Providing Local Solutions For Local Economies
During an era of trade wars in an increasingly online ordering world, supporting local business has never seemed so important. While we complain about a lack of jobs or growth, we order goods and services from another part of the world even though someone nearby offers that very same, or similar product. Sure it may save of buck or two, but what does that mean for the people in our town trying to make a living and feed their families? In an increasingly homogenized world, communities that preserve their one-of-a-kind businesses and distinctive character have an economic advantage. Compared to chain stores, locally owned businesses recycle a much larger share of their revenue back into the local economy, enriching the whole community. A strong local economy also correlates to having a vibrant town centre, which can link neighbours into strong social relationships that contribute to local causes. Creating and maintaining a prosperous local community is not only up to the consumer to buy local, but for local businesses to offer products and services that are superior to outside companies. This could be through competitive pricing, exceptional customer service, better products, convenience, etc. It is up to business owners to have a plan that will draw neighbours in from buying outside the community. Here are 5 ways local businesses can compete with large corporations:
1. Great Customer Service
Great Customer Service is the most important way to stand out from the online world. Make it a fun experience for customers by being extra friendly and accommodating, something a website cannot do. Be prepared with information and help that only face to face interaction can provide.
It may be harder to budget big changes in a small business, but it is much easier to change quickly than it is for big businesses. Find new strategies that you can implement fast to give you an edge over your competition. If you have an idea but needs the funds, keep reading.
This is another advantage from being small. It’s easier as a small business to find bottle necks and fix them. Make changes quickly that will help your business run faster and with less expenses. Evaluate the processes in your business on a regular basis.
4. Connect with your audience
You know your community way better than outside business. Consumers like businesses that engage with them, such as on social media. Get involved in local events to build your reputation while learning more about what potential customers really want. You may find ways of tapping into niche markets you never thought about.
5. Attract the Best Employees
As a local small business owner, you are likely the one picking your staff. Put in the extra effort to pick staff that do an exceptional job and take pride in what they are doing. A great employee will be efficient, innovative, connect with your audience, and provide great customer service.
These tips are of course, easier said than done. Making competitive changes usually requires capital you may not have. North Claybelt CFDC is stepping in to help local businesses get the financing they need, by offering grants for business enhancement like marketing, website development, job creation, and refined competitiveness. Through Government of Canada funding, North Claybelt CFDC administers a local investment fund aimed at helping finance new or existing small businesses and social enterprises for start-up, expansion or stabilization plans that help maintain or create jobs. So if you own a local business, and have a plan to make your business grow, it’s time to make an appointment. Don’t sit there are tell consumers to buy local, give them a reason.
North Claybelt CFDC is a community-based agency offering financial and counselling assistance for new and existing small businesses on the highway 11 corridor between Opasatika and Iroquois Falls. To attain its objectives of creating and maintaining jobs and contributing to the economic development of the area, North Claybelt CFDC provides local businesses with information, consulting assistance, loans, loan guarantees, and equity investment. They are also involved in numerous economic development initiatives, including Head Start in Business, Entrepreneurs Francophones PLUS and Northeast Community Network. To find out more about how applying for a grant call 705-337-1407 or stop by an office in Kapuskasing, Iroquois Falls, or Cochrane.
North Claybelt Community Futures Development Corporation
6 Ash Street, Kapuskasing, ON P5N 2C8
Satellite offices in Iroquois Falls & Cochrane