Any business that offers products or services directly to a local market is regarded as a local business. Often denoted by the term, “store front,” a local business is either a privately owned company or a corporation with more than one location operating within a given geographical area. Because of this geographic concentration, many companies have their primary operations centers in the local area. These businesses are usually found on Main Street or in the business district of a city, town or suburb. A “side-line” is a type of local business that has sales throughout the greater community but has minimal operations within a given city, suburb or town.
Many people use the Internet to find local businesses because searching for local business listings through search engines such as Google, Yahoo! or Bing can give them direct access to the closest local business they can find. For instance, if someone is looking for a pizza shop in their local city, they might type in “pizza shop” in the search box on a search engine to locate a local pizzeria. When the pizza shop comes up in the search results, it will show up at the top of the list along with other local businesses.
In order to get around the local business filter, many people create business listings that are more specific. For example, instead of just providing a list of local businesses, they provide information on each business’s type of products or service. This is done on the listing’s About Me, Contact Us or Company Overview pages. For example, if someone is looking for a local dentist, they may include information such as the dentist’s education, years of experience in the field, special training or certifications, types of insurance they offer and specialty areas of dentistry.
One way that many business owners use these marketing tools is to allow members of their associations to have access to the local business owner’s contact information. Sometimes, local business owners will sell membership organizations rights to use in promoting their small businesses. The fees are charged as part of a very low monthly recurring fee and the rights can be sold multiple times if the business owner sees a need for them. These rights may include business plans, brochures, catalogues, etc.
Many small businesses today are choosing to go “green.” If a business has its own website, it can help to boost its online presence by adding green resources such as articles, photos, videos, etc. However, most local businesses do not have their own blogs or websites. They may not even have a blog where potential customers can read about their company and what they do.
In order to be accepted by potential customers, small business development companies may help the local business owner by helping to set up a blog and website. Potential customers who want to find out more about a local business, shop, or service will often visit the website. For the small business owner, he/she would be able to add the local chamber of commerce. He/she can also write content about his/her products and services, talk about the local chamber of commerce, and even give tips about how other local business owners can best serve their customers. This provides a great opportunity for the small business development company to set themselves apart from the competition.