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Why all business is local and why local networking is so important

Why all business is local

This month we were talking all about sales and marketing. And in this episode, we are going to talk about why all business is local. Now I know what you're thinking. You did not get into this to be a brick and mortar business. And you don't want to have a storefront, or a location. You just want to be virtual.

Before moving to Florida, about 40% of my clients were local, and I met with all of them virtually.

You think that if you have local clients you have to meet with them locally. Or you have to go and work from their location. That's just not the case. You just have to establish ground rules. Especially if you're a mom with littles.

Do some local networking 

So, even though you are working virtually, you should do some local networking. You are always looking to make connections with people. And the greatest way to network with people is to establish connections. Part of the problem with online networking is that it is harder to establish those connections with people.

But when you network locally, even if you're going to do the work virtually, you have that instant thing in common. You're from the same state, town and country.  So it's a lot easier to make those connections when the location is one of them. Most times, you'll speak the same language, like the same restaurants, and maybe your kids go to same school.

If your business is local, do not go door-to-door

If you are networking locally, it is not a good strategy to create flyers and go door to door and talk to businesses. Why? Most businesses have a gatekeeper. And the gatekeepers job is to make sure that you do not bother the owner.

There are also lots of businesses out there that don't have a storefront. If you want to network locally and you can't just walk into businesses, what are you going to do?

Making local connections will help build your virtual business

Strategies to network locally where your business is local

I'm going to share a couple strategies for you that you can use to do this. Some of them are more businessy and some of them are more fun. It just depends on what you want to do. 

Join online local business groups

First off, there are lots of online local business groups that you can join. Those work well for networking. Some of them are better organized than others. You'll find that some allow promotions, and some of them really have community where people are helping each other out. So you just have to find one that works for you.

In order to find those groups, go to your local Facebook groups. There are lots of them. Let them know in one of the groups that you are a business owner, and you're starting up your new business. Tell them that you are looking to network with other business owners. And ask what groups are out there. That's a really good place to start because they're going to tell you where the local online groups are.

Check out local colleges 

The other thing I would look into is any colleges you have nearby. Those colleges will have business incubators, entrepreneur centers, women's business groups, or minority business groups that you can get involved with. Those are great places to network.

Try your local chamber of commerce

Other places that are great to network in is your local chamber of commerce. Even if it's expensive to join, most times you can pay for a couple of meetings, and some of them are even free. And if you can find one client there, a lot of times it'll pay for your annual membership. With one client, in your first month you can pay for that membership.

Join mom groups or start one

Another thing you can try too, is a lot of moms groups have moms that are business owners. And so that is a great way to meet other business owners. If you don't find any moms groups, you can start a moms group in your area.

By attended groups like that, you're going to find business owners. Because business owners are everywhere.

Get involved with local business organizations

It's important that you think outside the box. You can also get involved with your kids PTO. A lot of those parents that are involved are small business owners. You can get involved in charitable organizations. A lot of people that are active actually own businesses because they have the flexibility in their schedule to be able to be active. And I think I find too, that small business owners, because their businesses in the community, have a vested interest in making sure that the community thrives.

Most of the small business owners that I've ever known have been super involved in their community.

Try civic organizations

The other thing you can try are civic organizations. Things like the Rotary Club, or any of the service organizations, like the Lions Club. Typically if you reach out to your chamber of commerce, they're going to know what the active civic clubs are.

You might also have a downtown organization that helps promote businesses downtown. And you don't have to be downtown to be in that organization, but just let them know that you support downtown businesses.

There's just so many opportunities out there. I think a lot of people want to make sure that their town or their county is doing well. Because the better your town does, the lower your property taxes are going to be. The better your schools are going to be. There's going to be less crime.

You should network locally for your virtual business

Start networking where your business is local 

And so I just believe that no matter what you do, you need to start at home,  and you need to be active at home. And so whether that's looking for clients locally or whether that is just getting out there, getting to know people, getting involved in your community, that will probably end up leading to clients.

I want to encourage you to get out there and be a leader in your community. Get out there and network locally. You can get involved, and connect with the businesses.

Find fun strategies for local networking

Networking where your business is local leads to referrals 

Here's the other thing too. When you start getting clients locally, even if you're working with them virtually, people will start to talk about what a great job you're doing. And you're going to get more clients. It's just that simple.

I talk about it in Bookkeeper Training School that there's this switch that flips where you're working hard to get clients. And then all of a sudden you start getting referrals. It then gets to the point that you don't have the market anymore because you're just getting referrals. 

That's where I been with my business for a long time. And it's so awesome because you just know that new clients are going to come to you. That happens a lot faster with local networking than it does with virtual.  I still get referrals from people locally from the networking that I did five, 10 years ago.

So get out there, get in your communities and let me know how it goes. I really want to hear back from you guys about that. You can email us at podcast@smallbizmama.com or comment below.

Why all business is local

​Disclosure: We professionally create this podcast that receives compensation from companies that we talk about. So you must assume that any link you click is an affiliate link. Kristin and Ingram Digital Media only have affiliate relationships with companies that we believe in wholeheartedly. We are independently owned, and all of our opinions are​ our own.


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