Your startup needs to do many things if it’s going to stay afloat and survive. But if you ask me, the main key to success is the local community. All businesses start small. So, you need to conquer your immediate surroundings before you can move onto bigger and better things.

Therefore, you should definitely focus on making your business a part of the community and using this to your advantage. It’s not something that is particularly easy to do, but it can certainly be done.

The community your business is rooted in will be what provides it with its early success. This is true even if you have much bigger aims for the business in the long-term. So, why is the local community so important to your business’s short-term chances of success? And how can the community be harnessed to improve the business’s prospects?

Physical presence

Having a physical shop, rather than an online store, gives the business roots in a community. This kind of physical presence makes it so much easier for you to appeal to local people. When they walk past it, they will look and see what you have to offer. It’s impossible to ignore a store when it’s right there in front of you. This means lots of things for your business.

To start with, it means that your business can do more to ensure that its customer base is made up of local people. This is something that happens naturally, and you have to be prepared to appeal to their tastes.

If you can’t offer something that the community needs, you can’t target people in other areas as you could when running an online business. So, it’s vital to understand the local market before starting the business.

Word of mouth

Word of mouth marketing is something that every business wants to take advantage of. But most businesses never succeed in achieving it. This is when customers spread the word among their friends and family. They do the work of advertising your business for you because they like what you’re doing so much.

For small businesses that focus on their local area, this word of mouth marketing is easier. People are much more likely to recommend and talk about a new small business than a big corporate entity. When people feel more closely connected to the business, they will be more likely to talk about it and feel enthusiasm for it. It can still be encouraged too though.

Hire local people

If your business is seen as a source of good, secure jobs in the local area, this will be viewed positively. People like to know that businesses in the local area are offering good jobs for people in the community. It’s another way to show that your business cares about the area and the people that make up the community.

Hiring local people also means that your business will have good local knowledge. When people are not from the place where they work, they don’t understand the community quite as well. So, having that local knowledge and understanding can mean a lot to the people who you hope to turn into your customers.

Partnering up

Partnering up with other small businesses in the local area can be positive for everyone. It gives your customers the chance to take advantage of good deals. And it helps the businesses to expand their customer bases and tap into new streams of revenue. When there are two companies with a community presence, this is really easy to do too.

As long as the two businesses are not direct rivals, the benefits can be huge. Many small community businesses do this. It’s easier to do for small businesses than it is for bigger ones. Therefore, it’s definitely something that should be taken advantage of by anyone who runs a small business. Don’t miss out on this chance to expand your business’s presence in the community.

Genuine relationships

When you sell to people in a small community or local area, you get to know them. This allows you to build real and lasting relationships with the people who are your customers. This is something that shouldn’t be underestimated. It’s the very best way to cement customer loyalty for a business. It’s a face to face interaction, and that can’t be replicated by bigger companies.

You should work on making sure that you get to know regular customers. And always offer a friendly service when you come into contact with people. It’s often the most simple and small things that make the biggest difference when you’re dealing with customers on a face to face basis. Keep this in mind when dealing with customers.

Online outreach

Even though your business is rooted in a local area, you can still use the internet to improve outreach. Many small businesses that operate in a local area can use their social media and web presence to appeal to local people. It’s all about coming up with the right approach and developing a winning strategy.

For example, many business owners use social media announcements to direct people towards their shop. It could be an announcement about a discount or sale that is ongoing for a limited period of time. You can also use SEO consultants to make your website easier to find for people in your local area.

Giving something back

It’s always a good idea to work hard and give something back to the community. When you have the community to thank for the business’s success, it’s only right to give something back. This will help to show your customers in the local community that you care about more than making money. You should do what you can do give back in a sustainable way.

What does it mean to give back to the community though? Well, there are a few things that it could mean. For example, it might mean that the business offers money to charities that do positive work in the local area. Or you could host events that create some fun in the community. The options are endless.