Small businesses, in particular those in the retail sector, seem under attack. The retail giants – Amazon, Walmart and the like devour market share daily.
What’s a business owner to do?
Evolve with the times.
Sure, you have a successful business and have been doing things the same way for the last 10 or 20 years, but the world around you is shifting quickly – and smart business owners will find a way to ride the tsunami of change instead of holding their ground.
What can you do?
Become a community business.
The global economy has seen push back in recent years from a young and growing demographic of consumers who would rather buy local than from a retail giant. Your business can survive the changing market by embracing this demographic and giving them what only you can. Amazon doesn’t know what your community needs or wants, and they certainly aren’t going to open a stall at the local farmer’s market – but you can. Offer yourself as a business who is focused on building the community. Partner with other small business ventures by offering retail space to artisan products or to those manufactured locally. Join farmer’s markets, get a booth at local festivals, offer donations to local schools and charities. You will not only be forming strong local business partnerships, you will be attracting consumers because money spent with you goes right back into the community.
Embrace the digital world.
You can make the necessary changes to become a community business, but without an effort to market those changes all of your hard work will do you no good. Promote your community business with a great website, complete with some kind of online shopping experience. Let people see what you offer, check out your prices and hear your story. Highlight your local partnerships and how your dedication to the community puts your business in a unique place where shoppers can support the place where they live and work.
Use social media to promote what you offer, to tell the community about the events you’ll be attending and to share how you give back. Use a blog on your website to not only improve your search ranking with continually updated content but to talk about how your business partnerships can help the community grow. If booking appointments is a necessary part of your business, use an appointment booking app that allows potential customers to book appointments with you 24-7 from their mobile devices. Offer cashless payment options and advertise that you do. Ask your clientele to rate and review your business online. Research your options to see what technology is available and continually upgrade to make your business more efficient and user friendly. Do anything and everything you can within the digital world to tell your community about your local business.
What if you’re about ready to sell or retire, should you bother making these types of changes? Absolutely. The new generation of business buyers aren’t looking for the same type of business their parents did. They want a business that is relevant and meaningful to both the local community and the digital world at large.
Have questions about how you can turn your business into a community business to attract both customers and business buyers? Ask us now.
12995 South Cleveland Avenue, Suite 249
Fort Myers, FL 33907