Now consider that there are countless local networks – and they all intersect. What is your business doing to tap into at least one of them?
Local Businesses are More than Local
When you buy local you gain access to what are arguably some of the most loyal business networks, with each and every business being your entry point to valuable information that is often closely guarded.
Recently, I visited a local business because what I was discovering online was inconsistent, unreliable, and downright confusing.
To be honest, I don’t visit local businesses as often as I did when I actually owned and operated a local business. What I discovered was something that I once knew but had forgotten.
Local businesses are more than local.
They have relationships with adjacent communities, who in turn connect even further with other local communities. The true power of social networking lies in our second connections, and that often starts right here at home.
Local Businesses Stick Together
When you view business as a transaction, you miss the hidden value that can be derived from a relationship with a trusted friend.
In my situation, the product that I needed was available from many online vendors, but none of them really sold me. So, I tossed my inquiry out to a professional Facebook group and an industry friend suggested visiting a particular franchise.
One of my friends owns that local franchise, so I made a visit. He laughed when I commented that I did not know he offered that particular product. That resonated with me because I experienced the same when I was a local business.
Friends Helping Local Friends
Every business transaction is an opportunity to build relationships and solidify existing ones.
My friend proved to be an invaluable resource for connecting me with new opportunities that related to my purchase. It’s easy for those of us that live in a digital world to forget the value that lies in our local communities.
When I consider the additional value I received with my local purchase, I can only come to one conclusion: I essentially got the product for FREE. That’s the value of being hyperlocal.
Consider how that stacks up to saving a few dollars by buying online.
We will all continue to buy online because it often saves time and money. However, you should remember to consider how local businesses can offer much more – it changes everything.
How about you? Have you experienced this?
Leave a comment and share.
Jeff is also the author of Built-In Social: Essential Social Marketing Practices for Every Small Business – Released April 15, 2013 (Wiley)