You’ve heard time and again that things are tough at the minute for local businesses. Before the pandemic, companies were already struggling to compete against big online organizations. Nowadays, it’s even harder.
Don’t be mistaken, though, opportunities are still out there. They just require a bit more creative thinking.
One great way to make the most of those opportunities is to work with your community and the other business owners in your area. To help you with this endeavor, we’ve listed a few of the most profound ways your business can benefit whilst also helping others.
Swap Shout-Outs On Social Media
If you’ve got a decent online following with customers in the local area, a great way to help fellow businesses is to give them a shout-out on social media. For example, if you’ve used local small business IT services or accountants, don’t be shy about thanking them publicly. This will help them build awareness and hopefully get a few new customers. They’ll usually return the favor, meaning you could gain a few new customers as well.
Display Some Leaflets Around Your Premises
If a nearby local enterprise is in need of some marketing help, why not consider displaying some of their marketing materials around your business premises? Of course, it’s probably not something you’d do with a direct competitor, but it could be the start of a new business partnership if it works out.
Do make sure you either use a professional graphic designer or do lots of research before having a go yourself. Red is the most popular color for advertising because it is so successful in grabbing the attention of customers. However, if the leaflet itself is badly designed, you won’t gain anything by turning those heads!
Get Paid To Include Their Marketing With Your Orders
As a way to earn a bit of extra income, you could offer to include some marketing materials in the orders placed by your customers. You’ll have to agree on a price, but something simple like a leaflet slipped into the customer’s bag can actually have great results, especially if combined with a good marketing message (such as discounts and introductory offers).
Good Old-Fashioned Referrals
If you and another local business are closely related or share a lot of similar customers, you could both agree to refer customers to each other. This one is harder to quantify in terms of exact returns, but it’s always a good idea to ask new customers how they found you. It could also be worth tracking this in a spreadsheet, so you know where you’re having the biggest impact.
Create A Support Group For Local Businesses
Setting up a local support group for your fellow business owners is a great way to help each other make the most of the opportunities out there. Things are different, given the current situation (depending on where you live). If you’re creative enough, though, you can come up with some innovative ways to keep your business (and those around you) in the black.
Facebook is a great platform for this, and you could even organize a weekly online meetup (moving to in-person as the world re-opens).
The above suggestions are just a starting point for the next steps involved in marketing your business. With creativity and some friendly networking, you’re going to be making leaps and bounds forward, all while helping the local economy and your fellow small business owners.