There are several opportunities to start a local business. First, let’s define a local business and exactly what types of opportunities this article discusses.
A local business is one that services a community with borders. For example, a dry cleaning shop which services a 3 mile radius or an airline that services one country. There are no clear definitions on what describes a local business, but recently the term local business on the Internet is beginning to describe how an offline business markets itself on the Internet. For example, an e commerce store or an information product sold via the Internet is entirely online, in most cases customers never meet a single person from the supplier, whereas a local business there are sometimes several belly to belly encounters.
Therefore to further describe a local business opportunity, that would explain how an offline business has several opportunities to market themselves using the Internet.
There is no question the opportunities in 2010. Most local niches are still completely untapped in most local markets. Even in the largest cities, it’s not difficult for local businesses to capture a market, like this New York Courier Service company.
Consider the following consumer behavior:
• “70% of US household now use the Internet as an information source when shopping locally for products and services” (Kelsey Group)
• 31% of all business buyers turn to a Search Engine first when looking for a
• locally based product or service
• Product Research and Comparison shopping happens online, but 67% of those purchases happen offline (Accenture)
• 90% of purchases are made within 50 miles of a person’s home (Kelsey)
Consider the following local search data:
• 43% of all searches on the Google
• network included a geographical identifier. o 86% of those people followed up with a phone call
• 61% of those people ended up making a purchase offline
• 25% of all commercial Internet Searches are conducted by users looking for Local Merchants (Kelsey)
• 35% of all Searches are ‘local’ (DM News)
• 84% of U.S. based Internet users performed local searches, or 129 million people, and were looking for a local business
• Advertising spent for local search
• $3 Billion in 2008 (Kelsey)
• $13 Billion projected by 2010 (Forbes)
Marketing a local business online is not easy, but it’s simple. There are many channels to expose your business online, such as the search engines, social media sites like Facebook, email marketing and video marketing to name a few. Most, if not all of this is new to many local businesses, yet the demand is created and growing where there is little supply, both with local business’ exposure and the experts providing quality support. The opportunities for both right now are overwhelming.
Local Marketing Source is an online education portal providing high quality education by a faculty team who has a long standing history of success with marketing local businesses online. Albeit LMS is a for profit portal, there is an abundance of education spread through this blog and the free content delivered via email.
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