Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Local independent hire business? How do you get found online?

Understanding how the internet will work for you as an independent business has become a perennially thorny issue of the information age.
Emerging from the marketing flood that consumers face, is a battle that many independent hire shops are raging on high streets up and down the country on a weekly basis. 
We’re frequently told that the internet has been a great equaliser and has made it much easier for independent businesses to compete with big companies, but in reality it doesn’t always feel like that. Small businesses do not often have the time and breathing space to investigate online marketing methods, let alone set up and maintain a suite of social media and online spaces on a regular basis. 
Crucially what’s the point for businesses whose trade is local and largely word of mouth?
But getting found online is important even for businesses whose customers are predominantly located within a short distance and there are a few key actions that will make the process more reliably productive.
1.   Make connections with industry leaders and trade associations in order to build links that will support your business credibility.
Read relevant industry blogs on areas such as health and safety in construction hire and tools and equipment for the hire industry; respond to the author with questions, feedback and perhaps a suggestion for shared content.
2.   What does a trade association actually give you? 
Being part of a trade association sends a clear message that you take your role as a service provider seriously and tells your customers that you are accountable. Linking to your trade association’s website increases the value of your membership and increasing links into your website support the position of your website in search engine listings.
3.   Use of smart phones is increasing all the time
More and more people are relying on the use of GPS applications which quickly and easily identify business location and opening hours in close proximity to the smart phone. GPS enabled services include Google Latitude, Foursquare and My Town. Watch how opportunities using these platforms develop in relation to local businesses.
4.   Say something interesting
Talk about your business on a regular basis, consider the voice that you give to your independent tool and equipment hire business or portable toilet supply business and resist the opportunity to simply repeatedly sell your services.

1 comment:

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