Tag Archive : local

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!

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.

The holiday season will be here before you know it, and now is the perfect time to map out your digital-marketing campaigns in order to drive the most revenue for your business.

Waiting too long puts you at a severe disadvantage — you need to be ready to capitalize on the increased traffic and the mindset of consumers during this period. They will be ready and willing to click that buy-now button, so run through this quick six-step checklist to make sure your online business is ready for the fast-approaching holiday season.

REMEMBER: Save Local Now is a completely free member benefit. Included in your digital platform: content publishing, email marketing, search engine optimization, and social media sharing.

1. Analyze previous holiday-season data.

This is something so simple, yet many businesses completely ignore the gold mine of data they have available to them. Where did the majority of your holiday traffic that lead to conversions come from last year? Was it email marketing, social media, paid search or organic traffic?

2. Build out holiday-specific landing pages.

You will want to have several landing pages to split test, so rather than scrambling to get them done at the last minute, build them out now. This allows you to start your holiday marketing with a large group to pull data from.

The sooner you are able to clip the poorly performing pages and identify your highest converting landing pages, the sooner you can push the majority of your traffic to the best performing landing pages. You want to make sure you have identified your best performers before the peak of holiday season.

3. Set up your holiday email-marketing campaigns.

There is a good chance that your holiday email offers and funnels will be slightly different than your traditional email campaigns. For example, your traditional conversion funnel might reach the consumer every 10 days with an offer, but during the holiday season you will want to be a little more aggressive. Consumers are in the buying mood — if you wait too long you might lose those potential customers to a competitor that reached them sooner.

4. Ensure your website is mobile-friendly.

It’s been said a million times — you need a mobile-friendly website. While running your site through Google’s mobile-friendly test is a good start, you need to also test your user experience with real visitors.

Ask friends, family, employees and complete strangers to access your website via their mobile devices and have them navigate your pages, access your offers, submit your forms and attempt to contact your business. You need honest feedback — if something sucks they need to tell you. Holiday visitors are in the buying mindset, so you need to make sure they don’t get frustrated or annoyed while on your website.

5. Map out your holiday content marketing.

It’s never too early to start planning your holiday content. Start chipping away at it now and you can have all of your blog posts scheduled ahead of time.

You will also want to consider increasing your posting frequency during the holiday season. This should be something that you start discussing early with whomever is handling your SEO. You will often want to create your content around holiday specific keywords.

6. Schedule your holiday season social-media posts.

If you aren’t using an automated social-media tool, now is the time to look into it. I use Hootsuite — it costs me less than $120 a year and allows me to schedule posts far in advance. You never want to automate all social media, but it’s nice to know that you always have posts scheduled that can spark interaction and drive website traffic.

Holiday-specific images, hashtags and messages are key — your approach will be a bit different during the holiday season. During peak holiday season, don’t be afraid to throw some direct offers out there — people will be searching for deals and using the correct hashtags and keywords can help attract purchase-ready consumers.

Original Article: http://entm.ag/1NB1ifs

 

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We’re excited to inform you that, just last month, Save Local Now finalized its partnership with iHeart Media! This media powerhouse is now our exclusive radio partner nationwide; this means, no matter the market, partners of SLN can now purchase radio advertising at a discount. The possibilities here are endless: traditional radio, online radio, mobile app, and banner advertisements are all available to you and your members.

With strategic and meaningful partnerships like this, we’re fulfilling our brand promise of leveling the digital playing field for chambers of commerce and their member businesses.

For a market-specific quote, send your request to: marketing@savelocalnow.com.

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

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

We totally get it, not every business is equipped to offer price reductions, percentages off, buy-one-get-one, or as we like to call them, “deals.” That doesn’t mean SLN isn’t for you! With the SLN platform you can create endless promotional content. If you aren’t sure what to offer, check out some of these ideas to get you started:

Free Consultation- This is a great option for businesses that want to get people in the door but don’t necessarily have the option of offering discounts.

Free Quote- Similarly to free consultations, this promotion gets the ball rolling with the client.

Learn More About Personal Loans and Lines of Credit- Use the platform to highlight details about the different programs and services you offer. This will insure you always have relevant content on your profile while also letting consumers learn more about your company.

Online Banking now Available on an App- Create campaigns that feature different products or services that are unique to your business. Not only will this help differentiate you from other businesses, it will also guarantee you always have fresh content for your consumers.

Speak to a Professional- When in doubt, offer up your expertise! Consumers like knowing that they can talk to a real person when they need help. By letting clients know they can speak to a professional at any time, you’re helping to create a more personal relationship.

 

Can’t quite remember how to log into your SLN account? No problem! Follow this easy cheat sheet to help jog your memory:

Step One: Go to members.savelocalnow.com.

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Step Two: Enter your username and password and click “LOGIN.”

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Step Three: If you have forgotten your password, click the “Forgot Password?” button.

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Step Four: Enter your email and then click “Submit.” You will receive an email from us shortly.

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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.