Local Market Promotions and Marketing

Q: How do I promote a local business? I'm trying to promote a local business and I need some promotional ideas.

A: Given you are providing services to businesses within a specific geographic area, it is always helpful to begin by defining your ideal client. For example, consider:

Next, determine what differentiates your services from others that may be currently serving your ideal client - if any. This could be the thoroughness/quality of your work, your service hours, your ability to work in environments that demand security (such as a bank, etc.) and, of course, your prices.

Now you âre closer to being prepared to target your "ideal client" with a compelling offering. You may want to consider subscribing to several local, geographic or proximity-based business online directories. Today, some directories enable you to include advertisements for your services within the newsletters of other local merchants.

You can also consider online advertising with a geographic restriction that matches your service area. And of course, don't foget to enhance your website and enable those seeking your specific services via search engines to find you more easily.

Given the size of the geographic area that you'll serve, you need to consider offline methods. Contact the local Chamber of Commerce to help identify companies represented by your "ideal client." You can also consider "renting" a list from companies like Dun & Bradstreet, Experian or others. Depending upon the contact information you obtain, you can call them, send a flyer, or e-mail them.

Don't forget to attend "Networking Events" and talk up your business. And ask your existing clients if they know of other firms that could use your services.