4 Signs Your Local Business Is A Real Success
At what point can you say that a small, local business has succeeded? There are some who would argue that success has arrived at the point where the business is no longer a “small business”. That’s a hard opinion to justify, though, given that it’s possible to have an annual sales turnover in the millions of dollars and still be considered “small”. The truth is that success comes mostly on your own terms. If you set up a business with the intention of achieving something specific, then success has occurred when you achieve that thing.
If you want an external definition of success in small business, then it would be fair to say that there is an unofficial scorecard that you can work off. A small business is usually considered to be inherently local – and if you can say that you have brought the following qualities to your local customers, then you’ve got a case to say that your business has succeeded, no matter whether you’re now considered a “big” business.
You’re trusted in the local community
A local business can consider itself to be doing well if people in the nearby area think about it as the solution to their problems. Say you’re a plumbing business: if someone wakes up to a blocked sink and can’t go about their day until it’s fixed, you want them to immediately think “thank goodness [your business] is open!”. Businesses achieve this by length of service to their community, but you can’t short-cut that. To begin building that reputation, these days you need to think about how you can increase your local keyword rankings so people find you when looking for a local plumber. Then you do an excellent job fixing their issue, then you gain recognition from word of mouth and stay high on search engines.
You’re more than just a local business
Business success at the local level is about more than simply providing a service. Reputations are built on both sides of the counter – so satisfying customers is important, but so too is being a reliable employer. In a local business, you’re going to end up being boss to some of the people you’ll see when you go out for a meal, or in your local supermarket, and you’ll be a topic of conversation around local dinner tables. If people are saying that you’re a considerate boss who pays well and accommodates your employees’ needs, it will bring more business to your door and make you an employer people want to work for.
You move with the times but stay grounded
The pandemic was a big test for a lot of local businesses, because surviving separate waves of the virus was dependent upon collective action, and businesses needed to play their part. Many local businesses had to overnight learn how to facilitate home working, social distancing, and no-contact delivery. That’s just one example of how businesses need to be quick to learn and adapt to trends that may come out of nowhere. If you can adapt to changes, including technological advancements, then you’ll be a popular local business in 2100 – and that continuing reliability is a fundamental part of local business success.
You see partners before you see rivals
A good local business will find that there is competition for the custom of people in the surrounding area. Sometimes, people will choose to go to another business before yours, and chasing that customer won’t always be a smart move. If you can come to see other businesses, even theoretical rivals, as local business partners, then you’ll do more to burnish your reputation than if you try to drive your rivals out of business. In a small community, there is always going to be a need for more than one of most types of business; a cordial relationship with your fellow butcher, baker or candlestick maker can enhance both businesses.
An awareness of how change affects you is important to making your local business a success, and this does not need to replace the more traditional local aspects of small business. In the internet age, even local businesses need to think more broadly, and if you find yourself selling and providing services to multiple generations of the same family, you can be confident that you’ve nailed the most important aspect of local business – making a difference in your community. You’ll even find that if you’re good enough at the local level, you’ll begin to attract custom from beyond the community – and that’s when you know you’ve got it.
Categories: Outside Contributors