A local business unlike a fast growing one that has spread its wings beyond State or national borders is limited by its size of operations. A distinction has to be made here between small business and local business. While the former may be small in size, the scope of operations is not restricted to a particular locality. An example is a small online retailer that services many States. A local business need not be small in the range of its operations; it is only operating and catering to a fixed population. Examples in this regard are local convenience stores, shopping malls and other similar types of enterprises.
What then should be the operational aspects of local businesses that will ensure their road to success?
Website optimised for local searches – Any business that needs to prosper in today’s business environment has to have a highly optimised and well designed website that ranks high on results pages of search engines. Buyers today search online for products and services before arriving at a purchase decision and if your local business is not highly visible online you will be missing out on business opportunities.
Have the website optimised for local searches. Have the location of the store, working hours and all business information displayed prominently on the website. Include details of whether you deliver products direct to home and the types of payment acceptable to you. Remember, you are catering to the local people who would want to walk in through your door for purchases. It should be easy for them to find you.
Publicity devised for specific locality – When you publicize your business you have to keep the preferences of the people within your area of operation in mind. Your stocks should reflect this too. Publicize your business in the local newspapers instead of the national dailies. Any special offers or discounts being offered by you may be printed and the pamphlets distributed in community halls or at local gatherings. Take part in all happenings in your area particularly trade fairs and similar events. The whole purpose of publicity should be primarily focussed on securing a close bond with the local populace in a manner that will make your business instantly recognizable within the community.
Hire your staff locally – This is a very crucial factor for local businesses. An employee based locally will know your customers at a personal level and this will help establish goodwill for your business. Prospective customers will also trust you more if they see someone they know behind the counters. However, you should recruit staff after carefully checking their antecedents as locals can take advantage of their knowledge of the surrounding topography to fleece you in unscrupulous ways.
The best way to recruit local staff is to go through local agencies for labour hire in Melbourne or wherever your business is based. You can be definitely assured that you will get the best pre-screened talent available locally. One of the leaders in this field is First Personnel a reputed labour recruitment agency.
These are some of the pointers that local businesses will do well to follow to optimise their business operations.