I could say it’s about communities, preserving the high street or livelihood of the families in neighbourhood.
But in fact, I love local because it’s good for business. I am not just talking about small independent business. Big chains spoke to us from swanky billboards and TV ads about how they are committed to source locally and support our communities.
Recent recession made us look hard about how we vote with our wallets. And I think like any negative it has delivered many positives. As consumers, we know that the choices we make add up and ultimately decides if a local bakery or a coffee shop stays, or goes. We have formed some great habits.
I recently spoke with one of our users who wanted some advice about their wider marketing needs. They have recently set up a state of the art clinic and are looking for a way to spread the word. I advised them what I advised any of our local businesses – become your neighbourhood hero.
Sound easy – but what does it mean?
It means leading by example. If you want your customers to shop local, you should too. Going online has become so much of our habit that the first thing we do when we need something is going online. We compare the price, take out our credit card and complete the order – often completely oblivious to the fact that down the road there may be a business doing just that.
Many of those businesses will be on Google but it may be harder to find them than you think. The reason for that is that they are competing with big companies for your attention.
As a business owner, you can do your bit to find and be found. Think like a big businesses you aspire to be one day.
Form local alliances, partnership, run events, participate in events and make sponsorship part of marketing spend. Local community (business community included) will reward you with their attention, and their custom, sooner than you think.