At first glance, the “small” in “small business” seems like a hindrance, but when viewed from a different perspective, it actually represents a tremendous advantage over the competition.
That’s because for most small businesses, the “small” is just another word for “local,” and local businesses are now perceived very favorably by the general public. In fact, a study conducted by ComScore and UPS in 2015 found that 93% of shoppers prefer local businesses to big chains. Shoppers value local businesses because of their unique background, products, and community-oriented atmosphere. Local businesses are naturally marketable by definition and therefore must embrace their locality and everything else that sets them apart from larger competitors.
BRINGING YOUR NAME TO THE MASSES
The increasing role of technology in running a small businesses may be intimidating but local businesses should realize that this major change merely presents more ways to utilize locality to their advantage and maintain ownership of their individual market.
A key tenet for any business looking to expand is accessibility, or your Google rank in response to broad search queries. When someone types in your product or service followed by the name of your city, your business should be among the first results to appear.
This shouldn’t be a problem for local businesses considering they already possess the most essential tool for popularity: Happy customers. The first businesses to appear in response to Google searches usually possess the highest amount of positive customer reviews. Previous research has proven that 88% of shoppers trust online reviews just as much as a personal recommendation. There’s a good chance your most loyal customers have told their friends, relatives and co-workers about your business. Unlike managers of big chains, you have the ability to talk to your customers face-to-face, or, in this case, encourage them to write online reviews. You could offer an incentive, like a discount or freebie, for writing a review or even sharing a testimonial for your website or social media page.
TAKING FULL ADVANTAGE OF YOUR FOLLOWING
Positive reviews are crucial for catching the eye of new customers, so you want to have as many as possible on popular sources for potential customers like Yelp, Facebook or TripAdvisor. That means a lot of freebies, a lot of discounts, and a lot of online communication. Customers will be more motivated to write reviews if they see that your social media pages are constantly being updated with new posts and responses to praiseworthy testimonials. Generating reviews is a lucrative investment, one that requires more inventory and the recruitment of a social engagement specialist. Companies like United Capital Source understand the importance of reviews and staying active on social media, which is why they offer loan programs for companies looking to capitalize on the reputations they built from the ground-up.
Investments of this nature take time to produce results but a Merchant Cash Advance lacks fixed, monthly payments and a set due date. This program supplies you with working capital today in exchange for an agreed upon percentage of credit card sales that is design to have little impact on your business’s cash flow. You can buy all the inventory you need and take on your new hire without having to make payments immediately afterwards. The majority of the debt is paid off when sales increase with all those new customers coming in, allowing you to run and grow your business at the same time. A Merchant Cash Advance is particularly useful for seasonal businesses, which can now make crucial investments during the slow season to maximize the success of the busy season.
A WEB PAGE TO MATCH YOUR REPUTATION
When you pay off the balance, you become eligible for better terms & more funding that will reach your bank account even quicker than before. This is an excellent opportunity for you to take a further step in terms of improving accessibility. You can do this by enlisting the help of a digital marketing team to make your website mobile and SEO-friendly. According to Quickbooks, more than half of shoppers use their mobile phones to conduct searches when they are looking for a local product or service.
Mobile-friendly websites for local businesses often feature rather simple designs that place critical information, like your address and and a link to a map with directions “above the fold” of their homepages. Being SEO-friendly means flooding your website with local-themed keywords, meta-descriptions, and alt-tags, which make it easier for searchers to find images of your signature products. A digital marketing team will ensure that potential customers can access your signature products without difficulty and quickly learn that your business is a local favorite just by looking at your homepage.
TURNING WEAKNESS INTO STRENGTH
Alternative business lenders are partial to companies that are popular enough to expand but don’t have the resources to do so. Countless local businesses face this dilemma until they receive the necessary tools for take full advantage of their role in their communities. If your business needs to promote its locality and reach the customers it has rightfully earned, call 855.933.8638 or visit the United Capital Source website. You won’t believe how a single, carefully-planned investment can completely change your future!