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Starting and running a local business presents various benefits and struggles. From branding to customer service, you’ll need to follow an intentional growth strategy that is tailored specifically for your audience. On the one hand, this may limit your potential customer base. On the other hand, it offers the ability to truly connect with locals on a deep, personal level.
If you’re choosing to stay local, know that growing this type of business is a totally different ballgame than growing a national or international business. That’s why we asked a panel of Forbes Los Angeles Business Council members how to cater specifically to your city’s needs. Here’s what they had to say.
1. Know Your Clients Personally
The unique experience of owning local business centers around known clients who bring a personal experience to the service or product. These customers will help you understand and realize the value of accountability to real, identifiable people. It’s helpful to keep those core learnings intact as you scale. – Carl Hebeler, Hebeler Accountancy Corp
2. Your Brand And Community Must Be Constantly Nurtured
Being unique can be key to building a brand. That means being different and being able to think outside the box, and pushing the envelope to become a standout in any given industry. This challenge of being unique must be tried and true locally, and constantly nurtured to build a local following. However, it can be a gateway to building a brand that’s viable internationally. – Samuel Kim, SQLA Inc.
3. Get Out On The Town
When you have a true understanding of what’s in your backyard, you’re able to cater to the needs and culture of that specific market. How do you best understand it? Get out on the town. Attend events, network, set up coffee dates with people you want to know. People want to do business with people they know. And what better way to create those connections than face-to-face. – Kelly Howard, EightSixtySouth
4. Develop Relationships With Local Business Professionals
Growing locally is a large part of our business. That growth comes from spending time in the market, gaining a strong reputation and developing alliances. Meet people, be valuable to the people you meet and develop relationships. – Robert Brill, Brill Media Company
5. Aim To Be The Big Fish In A Small Pond
Growing your business locally is super important. You can create a presence in the community and raise awareness for your brand by networking and taking part in community-driven events that are in line with your brand. I always tell people in PR — start locally and you will be a big fish in a small pond, which eventually helps to grow your brand nationally. – Nicole Dunn, Dunn Pellier Media, Inc.
6. Get Specific Feedback To Improve Personalization
You get to personalize your business a lot more. When you’re operating on a macro level, you mostly measure through different metrics to make a global decision. When you’re local, you’re able to gather more specific feedback from customers which enables you to better cater to their needs. – Anna Nguyenova
April 11, 2019 at 08:30AM
Forbes – Entrepreneurs