Capitalize on Local Customers to Drive Business Growth

As a local business owner, you do your best to stand out from your competitors and keep up with bigger chains. You know the importance of getting customers to reinvest their money into their communities, rather than spend it at big retailers. But do your customers know this?

You’re also actively taking part in your local Chamber of Commerce, forming local business alliances, and placing those “Buy Local” signs in your storefronts. But does it really work?

Does it matter to customers that your business is locally owned?

Yes, it does. Customer trends show that people are realizing the value that small businesses bring to the community. In this age of 24-hour e-commerce superstores and next-day delivery promotions from national chains, customers’ desire to patronize local businesses has grown tremendously.

Consumers have grown right along with this buy-local movement. Grocery stores are turning to local produce and goods. Even giant chains are working to attract local-loving customers.

This is great news for all local small businesses. The challenge here is to be able to capitalize on this consumer preference and attract more local customers to make your business more locally famous.

Ways to Make it Work

1. Hire Local

More customers support businesses that provide job security for their residents. When you hire someone local, you won’t have to worry about relocation expenses. Also, they’ll come to work with more energy and customers will love their local voice. For instance, hiring local delivery drivers who know the area pretty well would benefit your business more than hiring someone from out of town.

2. Jump On the Local Pride Bandwagon

Take inspiration from how tourist destinations have mastered this idea. Get creative by offering items with a local flair. For instance, you can offer fun items like tote bags, apparel, key chains, and more in your local store. These make great promotional items. It also helps keep the charm of your community alive by showing customers the pride and value in supporting local products.

3. Engage with Customers

Remind your team, especially your store managers, to talk with customers and create great relationships with them. Make your customers feel at home with your business and that they are part of a community.

Ask if you can share their photos on your social media pages or website. This way, more people will see how your business personally connects with people in the community. And why not reward your local fans once in a while? Think of how special deals or random treats to passersby will foster goodwill among your neighbors.

4. Deliver Personal Customer Service

Give your customers the best service that they deserve. Always let them know that you appreciate seeing them inside your store. Value their presence and purchases no matter how big or how small they are. Make a point to be helpful, understand their needs, and serve with a personal touch.

5. Show Community Involvement

It pays to know what’s happening in the community. You can do this by getting involved in community events. For instance, you can take part in community fairs and festivals, or sponsor a local team. You can also cater to event crowds and let people know that your doors are open.

You can also offer a free class or workshop every once in a while. It can be any activity that you have skills in, like cooking, bread making, photography, scrapbooking, and a lot more.

6. Connect With Other Local Businesses

Check your community and find businesses that complement your own. If you own a jewelry store, you can partner with businesses to engage in the wedding industry. Understand the value of synergizing and helping other businesses. Or if you’re managing a local cafe, look for businesses that offer consignment deals. Developing alliances will help drive your business forward.

At the end of the day, capitalizing on your local customers and building local credibility ensures that your business will generate an ongoing stream of local leads. You’re also strengthening your brand, boosting referrals, encouraging customer loyalty, and nurturing relationships that will pay off for years to come.

The key takeaway here is that consumers don’t need several motivations to patronize local businesses. What you can do is to build on that natural desire by building more connections and establishing lasting engagement with your customers. More importantly, make it your goal to make customers feel comfortable every time they walk in your door.

Looking for more ways to grow your business?

Start by watching our business-altering video titled The Three Biggest Lead Generation Mistakes Small Businesses Make… And How To Overcome Them All. We’ll reveal the strategies you can immediately deploy that will enable you to out-think, out-market, and out-sell your competition.

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