Small business advice: how to serve local, authentically

Being local matters in small business. Here are ways for any local retail business to be more locally engaged.

  1. Be visable locally: at community events, cafes, restaurants and markets.
  2. Buy locally. It sends the wrong message if you pitch shop local yet you purchase stationery online and have it delivered or if you buy your pet food online and have it delivered. Source locally as much as possible and be obvious about it.
  3. Facilitate local connections. Have a local community noticeboard in-store.
  4. Provide local receipts. Use your receipts to share local information. This could be local advice relating to what you sell or other local insights that add value to the relationship with your business.
  5. Talk local. Where you source locally, show it with products. Note that local can be a flexible term. For example, you may have a product sourced from Australia that some would consider local if the alternative is an imported product.
  6. Give locally. Five local charities priority with your time and money ahead of non-local charities.
  7. Hire locally. When you place a notice looking for a new team member, note preference given to local candidates.
  8. Share local knowledge. If you sell provides the use of which would benefit from local knowledge, have that served automatically by your POS software on shopper receipts.
  9. Share local on your Facebook page. Talk about local activities on your business Facebook, show your local connection.
  10. Explain why local matters. When you pitch on your Facebook page or noticeboard your support for a charity, explain that it is through local community support that you are able to help the local community.
  11. Offer a locals only discount.
  12. Be proud of local. Express this, often.
  13. Be seen local, shopping, walking, drinking.
  14. Talk local. Pick up on and use the lingo.

Too often small business retailers call for people to support local businesses. It can be more valuable if you show what local looks and feels like, so people in the community understand the benefit for them from supporting you.

To Tower Systems, local is small business. We only sell our software to small businesses because we believe in the importance of small business in any economy. Small businesses are our local community.

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