Unlocking The Main Street Advantage puts local businesses in a highly competitive position versus big box and online mega retailers.  Here’s how it’s done:

Number 1: The Experience Advantage

Competing on price is not a recipe for success.  Rather, by focusing on your expertise to provide unique customer experiences you’ll attract the attention and business of local consumers:

  1. Host product demonstrations that showcase your knowledge where customers can learn how to use the products or services you provide; or
  2. Invite a well-known local industry connection to share their expertise to provide a uniquely local customer experience. 

Number 2: The Connecting Advantage:

By connecting with other nearby business owners you gain access to a vast network of local business knowledge and reach to local consumers.  You don’t need to go it alone. By opening yourself up to making connections you avail yourself to lucrative collaborative opportunities and be in the local communication loop for alerts and updates impacting your business. 

Number 3: The Collaboration Advantage:

Sharing “experiences” provided by other local businesses turns you into a valued local resource for your consumers, and it encourages other local businesses to do the same for you.   Additionally, by working with other local businesses you unlock opportunities to create unique experiences that attract local consumers. 

Here are 3 simple ways to collaborate:

  1. Share 2B Shared: keep an eye on your neighborhood stream on Alignable and share other interesting promotions from others with your followers on Facebook.  Click on the “share on Facebook” link next to the promotion and presto… it’s posted on your Facebook page.  When you post for others we’ll encourage them to do the same for you. 
  2. Join Together: if you see a promotion from another local business that your expertise could add to, drop them a note.  We’ve seen a local detail shop offer auto detailing during an indoor soccer tournament, and businesses offer gift certificates and bundled services in conjunction with experiences created in support of local non-profits.
  3. Plan Togetherness: shopping plazas to entire merchant associations plan and coordinate group events that rally local consumers in support of shopping local or supporting a local cause. 

Number 4: The Community Advantage:

When neighborhoods of local businesses come together you become the most powerful media for reaching local consumers. 

Here’s how: 

  1. On average local businesses have the ability reach out to 3,000 of their most loyal customers through email and social media.  Typically with engagement rates in excess of 25%. 
  2. When two local businesses compare their customer reach the list overlap is typically less than 2%.  That’s 98% opportunity. 
  3. As communities of local businesses connect and collaborate your collective reach exceeds complete coverage of local consumers and in some cases attains multiples of coverage.  In communities with 30,000 consumers we’ve seen 50 local businesses have combined reach to over 120,000 consumers.  There is no media you could buy that would give you 4x local coverage with 20% engagement rates.  Congratulations you (the local businesses collaborative) are now the local media powerhouse. 
  4. Coordinating collective outreach for town-wide events has increased event attendance by over 20%.

The Main Street Advantage is alive, well and growing thanks to your efforts to simply connect and collaborate with others nearby. 

 

Article from Alignable.com