Tag Archive : Local business

At the most basic level, buying local ensures that more money stays in our community. In fact, for every $100 spent at a locally-owned store, $45 remains in the local economy. The Chamber of Commerce encourages all residents to shop small and support our locally owned businesses! Shopping locally provides you with the opportunity to discover something different; it’s unlikely that you’ll find the same thing at a local store as you would the mall. Save Local Now, the Chamber’s “Buy Local” program, highlights and promotes Chamber members and the deals and promotions they create. Locals and tourists alike can download the FREE Save Local Now app to access deals, events and accurate business information. Saving money and buying local has never been easier!

You’ve claimed your business, and you’ve enhanced your profile. Now, it’s time to post! How often should you post? Does it always need to be a discount? Don’t stress! We’ve broken down the process to make it as fast, easy, and FUN as possible.

We recommend that you start with one to three posts per week on Save Local Now. Remember, as more and more people create posts and promotions for their business, your post is being pushed lower in the feed. The MORE you post, the MORE you’re seen. Put yourself in your consumer’s shoes; what would make you react? What do you offer that would appeal to the consumer? Here are some ideas, based on category, for SLN promotions:

  • Food and Drink:
    • Title: ½ Price Bottles of Wine!
    • Description: Monday nights only! ½ price on bottle wine selection with the purchase of one adult entrée!
  • Shopping:
    • Title: Just in Time for Mother’s Day!
    • Description: Send flowers to that special someone. Mention “Save Local Now” for $7 off!
  • Services:
    • Title: $10 Off SPRING TIME Gift Certificate
    • Description: Receive $10 off a full service groom – perfect for your favorite pooch!

Looking for non-discount related promotions? We’ve got you covered: Non-Discount Promo Ideas

What is branding? To some, it is the visual identity a company presents to the public, to others it is a business’ overall reputation. More often than not though, branding is a misunderstood field, often generalized and simplified by many. Because of its ever-changing nature, and our inability to concretely measure its success like we do with sales, market share, stock price, etc., branding is often viewed as an insubstantial add-on. Truthfully though, neglecting a brand is not only naïve but also shortsighted for any company, big or small.

When managed properly, a company’s brand can be their most valuable asset. Of all the things a business owns, its brand is one of the few items that will never depreciate. Rarely do companies intentionally manage their brands as the valuable resource that they are. Effective branding improves the visibility of and respect for a product, service, or company. It draws attention and can drive sales. It can also enhance margins, as customers are far more willing to pay more for a product or service from a company that they know and trust.

It is also important to remember that anything done or not done within an organization effects how the brand is perceived.  Company leaders who ignore this are doomed to fail. A company’s brand is not just their logo or mission statement. Branding includes everything from how a PR department deals with customer complaints to how a company is being represented on social media. A business’ brand needs to stand for something and give the customers something to believe in.  It must be presented with clarity, consistency and continuity. With the explosion in digital technology, mobile and social media companies now have the opportunity for a closer, more intimate relationship with consumers.  This increased connection between businesses and their consumers demands a stronger more consistent brand identify.

Here are 5 quick tips for how to better your brand:

1.     First off, build a brand you’re passionate about. Your enthusiasm will shine through all of your branding efforts and will get your customers excited about your product.

2.     Define your brand, and become an expert. Take the time to determine exactly what your company is and what makes it unique. Whether you are looking to gain media attention, attract new clients or build your business, you should focus your efforts on becoming an expert in your field.  Keep it relevant to the goals you want to achieve.

3.     Incorporate a philanthropic component. People are drawn to companies that have a strong sense of corporate responsibility. Building a reputation and status with the community will help establish your company as a trustworthy and compassionate business.

4.     Establish an online presence. Social media, online networking opportunities, and web-based marketing are vital when it comes to establishing your brand. Like previously stated, the increasing importance of digital technology, mobile, and social media give companies the opportunity to establish real and personal relationships with consumers. Businesses not using online resources to engage with its customers are throwing away a valuable opportunity to further establish their brand.

5.     Remember the 3 Cs of branding. Clarity, consistency, constancy. You need to establish a solid foundation for your brand that is easy to understand, consistent with your goals, and use it whenever possible. By doing this your customers will develop a sense of understanding and trust for your brand.

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Announcing the “$LN Digital Marketing Challenge”

Save Local Now is excited to announce our monthly digital marketing challenge which rewards our most active and most creative member businesses.

The rules are simple: Use Save Local Now to create awesome deals, events and promotions, share them via social media and email marketing and watch your numbers grow!  Each month, we will award a prize to the member with the most digital impressions or the most creative campaign.

See further details below, and good luck!

Official Challenge Rules

Challenge Sponsor: Save Local Now™

Challenge Entry: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED OR RESTRICTED BY LAW.

Challenge Eligibility: The challenge is open to all Save Local Now™ member businesses in good standing with their respective Chamber of Commerce.

Challenge Winners:  Winners will be selected by Save Local Now™ each month. The winner will be determined by the total number of monthly impressions reached each month using the member’s monthly impression report. We will also award prizes for the most creative campaign.

Prizes: Prizes vary for each contest. Prizes are not transferable and no substitution or cash exchange is permissible. Any income tax liability is the sole responsibility of the winner.

Announcement of Winners: Winners will be contacted by Save Local Now via email and/or telephone.

Use of Contest Winner’s Name, Likeness, etc.: Accepting the prize constitutes permission to use the winner’s name, address, likeness, photo, and/or prize information, without limitation, for promotional purposes without further permission or compensation.

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Modern Hair Designers in Clintonville, WI had small beginnings.  Sandy Bruette opened the first salon in 1988 and has watched her business expand to three locations around town; Modern Hair Designers, Modern Hair II, and Modern Hair III of Embarrass.  Last April, Modern Hair Designers celebrated its 25th anniversary in the small town of 4,000 residents.  But this long run isn’t the only triumph the salon has to smile about.

Not unlike many small businesses, Modern Hair Designers does not have a website or anything more than a Facebook page to help with promotions and deals.  Nevertheless, using Save Local Now’s digital marketing platform, the salon has received almost 10,000 impressions!  Keep in mind that Clintonville, WI is home to only 4,000 residents.

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It began a few months ago when owner Sandy Bruette was looking into e-mail marketing platforms to push business deals and events out to her customers.  When the Clintonville Chamber of Commerce told her about using Save Local Now, she thought she would give it a shot.  No one could have predicted the impressive outcome.

Save Local Now is extremely proud of all partner chambers and businesses. It’s success stories like these that really define why we do what we do every day. Modern Hair Designers is just one testament to the success of our platform.  Congratulations Sandy and the entire team!!

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Save Local Now’s commitment to inspire people to shop locally is near and dear to our hearts. We know how challenging it can be to try and get your community fired up about buying local. You might think you are just one business and nothing you do will have any impact, but I beg to differ. Here is a quick list of things you might want to try out this year that will really make a difference in your communities efforts to buy locally.

1. Meet your neighbors (and tell your customers about them) – From my own personal experiences with the communities I’ve lived in, as well as from the communities we work with, I’ve learned one thing. The more businesses promote their neighbors, the better and more thriving the community is as a whole. You should make friendly suggestions to your customers on other businesses they should check out. This will reassure them that you are a trustworthy business owner and not just out for your own profit, and it will also inspire people to keep checking out local businesses and keep returning to your town. Your neighboring businesses might return the favor and send people your way, and soon your whole community could become a giant web of local networking. I’ve seen this happen-there is nothing more powerful.

2. Join (or help out) local organizations – Aside from your local chamber of commerce, there are probably a multitude of other small organizations you could become involved in. Some might say they don’t have the funds or time to join all of these, however, that doesn’t mean you can’t get involved.

  • You could reach out to organizations and tell them you would like to volunteer once a year for their big event.
  • You could tell YPO’s they may host their next networking event in your business space.
  • You could offer a discount to any member of the local book club.

However you want to do it, my bet is you will see some more business coming your way by word of mouth. Local organizations are usually just that: organized, and helping them out once in a while could mean extending your marketing efforts 3 fold!

3. No brainer: Buy Locally – Make it a point to frequent other businesses not just as a business owner but as a customer. Other business owners will appreciate it and will often return the favor. Use local suppliers, local farmers, and local services for all of your businesses needs as well as that of your personal life. It will show the rest of your community that you are standing behind them, so they can in turn, stand behind you!

4. Take local global – Register your community in national, or even world wide competitions or write into travel magazines to tell them about why they should check out your town. Sometimes there is only so much you can do locally and you need to let the rest of the world know why THEY should come to your town. Highlight the things that make your town unique and don’t underestimate how weird quirks can attract attention. I promise you there are people out there looking for just the kind of beautiful little town that is your community.

5. Create $LN awareness – In order for Save Local Now to have it’s affect on your community, you need to get people using it! I know I say this a lot but the bottom line is, being a free service to both consumers and businesses, we aren’t the ones who will benefit from people using $LN, YOU will. So tell your friends, family, community, organizations, newspapers, and schools. Tell them to try Save Local Now and stay up to date with everything local.

2014

Marketing your small business can be tricky. As marketing trends change and change again and platforms offer you more and more options, you may be wondering, what are you supposed to focus on?

Well, let’s take a look. These are some of the upcoming trends in marketing for 2014.

1. Mobile Marketing – You might already know this one. You should. Mobile marketing is still on the rise and will continue to be for some time to come. As more and more people own smart phones (147.9 million people in the U.S. by the month of September), social media, email marketing, and GPS location features will also continue to rise. Mobile marketing ads are also cheaper and easier on companies with small budgets and can have a lot more impact than television or other traditional advertising methods as they are often seen repeatedly.

Save Local Now strives to continually update our mobile app. Providing sharing features to both the business and the consumer, and streamlining the way a customer finds your business are just some of the ways we put your business on top of mobile marketing. Best yet, our app is top rated and available for both the iPhone and Android market! There really is no need to go building your own app these days when you can use ours for free!

2. Geo Targeting – As mentioned above GPS locating features will continue to rise with mobile. Geo targeting is similar in that it pays (literally) to target people within a few miles of your business. This has been true especially in retail where targeting audiences within a two mile radius can help the business create marketing campaigns that are current and relevant.

We offered Geo location mapping on your mobile and browser from the beginning, and as always we remain a tool for local businesses only. However, Geo targeting at Save Local Now came about a year ago with one of our app updates. With users being able to sort Deals and Events by clicking “Nearby” we give you the opportunity to create custom actionable offers specific to the customers who might be looking for you right around the corner!

3. Image centric Social Media – Twitter and Facebook are not the only Social Media that matters anymore. In fact as Facebook usage declines newer networks are getting a lot of buzz. Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, and Vine are among some of the top players even though some of these are still very young on the scene. Whats the draw? Large images or videos dominating the page with short descriptions and hashtags to browse other posts. Sites like Buzzfeed, Imgur, and Tumblr also play a part in this.  We can expect to see a continued growth in image sharing as 2014 rounds the bend.

Save Local Now was onto this when we updated the site in early 2013 to create more focus on your images. With larger placement for your logos or Deal & Event images, we really recommend you take advantage of this trend by updating your images with higher quality photos that pack a lot of punch. Even if you are just starting out and don’t have a logo, we have some suggestions on how to start building one for yourself!

This year, why not make it your resolution to check in with the blog for more tips on how to stay current and relevant in your small business? We are going to make it ours to continue to improve ourselves for the benefit of YOU the local business!

One more thing. As the year wraps up, we’d like to say thank you. We are working hard to help your local businesses thrive and though we might not be local for all of you, we are a small business that values local business being great business and we wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for you. Please stay happy, healthy, and remember to support your community. We wish you all a thriving, busy new year!