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    19 Replies Latest reply on Feb 5, 2008 7:43 AM by goodedc

    How to get local business.

    aberkson Newbie
      I have an retail site and can not figure how to get local business. I have offered free shipping, delivery. It's so weird how I can ship globally but not locally. Any sage words of advice? Anything that's worked for you?
        • Re: How to get local business.
          Buffalo Adventurer
          Is your retail site brick and mortor or internet?
            • Re: How to get local business.
              aberkson Newbie
              It is internet only.
                • Re: How to get local business.
                  GFX Reb0rn Newbie
                  Have you tried advertising in local papers or doing a mass mailing/e-mailing? If you have then I would say seek to advertise on your local news station or newspapers' web site. With digital news as often as people want it you may be suprised how many people will click your link. Look to sponsor special events in your city or town like Parades or Fairs... things like that can be pricey but worth every penny. If you dont want to sponsor the event, then try to set up a Kiosk at the event and take orders there as well as pass out brouchures and invest in a giveaway. People will love you if you give them free stuff. Hope this helps! Good Luck!
                  1 of 1 people found this helpful
                    • Re: How to get local business.
                      Mass mailing - (postcards) - sure, go for it, knock yourself out.

                      Mass emailing - it's called spam! Don't do it. If you do not have permission directly from the person you are emailing, then you are spamming them. Brokered lists, 99% are lies - filled with unsuspecting people who had their info sold from unscrupulous sites, or harvested by spambots. How many spams do you get that YOU siigned up for? Thnk about it.

                      And all it takes is a few complaints from spam recipients to their ISPs (internet service providers: AOL, earthlink, comcast, phone companies, etc) for your domain to get blacklisted, so that NOTHING from your domain (legit email, invoices, etc) will get delivered.

                      So not worth it.

                      Build up an opt-in, permission based email list one client at a time, and make sure they double-opt-in (using an automated system that emails the possible recipient one email with a link - 'click here to confirm your email'). If they don't click, they don't get future emails, because they didn't double opt in. Well worth it.

                      Need a service to do that. - very easy to use, amazing service and features, low prices. And I do not have any financial stake in mailchimp, just a satisfied customer (and integration expert).

                      • Re: How to get local business.
                        websolutions Tracker
                        Hi, I recommend that you fully optimize your Website so that it targets your geographic area of interest. You can do this many ways and if you wish reply to my message I will go in greater detail on how this can be accomplished (something I charge to do but will do it free on this forum).


                  • Re: How to get local business.
                    aberkson Newbie
                    I guess I should introduce myself so you have an idea who I am  :)


                    I am  I have had my website since 1999 but really became a full fledged website in 2000.  I am like many others who wanted to stay home for the kids and love pets so that was and still is my inspiration.  I used to think about a brick and mortar but have pretty much nixed that idea.  A website is so convenient and you don't have to worry about employees in the same way.


                    Nice to meet you all,

                      • Re: How to get local business.
                        Buffalo Adventurer
                        Yahoo and Google have local listings that you can use. You might want to check that out. We've had some success using that.
                        You might also want to see if you can partner up with some local doggy daycare businesses.
                        I noticed that you sell t-shirts on your site. We make custom
                        t-shirts, one or 100. We can print a photo of your cutomer's dog on a
                        shirt for them. Just something to think about.
                        Good Luck!
                        1 of 1 people found this helpful
                      • Re: How to get local business.
                        LUCKIEST Guide
                        Suggestions for getting local business. Start with a Business and Marketing Plan.
                        Advertise, Use the word FREE when ever you can. Talk to a local reporter from your newspaper
                        and come up with an idea that might get your business some publicity.
                        My best idea that I capitalized on was to sponsor the local baseball team. The kids wore my company name on the shirts, parents knew about me and the name was in the papers contently.
                        Visit your local SCORE office and talk to a SCORE Counselor (also FREE) or visit SCORE online.
                        Good luck, LUCKIEST
                        • Re: How to get local business.
                          LUCKIEST Guide
                          also this might help, LUCKIEST

                          h3. 6 Steps to Small Business Success

                          1. Start Smart
                          2. Plan Ahead
                          3. Set up Systems
                          4. Seek out Sales
                          5. Aim for Growth
                          6. Leverage Opportunities



                          1. Start Smart.
                          Identify a niche. Don't compete to be the lowest cost provider. Look
                          for what makes your product or service unique and adds a special value
                          for the client and charge for that value. Every business has many
                          facets. Start with what you know and like; start a business that has
                          meaning to you. Keep in mind that we don't know what the future holds,
                          many of the jobs and businesses of tomorrow don't exist today. You can
                          create your own success.


                          Now is the time to dream. To start smart, you should like the idea of
                          the business. The way to earn a good income and build wealth is by
                          serving clients well, making their life better in some way-it's more
                          than filling a need in the marketplace. To succeed you want to test the
                          idea to make sure your potential clients like the idea too. Test your

                          2. Plan Ahead.
                          People often ask me why bother with a business plan? Look at the
                          lottery as an example. You may get lucky and get the winning ticket,
                          but the odds are against you when you rely on random chance. I'm a risk
                          taker...but not that much, minimize the risk of going into business and
                          maximize your potential for success. Take the time to write a plan of
                          how you get from point A to point B. A plan gives you a clear future
                          focus and increases your chances of success.


                          The first rule of a start-up is put some of your own money in the
                          business. As the owner you must be willing to capitalize the business.
                          The second rule is put as little of your own money as possible in the
                          business. Prepare your plan and look for funding for your business from
                          multiple sources, which can include a business loan or business line of


                          Don't go it alone. Plan ahead now to build your team. Your team may
                          include a CPA and an attorney that you work with as needed. Add a
                          mentor from your industry and get a SCORE mentor to help you plan for
                          success. No one has all the answers. You get more ideas and information
                          by building a success, support team that can help you plan ahead.

                          3. Set up Systems.
                          The most basic system every business should have is a good financial
                          system. Ask yourself how am I going to generate enough income to
                          support myself and my family. Begin here. Put together a personal
                          budget, so you know what it costs you to live. Now, you can move on to
                          the business budget and sales planning, so you can see how many sales
                          you need to break even and make a profit. The start-up expense plan,
                          operating budget and your accounting software are vital to your



                          4. Seek out Sales.
                          The daunting question is how do you go about seeking out your first
                          sale. Recognize that since you don't have a big ad budget to be seen by
                          everyone, you need to target a niche and get connected in your market
                          community, be it local, regional or national. You need other people
                          selling for you-not employees-goodwill referrals. Get out and talk to
                          as many people as you can. Join organizations that would have clients
                          for your product or service. Become a visible part of your market, and
                          then ask for the sale. You begin the sales process with people that you
                          know. Yes, it's okay to start with friends and family as your first
                          customers, and then broaden from there.



                          5. Aim for Growth.
                          The basic tenant of creating a company is that you own the company. You
                          are not just creating a job for yourself. It's less risk and less
                          investment to get a job. Building a business is creating a company that
                          is more than the job itself. Think about the future. How large do you
                          want the company to be in terms of sales, net profit and employees?
                          Your answer to each of these questions will influence how you grow.
                          There are varying costs and profits associated with growth. It's
                          important to make a deliberate choice early about how you want to grow
                          your company.


                          6. Leverage Opportunities.
                          Good luck. Good fortune. Good timing. All play a part in business. As a
                          business owner, be very clear about your core focus for the business
                          and how it serves clients. Your core business is what pays the bills.
                          Then, as an entrepreneur you are about opportunity. When you see a
                          potential opportunity or stroke of luck measure it against your core
                          business focus. Good fortune is great, when it matches your vision for
                          the business. Always consider if a good opportunity is the right fit
                          for your business. If something looks great, but it's not in sync with
                          your long-term plan and budget, think carefully before committing your
                          company's resources.
                          • Re: How to get local business.
                            PPC-Pro Newbie
                            Hi Aberkson,

                            There are several ways to get local foot traffic in your door. I recommend the internet - Google is the most popular search engine with Very Robust settings that allow us to target local markets. You can set your daily / monthly spend budget to whatever you want. Plus, they have Google Maps which is valuable to local businesses like yours. Getting listed in Google maps takes 6 to 8 weeks, but getting PPC (Pay Per Click) listings is instant.<br>
                            I manage PPC accounts for multiple clients worldwide and so I've seen this work. I'm not sure if that's the answer you're looking for, so for more info keep this posting alive or visit our site at
                              • Re: How to get local business.
                                aberkson Newbie
                                I don't know but I find ppc's to be a total waste of advertising money. I can get stats for roi and it is minimal for the cost. No matter if it's adwords, overture when they were in business, and more closely related advertising. I do local advertising, donate to community efforts through the site, am a member of the chamber of commerce. I do pretty well in the search engines because my non local business does better and better every year. I am up almost 20% for 2007. Also, I donate goods all kinds of fundraising events. I also have myself listed in the google yellow pages or whatever they're called. I have also done some local flea markets and fairs but the return wasn't worth it for the cost. Anyway, I appreciate everyones great suggestions. I'm just looking for the one I haven't tried :)

                                Take care everyone and happy howlidays.
                              • Re: How to get local business.
                                CorpCons08 Ranger



                                I am a firm believer that community involvement will in the end make or break many of the small businesses established. Have you tried participating in the local Chamber of Commerce and networking groups such as BNI (a national networking group that meets once a week in local areas). These are great resources to use to promote your products and services at a reasonable rate. You could also sponsor community activities. One thing to watch for is charity walks or walks for the cure. These walks are usually looking for sponsors to help them raise money and will provide a substantial advertisement at their event. You can even donate tshirts to walkers with your logo and website on it!


                                I hope these ideas help.


                                • Re: How to get local business.
                                  hwallot Newbie
                                  Maybe a little late, maybe not. I encourage you to google or yahoo your local business directories and/or business listing websites and get yourself listed for free. Doing this puts you at a higher ranking on the internet when people search your product on any search engine. What happens is that the more people and sites link to you the higher the ranking. I also suggest that if you find yourself any where speaking to a stranger and they seem amiable offer up your business card. Do this to anyone and everyone, I've received phone calls for wedding photography, which is my business, from people I met in an elevator or old friends I met on myspace. That's another thing, create a professional sleek looking myspace page that is consistent with your business, create a myspace network of local vendors and individuals, this will help you. In regards to network groups, start your own. A girl recently contacted me through craigslist, she's a new insurance broker and doesn't have the money or the time to meet every week at a certain time so she created her own. This has been one of the best ideas I've heard so you can actually grow from this also. Don't forget to learn a little html so you can make the best out of your listing from myspace and Good luck to you, I hope this helps! Oh yeah, always donate, to your church, and be honest, fair, and giving. God will always reward you in many more ways other than fianancial. Good luck!
                                  • Re: How to get local business.
                                    talkfusion Wayfarer
                                    Emailing is great if you don't do it the old traditional way. Do it in such a way that people will remember you and your product. Do it in a way that you will know when someone looks at your emails, if they sent it to someone else and if they clicked through to your website.

                                    I have a perfect product that will help you in your business! Please feel free to contact me if you want to discuss it further.

                                    Best Regards,
                                    Don Egnor
                                    • When you mention local, think local
                                      goodedc Wayfarer
                                      Hi, your website is cool, hope you can get more business in 2008!

                                      Here is my 2 cents:

                                      From I am trained about local marketing, I suggest you go out build up
                                      reputation with dog owners in your local area, chamber of commence is a
                                      good way, but they are not the direct customers group. Search
                             to find your local dog owner club, if you can't find,
                                      organize one. google your local area to see whether there are any such
                                      club or forum exsit, get involved.

                                      here is also you can do, put a sign stick on your car, something like "proud of .....,", or T-shirt, whatever to show your town

                                      All other give you the Internet Marketing strategies, you should think out of it.

                                      Not sure I give you the right idea, feel free to contact me for more info.

                                      Liren Wang