This week my father asked me how he could generate more revenue for his local business. He has owned two dry cleaners in south Florida for more than 23 years, and he has plenty of loyal customers, which is great, but how does he expand his reach?
My suggestion: Get online. I firmly believe that every local business should have an online presence, and this is why.Google found that 92 percent of smartphone owners in the US seek local (offline) information via their devices, and that 89 percent of those people took some form of action after such a lookup. Beyond this Google said that 25 percent of people in the US made a purchase after a local lookup. In addition, in the US, 51 percent called a business and 48 percent actually went to the business location.
For a small business owner, figuring out where to begin creating an online presence may be a daunting task. Here is a list of tips and suggestions to help make the process a bit easier.
1.Create a website.
Many small business owners do not have website because it was not seen as a necessity, and they were outrageously expensive until recently. A website is no longer a luxury item, it is a necessity. The great news is that resources such as WordPress have made it possible for anyone (yes, ANYONE) to create a beautiful website and maintaining a website is financially feasible for just about anyone now.
2. Create a Google Places page.
Go to http://www.google.com/places/ and complete the entire form. Make sure your listing says “100 percent complete.” Now, wait for the verification postcard you will get in the mail within one to three weeks. The great thing about Google Places? For free, you can post Google Offers your current customers and/or potential customers can claim online.
3. Create a Google + Business page.
4. Create listings on free, local directories.
Red, green, yellow and blue is the new yellow. More simply put, Google is the new Yellow Pages. Here is a list of the top local directories, pulled from this HubSpot article.
50 Business Directories For Local Marketing
5. Merchant Circle
26. Discover our Town
28. Best Deals on
37. Local Site submit
46. Magic Yellow
49. Navteq GPS
5. Create an account on Foursquare.
Register on https://foursquare.com/. This will allow your customers to check-in while they are at your business. Why would they want to check-in? Because you reward them for it by creating compelling offers.
6. Host social media contests.
There is a realm of possibilities here so I will tell you what I suggested to my father, who has a vehicle wrap on his delivery truck. Remember a little game called I Spy? Play it – with your customers. The first customer to take a picture of the van and post it to his Facebook wall received ______.
7. ASK FOR REVIEWS.
I cannot stress this enough. Your local business needs reviews to stand out online. Well, how do I get people to take time to fill out these reviews? My suggestion: Place an iPad on your counter, leave the review page up, and ask them to take a moment to fill out the review form. You have now made it so easy, how could they decline?
Love my ideas? Call me at 407-847-5565 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up an appointment to discuss how we can help you generate more revenue.
Not ready to talk to me? That’s okay, we’ll still give you a free website and social media competitive analysis. Complete the form here by clicking here.