Tag Archive : community

Summer is the time for family, friends, fun, and community. Many local communities organize concerts, festivals, fairs, and other events to celebrate the warm weather. These are the perfect opportunity for small business owners to gain exposure and meet locals and other event goers.

Here are some tips on how to get started marketing your small business at local events:

Do Your Research

Your first step is to research what events are occurring in your local community (and the nearby communities) in the upcoming months. Some examples of events you should look out for are festivals, art walks, farmers markets, and flea markets.

Prior to choosing an event to attend, make sure to know your target audience. While researching local events, research what type of customers it brings in. Choose an event/events that are a good match!

When you have an event in mind, contact the organizers to get the details and see what opportunities exist. This could range from sponsoring the event, having an information booth, or actually selling your products. Be sure to ask about all of the costs and requirements involved.

Prepare Yourself and Stand Out

Decide what your goal is at the event. Are you planning on selling products? Make sure you have enough stock and that there are several ways to accept payment. Generating leads? Make sure you have enough literature to hand out and you have an easy way to collect information.

Make sure you have several energetic, well-trained staff members to work the event. Your business’s presence shows that you and your staff are actively engaging with the audience. These details can make or break effectiveness and help you to stand out.

Assess Your Results

Like any marketing effort, you need to track results to see if the event was worthwhile. Set goals for how much you want to sell, how many prospects you want to talk to or how many leads you want to capture. Track them and assess your results afterward. Fine-tune your approach depending on what you learned.

Make Sure to Have Fun

Above all enjoy yourself. Customers are more likely to approach people who look like they enjoy what they are doing. Whether your booth is successful or not, it’s a great way to connect with your local community and build a great reputation for your business.

Holiday gifts hold more meaning and value when you shop local and support small businesses. Every dollar you spend at a local spot filters back into the community by creating jobs, boosting the area’s economy and supporting the region’s talent.

Where we spend our money matters to the community, and there are so many ways to buy local. Grab a coffee at the independent café. Stop for a sandwich at the corner deli. Peruse local boutiques for something to wear to a holiday party. Find interesting gifts at shops run by people who live in the community. Dine out at a neighborhood restaurant.

Small businesses are a thriving, growing sector in our economy. They improve our neighborhoods and change our lives for the better. Here are seven reasons to shop local this holiday season.

Feed the local economy. When you shop local, the dollars spent at small businesses filter directly back into the community. The food, drinks, supplies, clothing, gifts and more you buy are taxed—and that tax income is confined to the area. Tax dollars support improvements in infrastructure, schools, parks, safety and more. So that gift you buy at your local shop is one powerful way to make important positive changes in your neighborhood. And every dollar counts.

Support our ‘makers.’ Entrepreneurs have a dream, and you’re supporting it by shopping at their places of business. The creative seamstress who opened a clothing shop—the home baker who went out on a limb and started a patisserie: These brave, hard-working individuals are making their dreams reality. Let’s patronize their businesses so they can thrive. Shop local, support our makers and their dreams. (After all, they’re supporting our communities.)

Find unique gifts for hard-to-shop-for relatives. You never know what to buy for your uncle. Your sister’s closet is already full of clothes you see at typical retailers. Let’s face it, some relatives are very difficult to shop for. Small businesses offer items you won’t find in the Big Boxes or run-of-the-mill national retailers. Some shops feature hand-crafted items or one-of-a-kinds. Isn’t it fun when you find a special gift that elicits an enthusiastic “Where did you get that?!” Explore area shops and wrap up something different this year.

Local shops create local jobs. Local businesses hire area talent. They need staff to keep their doors open. They need workers with an array of skills. Small business owners hire people from our own neighborhoods, people like us. When we keep local shops in business, we secure local jobs, which means improving the regional economy and boosting the community’s tax base. The goodness goes round and round.

Boost real estate values. You know that abandoned storefront? Remember that tired, old building? When local shops take up residence in our neighborhoods, they not only improve infrastructure by creating unique, interesting places to visit—they attract the visitors. More people shop, spend, enjoy and return for more fun. Everyone in the community benefits when local shops are successful.

Support local causes. Small businesses are tireless community champions. They sponsor our Little League teams and support school fundraisers. They volunteer time and talent to community causes. They pay taxes that improve the schools and local services. Our small businesses are true friends and thoughtful citizens, and they’re constantly giving back to our cities. By patronizing their shops, we help them continue to thrive so they can continue being good stewards.

Get to know the locals. Shopping is more personal when you get to know the owner. By frequenting local businesses, we build relationships with interesting people who are serving our communities by providing places to eat, drink, dine, shop and buy goods of all kinds.

 

Original article here.

Have you heard the idea that your thoughts become the words you speak? Then those words become beliefs, then actions, habits, character and ultimately, your destiny?

It’s true.

And as society exclaims that small business is local, you stand alongside, beaming with pride.

Unfortunately, your belief manifests into your actions of remaining local, and in doing so, you place limitations on your success. Yes, you may be successful — but only to the few thousand people in your local neighborhood.

The world-view model of location, location, location doesn’t exist anymore for small businesses. You used to be constrained by geography, building relationships with your neighbors, friends and co-workers in anticipation of the limited amount of revenue you’d receive for your products or services month after month.

As the Internet exploded, you realized there was less traffic to your store, less demand for your services and less profit to take home. The global marketplace brought new plumbers to your neighbors, computers direct to their doors and ready-to-eat meals to their kitchen tables.

The world of small business shifted from local to personal in the blink of an eye.

Markets have expanded, and the opportunity to challenge yourself and release the shackles of being “local” is within reach, yet too many entrepreneurs are constrained by a choice to remain local.

You’re an entrepreneur. You’re out to create something great. But, you must choose to change your mindset and shift from local to personal.

The small-business advantage:

As a small business owner, you have many advantages over large corporations in your ability to be agile, make quick decisions and pivot. You’re not constrained by the bureaucracy that plagues larger corporations. You can review the data, make inferences on the trends and shift directions when you choose to do so.

You also have the distinct ability to build close relationships with your customers. Your customers are people that you care about and often know by name. They know they’re not a number to you because you work diligently to provide the high level of quality and customer service that they’ve come to expect from you.

It’s your ability to make personal connections that set you apart from your behemoth counterparts. Like 72 percent of small businesses, you use customer referrals as a way to generate new business offline. You personally follow up with customers to the best of your ability with phone calls, direct mail or emails.

Technology changes the game

If you’re like most small businesses, you don’t have the labor resources that many large companies have. You’re often limited by the number of hours that you’re physically present to answer questions, close the sale and do the work. You know that in order to grow, you’ need to remove the constraints on your time with either labor resources or technology advancements.

The ability to scale efficiencies in your business used to be unheard of. A few short years ago, you managed your accounting using a written weekly bookkeeping record or perhaps you hired a CPA to take care of it for you and waited for their response to your inquires about the financial health of your business. Now, you can have instant access to your books 24/7 and can assess the financial health of your business in a matter of seconds.

Your ability to reach, acquire and nurture new customers has greatly improved as well. Through personalized automated follow up, you can send a response that’s based on your customer’s actions. When customers click an offer in your email, you can follow up with a series of emails that drives them closer and closer to purchase. You can close deals and sell products to anyone, anywhere, anytime without physically being present. You have the power to scale and achieve efficiencies like never before, if you choose that path.

Why small-business success matters

Technology allows you to take your personalized approach and scale it to the masses. You can reach more people than you ever could before. You can impact more lives with what you have to offer, but you have to find the solutions that enable you to shift from local to personal. By taking advantage of technology, you can expand your market outside of your local community and increase your chances of success.

Small-business success matters because it will change the trajectory of the middle class. When small businesses are successful, everyone wins. You win because your confidence grows, you’re providing for your family and living your dream. Your family benefits because you’re positive, present and involved. The local community benefits from more jobs, revenue and philanthropy.

Of course, you can still have a business relationship with the guy down the street. Just don’t limit yourself. Success has no boundaries or geographical limitations. It’s only limited by the constraints that you place upon it.

Original Article Posted by Clate Mask, Co-founder and CEO of Infusionsoft: http://entm.ag/1OeDjDG

Struggling to come up with campaign ideas for your medical business? Not sure what to promote? Look no further! Here are a couple of ideas we’ve put together to help you out:

  1. Learn More About our Services – by using the platform to promote your various programs and services, you’re giving the consumer an easy way of familiarizing themselves with your business.
  1. Questions About Healthcare? We’ve Got You Covered – Everyone appreciates talking to a real person when it comes to their health and wellness. Promote your customer service department in order to show your community you’re there for them whenever they need you. 
  1. How to Protect Yourself this Flu Season – Using SLN to promote interesting articles, recent findings, and informative materials is a great way to keep your content fresh while also keeping the community informed.
  1. Meet the Physicians- Highlighting your staff is just one of the many ways you can give your business a more personal feel. Creating relationships with members of the community is essential when it comes to keeping clients happy as well as gaining new ones. 
  1. Apply for Jobs Online- Don’t forget that SLN is a great way to post job listings! This is just another way you can use SLN to reach your community while also benefitting your business.

We’ve heard that shopping local benefits our local communities, but how? Get the conversation started with the help of our “shop small” cheat sheet!

1. Keep your money local!

Unlike when you shop at chain stores, when you spend money locally a significantly larger portion of that money stays in the local economy. Sounds like a great excuse to buy those shoes you’ve been eyeballing.

2. Jobs!

6 times as many local jobs are created when spending is directed towards locally owned and independent businesses instead of chains. By shopping local, you’re directly helping create jobs.

3. Preserving local character and flare.

Locally owned businesses help generate strong communities by preserving town centers, connecting neighbors, and drawing in out-of-town customers. On top of that, small businesses donate about twice as much per employee to local charitable organizations as large businesses. So basically, every time you go shopping you’re donating to charity. Good for you!

4. Quality is king!

Local businesses don’t base their products and prices off of some big national sales plan. Instead, they make products the community has an actual desire/need for. Moreover, they are able to individually help each customer find exactly what it is that they are looking for. This passion for their job and personalized service helps guarantee product quality and customer satisfaction.

5. Your taxes at work.

Local businesses in town centers require substantially less infrastructure investment than big box chains. Small businesses also make more efficient use of public services as compared to the nationally owned stores entering the community.

Save Local Now is here to help YOU encourage your consumers to shop local in the New Year. Instead of the traditional resolutions, promote shopping local this upcoming year! At the most basic level, buying local ensures that more money is staying in your community. Now more than ever we recognize that when consumers buy local, they’re keeping their communities unique and thriving, and assisting in the creation and retention of local jobs.

Jan_Marketing_plan_Chambers

As with any New Year’s resolution, there’s no better time to start than now!

Introducing one of the newest perks to the SLN platform…..(drum roll please)…the Save Local Now Widget!  We never stop trying to improve our platform for chambers, businesses and consumers alike; and this is just another great way to keep everything local and promote your members.  Not sure what a widget is or how it works?  No need to fear, we’ve got you covered!  

What is the Save Local Now Widget?

The Save Local Now Widget allows chambers of commerce to take the content they and their members post on Save Local Now and embed it directly within a website.  It’s a great way to add quality substance and drive more traffic to a chamber and its member businesses.

Need a visual?  Check out one of our partner chambers, Boost Fayetteville, for an example!  http://www.boostfayetteville.com/promote/

How does the widget work?

There are three separate Save Local Now widgets: Local Businesses, Local Deals and Local Events.  You can use all three widgets or any combination of the three, depending on your need.  We provide chambers with a customized code for each one, which just needs to be copied and pasted into the website framework. It’s that easy!

Anything else I should know about the widget?

The widget team at Save Local Now has worked with a variety of websites and chambers, providing suggestions for each one to make sure everything functions perfectly.  Bonus: once the widget is installed, our team can color match it to fit the look of any chamber’s website.  

How do I get started?

Interested in learning more about the Save Local Now widget for your chamber’s website?  Visit http://blog.savelocalnow.com/widget/ to set up a brief call today!  We’ll go over all the details and answer any questions you have.                                                                                                 *You must be a signed chamber partner with Save Local Now to use the widgets.*

This is a win-win for chambers and businesses alike.  Don’t let the opportunity pass you by.

Summertime and the livin’ is easy…

July is a great month to plan some fun and fresh campaigns for your business. Even though Independence Day has passed, there’s still a lot of great ways you can get your customers to celebrate with you!

1. Christmas in July

Everyone loves to celebrate Christmas, but now you can do it without the chilly weather! Host a Christmas in July party at your place of work. Have people dress up in their santa hats and ugly sweaters! Here in Ohio we love our Great Lakes Brewery Christmas Ale and some businesses even save a keg or two especially for this time of year. Don’t forget to promote your event on Save Local Now for everyone to see!

2. Health and Wellness

Everyone likes to have fun and stay fit during the summer. Host a day that encourages health and wellness. Whether it’s a fun game at the office or a field day of activities, anything that encourages friendly competition can make for a fun day. The best activities will also take advantage of the weather. Why not invite customers and clients and go on a company hike! Enjoy the sunshine while it lasts!

3. Join the Community Events

Is there a fair or festival coming up? Join in on the fun! Share updates on social media and take some time to enjoy the activities. If you’re a retailer or restaurant see if you can set up a tent. You’re guaranteed to get new customers and get more involved in the community. These things only come once a year!

4. BBQ

Don’t forget about the food! Grill out with some hot eats and cool treats. Take your office out for ice cream or have a cookout! Invite your loyal customers over for a BBQ. You could also get a gift certificate to the local ice cream place and have a sweepstakes. Our experience is almost anything you can do with food, will make people happy! 😉

5. Summer Romance

Summer is the time for love! Take advantage of that opportunity by offering up exclusives. Have an enter-to-win date night package complete with movie tickets and a gift card to a local restaurant. Promote a special pre-date spa package for your clients. Whatever type of business you have, see if there is something special you can do for couples.

Not only will all of these ideas help build stronger relationships within the staff and with the customers, it will also give you stronger ties to the community. A little planning goes a long way to make some fun for everyone! Best part of all, you can use the Save Local Now platform to promote all these events. So log in, get started, and get out there and enjoy the season!

 

This is a great article for Valentines day. Thank you Imran Anwar for reading our minds!

8 Just in Time Valentine’s Day Publicity Ideas for Small Business

by Imran Anwar

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and you may be thinking of ways to squeeze out some extra sales. You can use the world’s 2nd popular gift-giving festival to gain publicity mileage and sell more stuff. Here are a few last minutes Valentine’s Day publicity ideas to help you out:

1. Play on Red: Design a red and white theme for your outlet or website. Think of creative ways to relate red color to your business. You can discount all red items till Feb 14 or keep a surprise discount for walk in customers who are carrying or wearing red things (cellphone, handbag, shoes etc).

2. Do Target Marketing: Plan different shopping packages for ‘him’ and ‘her’. If you are selling cosmetics, this may be your time to target males and give them incentives for buying gifts for their girlfriends or wives.

3. Play on Love: Don’t keep your Valentine’s Day publicity limited to sexual love. Include love for nature, animals, parents, friends and kids when you are storming for your ideas. Plan a special ‘We Love You’ sale.

4. Do Co-promotion: Alright, so your business has nothing to do with Valentine’s Day? Find a business that has and run a co-promotion. If you are selling auto parts, include a cake or flowers or discount voucher from your partnering retailer.

5. Offer Couple Discounts: If a loving couple buys gifts for him and her together, offer them some discount or incentive. Offer complimentary glasses of Champaign to couples who have dinner at your restaurant or plan discounts if someone buys ladies and gents gifts together.

6. Hold a Photo Contest: Ask couples to upload their photos and share them with you. Announce a prize for the winning couple. Add the best images to a special Valentine’s Day board on your Pinterest account. Tip: Hold a Vine video contest.

7. Reward a Story: Ask people to write real life stories about love and announce a reward for the winning story. Publish the top stories on your website and share them on you social media.

8. Offer Something Different: Many people are tired of receiving chocolates, hearts and teddy bears as Valentine’s Day gifts. Think of something new. How about bungee jumping for daring couples or a gaming competition for geek couples?

The money you lose by offering a small discount or surprise gift travels a long way in the form of word-of-mouth publicity. Storm some ideas and come up with something really interesting. Communicate your offer on social media, your website and your outlet. Write down a press release about your plans and send it to a few journalists.

 

View article here