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The Little Business Down the Street

It is nearly impossible to leave the house and not pass a few of the 23 million small businesses in this country. Someone shows up at the same time each day, opens the door, and customers roll in. Whether they have been there for weeks or decades, the routine is the same. Therein lies the illusion. A big change has occurred, and even business owners may not realize it…until they see the little business down the street on the front page of Google.

Business owners need to be aware of not only what their modern day marketing options are, but also about what the competition is doing. There is nothing more eye-opening than seeing your competitors dominating online search results and, worse yet, not seeing your own business there. Not everyone is online; and, not everyone drives a car. Still, those who are [online] and who do [drive], typically get where they are going a lot faster.

Many people figure, “It’s worked for 25 years, why change anything?” Well, in case you haven’t looked around lately, many of those landmark stores are no longer there. While the economy is certainly in the recovery phase, the survivors (who happen to also be the competition) have beefed up their marketing strategy. Having trimmed the fat along the way, they no longer have excess cash to use for a customer fishing expedition. They need the money they spend to produce results…as in, paying customers.

We have long preached the sermon that print is not an effective method to get buyers. Print works well as a branding campaign to make people aware of your store. A coupon campaign can effectively get bodies through the door, with the hope (cross your fingers) that they will come back later at full price. But the fact remains; the first page of Google is where people go when they are ready to buy. There is no magazine to pull back out of the recycling bin in an effort to remember where you saw a particular ad. There is no number to recall from the billboard you drove by last week at 70 miles per hour. No, it’s straight to Google. This isn’t news. We all do it, right?

The point here is, there are new methods to grow your business, affordably and effectively, that the little business down the street is already using. Make sure you’ve explored your marketing options so that your money-fueled message is reaching not just people, but buyers ready to buy.