There are plenty of business owners who are interested only in maintaining a local business. They aren’t looking to move from Houston to Dallas to Oklahoma City to Chicago to New York to San Francisco and across the globe. They are happy with Houston (or wherever their locale may be). They may not want to expand with more locations, but they are interested in garnering more of their target audience.
HOW TO KEEP YOUR BUSINESS LOCAL AND SUCCESSFUL
So you only want to be a local brand. There’s nothing wrong with that. The problem you may be pondering, however, is how to do it successfully. Well, here are some useful tips to keep your brand identifiable and your company successful. For reference purposes, we’ll use a coffee shop business.
HOW’S THE COFFEE?: The product you are sending out to customers must be good. In fact, it needs to be better than good. It needs to be great. Why? Think of Starbucks. Of course, this massive chain is simply an example of competition. In any industry, you will run into competition. And stiff competition. If your coffee is bitter, then consumers will go up the street to the place everyone goes. Why? Because your product isn’t better than a generally known competitor. If consumers are buying something that isn’t worth buying, why would they continue to come buy it?
HOW’S THE SERVICE?: In many cases, the online reviews are accurately indicative about a business. The way customers are treated plays a huge role in whether you can keep a grip on your target audience and your market share. You can’t be the only one working. So you need people who care about the business. If customers are receiving cold coffee (when it’s NOT iced coffee) or have their drinks placed in cups that still have lipstick on them, then there is a disconnect. If your employees aren’t smiling at customers or saying the simple things like “Thank you” and “I apologize for the inconvenience,” then you don’t have the right employees. The small amount of return customers will prove that. Eventually, your employees should know the names of your customers. That’s a sure sign they are coming back and they’re coming back because of the service (and more than likely the product too).
IT’S ABOUT THE ATMOSPHERE: If your coffee shop isn’t inviting, then who would want to stay in it? If you have a good product and good service, chances are you will still receive business, but that business will come in, order, and leave. Having customers stick around is a positive. Why? Because it increases the chances of them purchasing more during their visit. It’s better to have one customer purchase twice or thrice, than once. But if your atmosphere is depressing or boring, or the seating is really uncomfortable or not diverse, then it will pretty much all be stop and go. Of course, you may get the customers who stop in for a water or one cup of coffee and never leave and continue to keep your employees preoccupied. But those aren’t the type of customers businesses thrive on.
LOCATION. LOCATION. LOCATION.: This is true and has pretty much always been true. Your business needs to be easily accessible for your customers. Don’t simply purchase an area to set up shop. Consider its worth. Is it near a neighborhood? Is it close to a shopping center? Is it IN a shopping center? Is it in a place where people tend to be coffee drinkers? Here is the fact about your competitors: they are thinking about all of these things. Put your business in the best position to win.
MARKET YOURSELF: If you have a great location, a splendid atmosphere, wonderful service, and a grand product, then why in the world would you keep it a secret? Marketing is incalculably important. People won’t show up if they don’t know you’re in business. They will continue to go to Starbucks (your competitors). Don’t just put a banner on the front of your coffee shop. Utilize what everyone is using: digital marketing. Use social media, and online ads with Google and Facebook. Get a nice website with information about your business so consumers can get acquainted with your product before they ever step in the door. High quality videography and photography play major roles in showing off your product, your service, your atmosphere, and your location. Lure consumers in with upfront, honest, and creative marketing.
NEGATIVES & BENEFITS TO KEEP IN MIND ABOUT STAYING LOCAL
If you want to remain local and not branch out further, then you need to be fine with turning down more money and exposure. This will happen if you have a great product and a well oiled business machine. Once you have your business crafted and it is running well, then you simply need to implement the same strategies with your new locations. In other words, the follow up locations will be easier than the original because you will have a template to follow. Not growing your business means you do sacrifice what you’ve learned in order to stay in one place.
From a beneficial standpoint, the sacrifice won’t seem like a sacrifice because you will never experience the growth, growing pains, expansion problems, profit increases, and the joy of becoming a major player in your industry. You also won’t have to expend the time to hire a lot more employees, in particular managers who are experienced and trustworthy enough to be given part of your legacy. Also, there is less risk of failure because you will be able to spend your time and energy on your one location. And speaking of time, you will have more of it with just one location, especially if your current employees can work and manage themselves. Hopefully their training has paid off in that way.
LOCAL OR LARGER: CONTACT OUR HOUSTON MARKETING FIRM
Whether you want to stay in one place or experience growth, our Houston marketing firm is here to help you do either. Our marketing, branding and advertising experts can ensure you make the most of every dollar you spend and every idea you come up with. Contact us today and make the most of your business.
INFINI Marketing is a Houston-based marketing company committed to creating customized marketing strategies for businesses in any industry. Each of our personalized marketing strategies emphasize a brand-first approach to expanding businesses, are continuously optimized, and show undeniable results. Let’s impact the world together, one business at a time!