Ever wonder why the concept of “the corner store” is so ubiquitous? It’s because the corner is a good place to be. It’s not just on a street, it’s on two streets. Or if there’s a particularly funky intersection involved, maybe even three. Everybody knows the corner store because everybody goes there, and vice-versa. That kind of exposure is what comes from being set up in a prime location.
But wait, this isn’t the 1950s and you aren’t running a soda fountain. We’ve got the internet. Your business isn’t just in once place, it’s everyplace. So, location doesn’t matter anymore, right?
Search (Engine) And Ye Shall Find.
Even in a global economy, even with the internet, people still need to find your business. In some ways, this has never been HARDER. While your potential reach may be wider than ever before, guess what? So is everyone else’s. You have to find a way to stand out from the crowd and break through the noise, and one of the best ways to do this is with a solid SEO strategy, part of which should be taking advantage of local search results. There are specifically local search engines like Yellow Pages and Yahoo! Local, but Google also goes out of its way to bump local search results to the top of the page.
Everybody’s Doing It.
If your competition is all zigging, it’s a good bet that you should probably zag. One great way to do this is by taking advantage of channels and platforms that your competition can’t or won't use, especially when you are competing against bigger companies. Amazon isn’t going to advertise in your local paper or register with your city’s local business directory, but you can.
Green, Organic, Grass-fed, Farm-Raised, Handmade…
Like it or not, local is hip. American Express has made a movement out of “Shop Small.” They’ve even turned it into a shopping holiday in the vein of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. When given the opportunity and shown where to go, many people prefer to buy something from the real folks down the street rather than from a faceless, nameless website. They might even be willing to pay more for it.
Look Me In The Eye.
Ever notice how some people are truly terrible at email? We all use it every day, yet for some, email communication can end up creating more problems and questions than solutions and answers. Any opportunity to meet and communicate face-to-face with the people you are doing business with, whether they are customers, clients, suppliers, etc. is usually a good thing.
Sometimes, thinking about the location of your business comes down to pure dollars and cents operating costs. Especially when you are starting out, logistical efficiency can have a huge impact on your bottom line. And being physically, geographically closer to your customers can be a huge benefit in cutting down on things like shipping costs, or providing convenient customer service.
Technology and a global economy have indeed made it easier than ever for your business to reach the far corners of the world. But one of the biggest mistakes your business can make (and one of the easiest) is ignoring, underestimating or failing to take advantage of the business opportunities available right in your own backyard.