Likes shoes on a doormat, there are customers nearby who are keen to do business with local companies
When you buy something online your supplier could be anywhere in the world. However, people increasingly want to buy from easily accessible local businesses that offer personalised experiences. 
There are customers on your doorstep who would really like to do business with you, so how do you find them? 

Marketing locally 

Whether you’re an experienced entrepreneur or starting your first business, local marketing is important. You’ll want to use all the tools available to you to reach your audience, so don’t forget your offline options. There’s no substitute for meeting people face to face, so you should make local business events part of your plans. You can really stand out from the crowd when you make a point of meeting and understanding your local customers. And they’ll get to know you too. 

Making things personal 

Well-targeted digital channels are effective for local marketing as long as they include relevant information and deliver personalised experiences. There are great opportunities to attract customers who are using mobile and voice search, for example. Include local references and contact details so you’ll be found by someone asking for a product or service ‘near me’. 
Many large businesses invest a lot in technology that can give the appearance of providing local and personal experiences. You have the advantage of knowing and meeting your local customers every day, so you can offer genuinely personalised services. 

Being consistent 

Your customers will switch between your website, social media, telephone enquiries, in-store visits, and personal meetings. Wherever you connect with them they should receive the same positive experience; one they’ll want to share. Customer experience must be high quality and reliable to avoid disappointment. However, it’s also important to be authentic, so it’s worth clarifying what you and your business are all about. 

Showing you’re trustworthy 

Promoting your brand in person at local events and venues will help to build your business community and you’ll also hear what your customers have to say. Advertising in trusted local publications will make sure you’re seen in the right places. Share where you are going and when on your social media channels with plenty of local keywords. Your customers are influential, so remember to ask them for reviews when you meet them as well. 

Becoming a connector 

Once you’ve established your local business connections you will gain a reputation as someone who has useful local knowledge. People will ask you for advice when they’re looking for a solution. Even if they’re asking about a product or service you don’t offer, help freely given is remembered and appreciated. The referrals you provide will probably be reciprocated in the future. 

Caring about your footprint 

Making a commitment to your local area means you can also reduce the environmental impact of your business miles. With fuel costs increasing this could help reduce your costs as well as being a sustainable choice. It might also make an electric vehicle a more viable option for your business travel. 

Building your local community 

Building a community of customers locally will provide you with a solid base for growth. Everyone knows at least 20 other people, so positive reviews about your business can spread quickly. Events, sponsorship, and local collaborations nearby and in neighbouring counties can bring people together in person and online. 
With the right combination of technology, personalisation, community-building, and data analysis, local businesses can look forward to positive growth. 

Are you ready to meet your local customers? 

At Pulse magazine we firmly believe in supporting local businesses that meet the needs of local people. Following the success of the Northampton Business Expo, our next event is in Milton Keynes on 8 June. We’re also planning a new event in Bedford – you heard it here first. 
If you would like to meet your local customers find out more about Business Expo events. Talk to one of our helpful team members today. 
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