Monday April 27, 2015
Do you call yourself a local business? If so, you might want to rethink that.
Don’t get me wrong -- being a “local business” is great. In fact, I sometimes like to call AllProWebTools a “local” software company. The connections you can make in a community like Northern Colorado are amazing. I love being able to work closely with my clients. A big part of my work is attending networking events all along the Front Range.There are great things about being a local business.
But this article from Clate Mask of Entrepreneur made me reconsider that position. He claims that when small businesses think of themselves as “local,” they limit their own potential for growth. Instead, he advocates thinking about small businesses as “personal.”
What Are Personal vs. Local Businesses?
But I don’t think he completely explained what he means by “personal.” Personal is the online equivalent of local – it takes all the things that are good about local small businesses and expands their reach via the internet.
- Strong sense of community
- Long-term customer relationships
- Extraordinary customer service
- Supporting the small business economy
- Empowering the American Dream
I have always understood that small businesses are the true backbone of America’s economy. That’s why I myself have never been an employee. It’s time for small businesses to stop limiting their own reach, and start thinking bigger.
What Does Growth Look Like for a “Personal” Business?
You can grow your business without losing the heart behind what you do. By keeping your business personal, you can expand into the new territories the internet provides you – without losing all those great characteristics of small, local businesses. In fact, the internet allows you to expand the reach of your community and customer relationships, without sacrificing the closeness.
For example, one of AllProWebTools’ users is a company called Hawaiian Organic Noni. The owner, my good friend Steve Frailey, runs his business from his gorgeous plantation on Kauai. But this doesn’t stop him from creating an amazing community of customers that’s spread all over the country. An unbelievable number of his customers have actually made the trip to Kauai and toured his plantation.
What’s his secret? He connects with them through technology:
- Newsletters with personal content
- Frequent blogging
- Social media
- Coupon codes hidden in online crossword puzzles
- Remarketing ad campaigns
And that’s just scratching the surface of the possibilities for making highly personal online connections.
Why is it Important to Grow?
It’s a fact of our economy that growth is the only way businesses survive. The success of small businesses is critical to the health of our economy – especially to strengthening the middle class.
It’s my philosophy that small businesses are the true American Dream. They provide the most opportunity for people to create their own success. It’s not an easy road, but it’s very rewarding, and it can certainly be very profitable.
What Does Growth Involve?
Many small business owners I know claim that they want to grow, but they aren’t willing to invest in the technology that makes it possible.
But technology is the very area that gives small business owners the most opportunity to grow! Here’s why. Your own time is limited. Your ability to hire staff is limited.
Most small business owners spend their lives catching up, or, at best, barely keeping up. How are you supposed to grow if you’re spending every moment patching problems and keeping a basic workflow going? You’re missing the opportunity to get into a growth-oriented, proactive mindset – you just need more time!
Technology gives you that time – if you choose the right tools. It automates the things you don’t like to do anyway – the work that’s repetitive, tedious, and a waste of your unique talents. It also organizes your time so you can be more productive.
Do You Have to Be a Computer Person?
Steve Frailey would never claim to be tech savvy – in fact, in his review of AllProWebTools he says, “I am not a computer person.”
And you don’t have to be to make a big impact online. Steve has grown his monthly average revenue by 7 times since he started focusing on his online presence. There are tools out there that actually do make it easy – you just aren’t hearing about the right ones.
What Tools Help Small Businesses Grow?
Most small business owners are using technology in some capacity. Most have a website, many have at least some social media presence. Some have project management tools, a customer relationship management tool, or a few marketing tools. But there’s a whole world of potential waiting to be unlocked.
It might surprise you to hear that I’m not suggesting small business owners go out and buy more tools. I’m arguing that small business owners need to find ONE tool – the Swiss Army knife of business software.
Small business management can be so much easier, so much more organized, so much less confusing. I’ve devoted my life to creating tools to pursue that dream, and the result is AllProWebTools. My team and I have created a truly all-in-one small business solution that combines all the tools a business needs to grow beyond a local scale.
I’ve helped businesses all across the nation achieve sustainable growth. Will you be next?