Many small business owners prefer to operate their businesses within their own local areas. Some of these individuals even start their businesses from their homes. The basic objective behind operating business from home is to minimize the costs associated with development of infrastructure required to carry out business activities.
Such business owners may have limited access to customers outside the local area. Lack of marketing and improper supply distribution network can hinder the growth of such businesses. Further, many customers may not prefer to use products/services of a locally owned business.Therefore, it becomes essential for such business owners to take appropriate steps to grow their local businesses. Following steps can help a business owner to expand his/her local business.
Steps For Growing A Local Business
Identify Customer Needs
For any business to succeed, it is important to identify the needs of customers. By focusing on the correct customer segment, a business owner can establish his/her business within a short span of time. For instance, a local general store can cater to the needs of different types of customers.
While it may be difficult to grow business with a single product/service, diversification can help local business owners to attract more customers. For instance, a local computer hardware supplier can start providing computer maintenance services. While this approach may not result in immediate increase in sales, it can certainly help the business owner in expanding his/her customer base. Business owner can also adopt strategies like lower maintenance charges for regular hardware buyers.
Establish Delivery Channels
Nowadays many small businesses have started providing door to door delivery services to the local buyers. This facility can give a distinctive advantage to any local business owner.Customers prefer to place orders on phone rather than visiting markets in order to save their time and effort.
By establishing proper delivery channels, local business owners can offer convenience and flexibility to shop from home (to their customers). This extra facility can help any business owner to grow his/her local business.
Use Local Marketing Channels
Local business owners can use local channels of marketing to inform people on their products and services. Distribution of brochures/pamphlets with local newspaper or society journal can be used as a cost effective means of marketing. Advertisement in local newspaper can also give desired results. A business hoarding (if permitted by local municipal authorities) can also be placed at commercial business areas within the locality. Use of banners (at prime locations) with details on the nature of products/services can also increase customer base.
Offer After Sales Support And Obtain Feedback
A local business owner should ensure that the customers are provided with excellent after sales services. It is one of the most important aspects of achieving long term business growth. It is quite possible that the customers may not like the product in the first instance.In such cases, business owner should accept the product and return money to the customers. Similarly, regular feedback from the customers can also provide the business owner with an opportunity to improve the quality of product/service.