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Yes, it’s true; extraordinary things can come in small packages. And this notion also applies to small businesses, where nearly 8 Million establishments were operating in 2019, according to a recent U.S. Census survey. And from that population of thriving companies, ‘Mom & Pop Shops,’ or those starting out that way, made up over half of the establishments. These facts leave us with two main questions: ‘Are Mom & Pop small businesses making a comeback?’ And ‘How can they best leverage digital marketing in the 21st Century?’
Whether you consider your operation a Mom & Pop Shop, a Veteran-owned company, or a start-up, small businesses remain key contributors to our nation’s economy. In addition, they’re very much alive and thriving in this post-pandemic era. And with digital marketing, they will continue to grow!
This blog about marketing Mom & Pop small businesses features the following topics:
What Makes a Small Biz a Small Biz?
Today’s small to mid-sized businesses, by definition, consist of company size, number of operating locations, and revenue attributes. And according to the SBA, one or more of the following criteria defines what we currently view as a small business.
- Has less than 500 employees, or a range of 100 to 1500 for a mid-sized company
- Operates as a micro-business (Up to 7 staffers)
- Obtains annual revenues under $40 Million
- Has one or multiple locations with contracting and virtual staff
- Operates via sole-proprietorship, partnership, S Corp, or LLC
Why ‘Taking Mom & Pop to Market’ is Important- Incorporating Digital Marketing in a Modern World.
A functioning business can only survive these days with consistent online marketing activity. Today, clients and consumers look to the internet more than ever, especially with their smartphones1, to locate reliable resource information for their product and service needs. And although ‘word of mouth,’ or ‘referral marketing,’ still works for many local businesses, an online presence can provide another level of convenience and expand your reach by leaps and bounds. In other words, digital marketing with an SEO strategy can take your business places that word of mouth simply cannot!
However, businesses can win only if they play the digital marketing game. To us, a company that’s not online today is like a great person who chooses to broadcast from an AM radio station. And those who know them personally will be the only ones listening— for a while.
Your small business should consider the five MUST HAVES to experience true digital marketing success in the 21st century! And they are as follows:
#1— HAVE AN ONLINE PRESENCE
Is your business invested in digital marketing to stay industry competitive? As I stated above, taking your Mom & Pop Shop online is imperative to ensuring people outside the community also know it exists.
Of course, some companies prefer not to grow, and that’s fine for them. Yet, if you want to grow, expand, and experience substantial ROIs like other successful companies, you must consistently generate and convert new leads into happy customers. And the only way to achieve these things is to establish a digital marketing presence. Being online allows you to connect with current and potential customers in multiple ways that best meet their needs on their buying journey. It also allows your business to become an industry leader and viable resource in the community.
#2— HAVE A STANDOUT BRAND
Do customers encounter what makes your shop stand out as unique from the rest? If so, you’re well on your way to continued success, especially if you’re using online marketing to enhance your brand management2 campaigns!
However, if not, then it’s time for a brand establishment. If you’ve read any of our blogs, we recently posted a 3-part series on how to establish, operate, and grow a leading digital brand. In addition, the two chief pillars of having a standout brand are:
- Knowing how to constantly make genuine connections with your customers/clients, and
- Learning to build and maintain their trust
Those two elements are the key ingredients to help ensure customers consistently have positive encounters and experiences with your brand.
#3— HAVE A STAKE IN THE COMMUNITY
Do you participate in community activities and invest in opportunities to help people know your company exists? This must-have is essential to becoming a leading Mom & Pop or small business within your community. The more you market your business online, connect with the local community, and then participate in activities and causes that are important to the people3, the more stake you have.
And the more current and potential customers see your company serving the community, the more likely they are to frequent your business. Putting friendly faces and service excellence to business names is crucial to helping customers connect to your brand and their experiences with your product or service.
Fortunately, SEO and online marketing provide opportunities and creative ways to:
- Expand your reach.
- Generate leads.
- Engage more with the people in your community.
- Connect with them at a loyalty level!
#4— HAVE SERVICE EXCELLENCE
Is your customer service experience something people look forward to or fret about? Prayerfully, your answer is the former. The need for excellent customer service goes without saying but must be reiterated, especially as a company grows.
In truth, digital marketing can provide the best solution for winning with happy customers4. For example, asking for online customer reviews and product/service ratings is crucial to building credibility and developing a solid brand. The more people experience quality service and assurance, the more they will frequent a business, review it positively, AND recommend it to others.
And for bad reviews, companies can even redeem themselves and help salvage an unpleasant customer experience by immediately responding to their needs and offering solutions to help remedy the situation. Without online marketing, these kinds of connections are difficult to maintain.
Below are some recent stats about customer service reviews!
- Over 90% of people have made purchasing decisions based on online reviews
- Yelp gets nearly 27,000 customer reviews every 60 seconds
- Over 8 out of 10 people use Google to assess local businesses
#5— HAVE SOLID DIGITAL MARKETING CONNECTIONS
Are you utilizing social media and a responsive website to stay connected to current and potential customers? Our last must-have for marketing your small business in the 21st century is to have and maintain solid connections with customers and clients. And the top two ways to accomplish great connections are through a website that works (your ultimate digital marketing tool) and social media marketing.
Your SEO website must consistently be interactive, responsive, and resourceful. In other words, it must be “alive and performing” optimally at all times. Whatever solutions your small business provides must be available and accessible to online visitors to keep them returning to your site. The fastest way to have a customer click out of your site is to have one that provides a poor mobile UX and UI. When people cannot connect to your business online, you lose them.
And social media platforms provide creative and informal ways to connect with your customers and maintain contact. For instance, people love to post great customer experiences with a product or service, especially a local Mom & Pop Shop. If your business vibe and solutions match the customer’s values and needs, you’ve already made an instant connection5. So, leverage social media platforms to:
- Maintain contact and easy online accessibility.
- Keep customers up-to-date on what’s happening.
- Generate leads and reach more customers.
- Create an online community of like-minded people.
- Invite customers to events and special activities— like new product lines or services.
- Offer special sales promotions and savings.
From one Mom & Pop and Veteran-owned business to another, we’re here to help you grow!
All you have to do is take the first step by clicking below to take your FREE Marketing Self-Assessment! However, you can also connect with us online to schedule your own consultation or call us at 281-203-0529.
- Get found via online mobile search. Image by Henry Perks.
- Brand management and recognition—Starbucks mug. Image by Harmen Jelle Van Mourik.
- Business and Community Concept. Image by Robert Bye.
- Ideal Customer Service. Image concept by Blake Wisz.
- Customer connects GIF- Digital Marketing Online by That’s Journal. Tenor.