There’s no such thing as a local business today, and if you have one, you’re going to become obsolete unless you quickly change your way of thinking.
Let me explain…
Think about a product that you absolutely love. One of those things that sell itself it’s that good. It could be anything from your favourite skincare products, to your favourite pen that sits on your desk every day.
How horrible is that feeling when you run out of it? Those last drops of moisturizer, or the last stroke of ink. Of course, you go straight to the nearest place that sells your go-to product and buy another one, right?
Being a foodie, having quality-cooking ingredients is extremely important to me and I’ve got a few items on my shelves that I don’t want to go without. The other night, I made an amazing meal for dinner and sadly, I used the last drop of my favourite dressing. A fellow food-lover and client of mine gifted this product to me. She isn’t local; therefore I didn’t know where I could get a replacement bottle.
Next, I did what any 21st-century consumer would do, I Googled the product and went to their website only to find there was no place to buy a replacement bottle. Not to be dissuaded, I went to their Facebook page and sent them a message letting them know I was interested in more.
I received a message back from the owner a couple days later letting me know they were adding e-commerce to their website and that I could call their location to purchase over the phone if I wanted.
She then recommended a different store, located closer to me where I could also purchase the quality product if I didn’t want to pay for shipping.
Let’s unpack what is right and wrong with this local business in an effort to help you learn how to think bigger picture, serve a larger audience and grow a national, if not global business.
What they did right:
- First and foremost, they delivered a stellar product. A consumable product that leaves you wanting more.
- They have a website and on that website, it is easy to find out where their local shop is, and it is easy to connect with them on social media.
- They responded to my inquiry. Not quite as fast as they could have, but they did respond within 48 hours and they offered a solution for me to get their product.
Here’s where they are not thinking like a global business:
- Their website should clearly state that online orders are coming soon, and to phone them directly to place an order today.
- When someone seeks out their product, they should have a shipping rate already pre-determined, communicate that up front, and not apologize for shipping.
- They should have a minimum order where they waive shipping within their own country. This encourages people to order more so they don’t have to pay to ship.
- They should keep the business and not refer to another local store who is their competitor in a different province. If I was concerned about shipping, my message wouldn’t have been “How can I get more shipped to me?” My message would have sounded more like “Do you charge to ship?” Most consumers today expect to pay a shipping fee of some sort, don’t introduce an objection they haven’t brought up.
- They should have asked me the best way to contact me to complete my order instead of telling me to call their store. In today’s electronic world, I should be able to communicate via messenger, send money via PayPal or e-transfer, and get my product without picking up the phone. Make it easy for customers to buy.
It is important to build a local brand and stellar reputation but that is only one small part of what you’re building. Once you’ve developed a local following and have people asking to buy from other places, you immediately need to put your innovation cap on and make it super easy for them to buy and continue to buy from you.
Stop focusing on shopping local and instead think about how you can create the charm and experience of a local business on a global basis. That’s how you protect the longevity of your local business for the future.Learn to protect the longevity of your local #business for the future. Click To Tweet
If you don’t know how to do this, get someone to help you. Often, small local business owners get so caught up in the ways they have always run their business that they fail to see ways to innovate and change to create a growth environment their business. Your business may be local, but your customers are global.
If you’d like my help, check out Profit Pods. The next round starts in September and I’d be happy to show you how to expand your reach and change your local mindset to inspire growth and expansion in your business. As a member of Profit Pods, you’d have access to all the information and knowledge to take your business from local to international.
Leave a comment below and let me know, do you have a favorite product that you can only buy locally?
Founder and CEO of the Lisa Larter Group, master strategist, author, speaker, podcast host, social media expert, consultant, and business coach. Lisa inspires entrepreneurs and business owners to see the possibilities for their organizations when it comes to strategy. She uncomplicates modern marketing and creates (and implements) strategies for businesses that are guaranteed to increase visibility, inbound leads, and revenue.