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Why Local Business Needs the Internet Now More Than Ever

There are some dramatic changes going on right now that effect local businesses. Local businesses such as restaurants, retail stores, dentists, plumbers, auto repair, chiropractors and beauty salons are either making money from the internet, or their competition is.

Here is why what’s happening now is game-changing:

· The Disappearance of Jobs, the Appearance of New Driven Competitors: The people who were laid off yesterday are starting new businesses today. They realize that many jobs are not coming back so they may as well go for it. Almost all of these new competitors are using online marketing. They are not just throwing up a website. Their online marketing approach is “do or die”. The money they spend online has got to have a return on investment for them.

· The Death of Old Media: People are not reading newspapers anymore. They are going online for news. Yellow page ads that used to work great, are losing money. These old media are dying. How can local businesses get the word out now? They have to be where people are looking for them. Prospective customers and clients are searching the internet, on search engines, authority sites, review sites and social media sites.

· The Ability to Search Wherever and Now: Being online is even more important now because people are searching the web from wherever they are. They are researching and shopping at work. If they are in a coffee shop or in the park, no problem – they are on their laptops. And the biggest game-changer – people are looking up businesses in the palm of their hands. Need a restaurant? Just search the internet from your phone, while standing on the corner. I pity the restaurants and other businesses that aren’t found.

· The Rise of Social Media Websites: People are connected to their family, friends and friends-of-friends in ways never possible before. People are spending several hours a week on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. You can almost say they are living on these sites. There is an opportunity to be where your prospects live, and also serve them better. If done right, getting involved with social media can build sales for local businesses. When people see their friends recommend a company or becoming a “fan”, that can have a positive viral effect and attract more fans, followers and customers.

When it comes to successful online marketing strategies for local business, there’s no one-size-fits-all. A successful online marketing mix depends on the business. For example, a restaurant may use social media and coupons to get new customers. A professional company such as an architecture firm or cosmetic dentist may use whitepapers and news releases to attract new clients.

In a nutshell it’s about being found. Smart local businesses are putting themselves in the places that potential customers are. They are scooping up new customers and seeing online sales become a measurable portion of overall sales. The not-so-net-savvy companies are being left in the dust of the internet superhighway. They may not even realize it until it’s too late.

About the Author: Raynay Valles is an Internet Marketing Specialist and author. You can contact her through this website.

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