No this does not require you to pound the pavements in your local town. One of the great advantages of local businesses is that most are desperate to get their businesses online.
These are the facts:
Most local businesses are aware ,or certainly becoming aware, that new technology is literally stealing customers away from the people that do not embrace it.
Most local searches are now made on mobile phones. People really don’t just wander into town these days. Time is short and there are always better things to do than window shop.
People will now search online for what they want, check the specifications and check the prices. Not everyone wants to wait a few days or more for things to be delivered from an online retailer. Some items just are better bought from a local expert.
You can only get so much information online and often need both the expertise and comfort of talking a real human who knows his trade. That’s what local business is all about. And the customer gets to bring it home with you!
In some cases customers have to go to the local business. Think bars, clubs, coffer shops, restaurants, nail bars, tanning salons and the list goes on.
So a local business will need their own website and may even want to sell their goods or services directly from it. At the very least they will need to be listed in the hundreds of local business directories that seem to come up when you search for local products and services.
If a local business is not in these directories they can be sure their competitor is.
Here’s a scenario, Julian is wandering down the street with his new girlfriend. “Shall we stop for a coffee and blueberry?” Yes please. Julian whips out his mobile phone taps in a quick search for coffee shops, GPS knows where he is and immediately he gets a list of coffee shops in that local area. Raouls’ Coffee and Patisserie sounds great and 5 minutes later Julian’s sat with his girlfriend in front of a steaming cappuccino and a blueberry muffin and all is right with the world.
However just round the corner Maria, the owner of the Little Lovers Coffee Shop sits alone wondering why things are so quiet today.
Reason being is that her business is not properly listed in the local directories and search engines. Such simple things can cause problems, wrong address listed. Or different addresses listed in different places. Maybe not showing the opening times or the business has some poor reviews. A whole raft of reasons to either not show in the local search results, or to put people off coming.
So all you need to do is identify Maria because she is in dire need of some expert help to get her business seen online. If you can find Maria (and all the other business owners who don’t have websites, are are not listed in the local business directories, or have no Google+ Page or Facebook page) then you have have some very hot local leads from businesses that should be easily convinced that they need help.
Finding leads manually can be very time consuming but you can search the local business directories and Google + and find businesses that look like their listing are incomplete. Then look further into what else they have or don’t have. Of course anyone that has no listing will be missed completely.
There are also a number of software tools that find local leads Almost all of these scrape Google Plus for business details and then check them against other listings etc. Again these will not find any businesses that have no listings and of course scraping Google Plus breaks the Google T&C’s and may become an issue.
However I may have the perfect solution for you. I’ll let you know exactly what that is in my next post [Part 4]