A local business is very different from an international or global brand because they operate strictly within their local context. They cater to the local needs and sell their product, culture, and service through their local network. This is a great way to get local business since customers have a direct connection with the local business. Local businesses are also able to incorporate their own set of values and principles. The ability of local businesses to offer a local niche service has been proven to increase sales and productivity.
A good example of a local business that uses this business model is Ebay. Ebay has literally taken the auction model and applied it to purchasing and selling items. The eBay auction business model is replicated locally by local business owners and sellers who offer items for sale on eBay. The success of the Ebay auction business can be attributed to the fact that eBay offers sellers and buyers a platform to purchase items in a local environment.
Local businesses and sellers also use local social networking to promote and advertise their business. Examples include Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, LinkedIn, FourSquare, and YouTube. These social networking sites are used to identify potential customers, increase customer loyalty, and market a product or service. Local small businesses and non-profits also use these social networking sites to advertise and raise funds. In fact, many local businesses and non-profits now list their events on these websites in order to attract more customers and donors.
Another way for local business to promote and market themselves is by submitting their information to the Small Business Administration (SBA). The submission process requires the submission of a business plan, articles, and financial statements. Local Chamber of Commerce and local chamber of consumer affairs are two organizations that hold the SBA membership for a certain period of time after which the membership is required to renew annually. Local business owners also submit their information to the SBA in order to receive certain tax benefits.
One last way that a local business can promote themselves is through trade shows. Trade shows are generally used by potential customers and/or current clients and all businesses should participate. Trade shows can be held locally, regionally, nationally, or internationally. A company can exhibit their goods and services at a local trade show. Many times a trade show is the only opportunity that a potential customer has to see the products and/or services that a small business owner is trying to sell.
All large firms understand that it is essential to be proactive and get involved in local businesses in order to make a positive impact on their bottom line. Even if a firm chooses not to participate in a local business association, there are numerous ways in which it can gain positive publicity and increase the number of clients or customers. Many times these same techniques are utilized by local businesses that are not members of any association or group.