One of the most popular areas today for entrepreneurs, are new business start ups called “local.” I always try to support my local businesses as much as I can, I feel you need to do a lot of local research as your biggest outlay will be local marketing and advertising, to get there name and service out there in the local area, local online advertising is cost effective which you can direct it at targeted audience if done properly.
Also this might be the biggest challenge with local. Now let’s say you have created a great service that the end users love and need it then gets popular through word of mouth this is the time to make a loyalty promotion to your clients/customers to come back to you and recommend to there friends, funny I was talking with a carpet cleaning company in Plymouth, most of there business comes from word of mouth, via these local Facebook groups like buy and sells, but as I said to the company aren’t you restricting yourself too a certain customer, mainly because if I wanted my carpets cleaned I would go to FB but none the less he’s doing very well. I feel the problem is for the large part, these local businesses don’t think of the online web as an
important tool or don’t really understand how to use it. You can ask you nearest restaurant owner or dry cleaners about online advertising, they shy away from it or don’t see it as critical, which makes them confused about it.
Now if you are working from home or in a remote location, again I would stress that’s its really hard to be remote. I have found from my experience that most remote workers work at least as hard, if not harder, than their local counter-parts. Now maybe this is fuelled by a small part of guilt and fear. Some people feel guilty from working at home. We can only assume we all think we’re just hanging out watching loose women or something, even we assume you think we’re just at the shopping mall tweeting or having a coffee at Nero’s using free internet. I might add that some fear that you think we aren’t putting in a solid 40, 50 hours in a week. Now because of this thinking, we tend to be working late evenings nights, plus work after the kids are in bed, and not forgetting working the weekends, maybe the odd afternoon off to see a kid’s school play or sports event, but then that guilt will send us right back in to make up the loss time. In my experience, remote workers are more likely to feel they are taking time from the company and pay it back more than others.
Small businesses have and will always struggle to compete with large businesses that have millions to invest in PR and advertising, and also have big buying power that allows them to offer the cheapest prices Tesco is a great example. However combine this with a tight economy where customers / people have too little remaining disposable money to purchase local (sometimes often at a premium) or to buy anything they really don’t need, leads to falling sales for local biz, plus the banks are unwilling or unable to lend to small businesses, so this is the time now more than ever to support local business and for the local biz to understand its market before jumping in.