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These days, businesses can go global from the very start. With a laptop or mobile device connected to the internet, they can link up with people in far-off corners of the world. As for getting products to customers, courier companies can help with shipping them halfway across the planet. Not surprisingly, small businesses are taking advantage of these opportunities. They’re looking beyond their immediate locations and selling to an international market.

But it’s always a good idea for businesses to build a solid base in their locality. This is especially true if there’s a sizable market for their products there. You might have a fairly good reason to want a more geographically diverse client base early on (they might pay more than customers in your district, city or country). But there are real advantages to having a strong presence in your locality.

You’ll want to build a solid base of loyal customers from where you’re at. If they’re giving you good reviews, you’ll have a strong bedrock of positive opinions to stand on when selling to clients further afield. But when a string of negative comments about your services from dissatisfied local customers shows up online, it may dissuade potential patronizers from trying out your brand. You need your local customers to be on your side.

Here’s how to be the top of your niche in your locality:

  1. Sell great products

Your products or services should be meeting real needs and adding value to lives. This is the first thing you should get right. When people find that you’re offering something really good for a fair price, they’ll get interested; of course, you’ll also need good marketing to let them know your business exists in the first place.

This isn’t just about the product’s usefulness. It’s also about how it’s packaged. When it’s presented in a way that appeals to local tastes, the public will take notice and get curious.

  1. Develop good relationships with your customers

Be friendly with your customers. Have their complaints dealt with as swiftly as possible. Seek their suggestions for improving the quality of your service. When they show a willingness to engage in conversations about things other than your business, you should be willing to follow their drift- as long as you’re both humane and professional.

  1. Create content for a local audience

You can make videos, design images and write blog articles that resonate with your local customer base. These materials could contain allusions to your business’s connections with the area in which it’s situated; it might use language, jokes, or anecdotes that a domestic audience would identify with. Just go for things that would make the typical locale nod in agreement, laugh at themselves, and remember your business’ name a bit more often.

If you’re constantly sharing this sort of stuff on social media, you could attract a good deal of local interest to your business.

  1. Tap into local concerns

Your business will gain respect locally if it gets involved in conversations about the big issues of the moment where it’s located.

For example, you could pose a question about the issue on your business’ social media pages and receive answers from your followers. You could be even more pragmatic if the issue in question is humanitarian or borders on social justice. Advocating for the rights of women or for the safety of children against abuse are things a socially conscious business could get involved with.

Whatever cause you choose to support, be sure to go at it with full dedication. However, a mere publicity stunt will very likely show; this won’t be good for business.

  1. Organize local events

You could organize seminars, meetups and trade shows where other local businesses can link up and exhibit their products and services. This helps you build a reputation for your business as one that drives local commerce. It also connects you with other local entrepreneurs and businesses.

Your business can also sponsor popular events being held in its district or city if it’s capable of doing so. This should provide it with substantial publicity, and hopefully translate to greater interest and patronage from the domestic market.


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This article was first published on 27th August 2018


Ikenna Nwachukwu holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He loves to look at the world through multiple lenses- economic, political, religious and philosophical- and to write about what he observes in a witty, yet reflective style.

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