects and good causes is a good way of establishing your name in a positive way. Running a local business is a highly rewarding lifestyle, and building relationships within your community is a very pleasant way to make a living.