Take your local business online and double your profits with Solo Build It
would you do if the very survival
of your local Business
by a major competitor?"
article will show you how to do local business marketing
use Internet marketing and email marketing to
promote your Business
to both local and Global customers.
By Rocky Tapscott
It may never happen to you,
but your local Business could one day be in dire need of
rescue when a major competitor moves into your area. What
would you do?
This hypothetical story
looks at how a group of local Business owners took on
their much larger opposition and thrived.
As you read
this story, think to yourself, how can I use this? How can
I market my local Business online and use internet and
email marketing myself to increase my sales?
There is a way you can copy what these Business owners
did to increase the number of customers you have and also
And now, on with the
runs a Nursery in a small town with very little
competition. In fact, when he bought the Business, it was
one of only two in the area. There were a couple of small
stores that sold a few of his products, but he could
handle the competition. Sales and profits were good and he was
making a good living selling to the local community.
came to know and trust him and his product recommendations.
He set up joint venture agreements with other local
suppliers - for example, he referred his customers to Jack's
Car Parts by giving them a 20% discount coupon on new parts,
Logan's Drycleaners for special 2 for 1 deals with a
discount voucher he supplied and Happy Sun Chinese
Restaurant who offered free Lunch time dishes and special
Businesses returned the favour by giving their customers
vouchers for free and discounted products and services at
of these local Businesses co-operated and sent their
customers to each other to keep them buying in the local
they all offered these customers vouchers and coupons that
gave discounts in each others stores when they shopped with
came one of those big multi-national chain stores. They sold
every product imaginable, in every price category you can
think of - they even had a restaurant!
local business owners were desperate!
knew they couldn't compete on price, and besides, why would
they? Price wars are not the way intelligent Business people
survive and prosper. No, they had to get smart...they're
financial lives were on the line here.
were they going to keep their existing customers loyal and
stay in Business in the face of this new threat?
had an idea..."Let's use the Internet to leverage our
Businesses across the world, as well as build better
relationships with our local
knew they wouldn't be able to keep all of their existing
clients - many people are purely price shoppers, and would
naturally go to the new multi-national store. But they knew
that if they could offer something of value to people,
something the big chain store couldn't, many
would continue to shop in their stores.
where do we start? None of them knew the first thing about
the Internet, web design or anything related to online
marketing. A couple had never searched the web for anything and
didn't even have an email address...
had probably the most to lose - the Nursery section of the
new store was HUGE. He volunteered to research different
ways of building a web presence and report back to the
weeks later, they all met a John's house over coffee to discuss what he
had learnt about the Internet and using it to help market
their products and services.
had indeed done many hours of research, and after weighing
up all the information he had found, he recommended a package called Solo Build It!
They could all then simply build a site of their own.
all looked at him and wondered if the threat of this new
competitor had rattled his brain. They knew that he didn't
even use email yet - how was he going to get online and
build a website?
assured them that he would indeed be able to pull it off.
had read the Manual that came as a download with the package
called the SBI Action
Guide and was confident he had what it
would take to build and manage website that would bring targeted
customers to his business, as well as retain a large
percentage of his existing clientele and increase their
loyalty even more.
simply followed the step by step plan in the Action Guide
explained that the Manual was like a Guru guiding you in the
right direction. He had sat down and read it all the way
through once, as it advised him to do, so he could see the
Then he had gone back to the start and
followed the 10 day action step process - and he had an announcement
- he had already built a website!
fellow Business owners were amazed. Already? John had
followed the Manual's advice and built a theme based
content site in less than four weeks and just working on
couple of hours a day. "What's a theme based content
site?" I hear you
theme based content site is a website that is constructed
around a theme or single idea or concept - whatever it is
that you want to talk about with your audience.
around a theme, your website will rank highly with the
search engines - and search engines are how 80% of the
online population find anything they are looking for on the
websites consist of lots of graphics and whiz-bang
technology...but search engines aren't looking for that, and
neither are your visitors. They are looking for
information; information they can use to solve a problem
they have RIGHT NOW.
had simply followed the instructions in the manual and built
a simple 10 page site showcasing his knowledge and how
visitors could use some of
He didn't try
to sell anything. He just wrote articles giving great free
information about gardening and landscaping, with a phone
number to call him, an email address for readers
questions, and a few links to other websites where people
could buy products and services from his partners.
let's have a look at it then", they all asked.
opened up his web browser and typed in the address of his
website. It loaded quickly, even on his dial-up connection,
and his visitors were impressed with what they saw.
had build a professional looking site that anyone could be
it wasn't just ads. He had written several articles
that used practical examples to show how other people had
used his products in applications around their homes. He
wrote stories about local customers trying out his services
and then telling their friends about their experiences.
did impartial product reviews and recommended the best ones
to his visitors, while pointing out their limitations.
was ADDING VALUE to people lives by showing them how to
solve their problems quickly.
other Business owners were impressed.
It looked nothing like
they had imagined...no spinning graphics or Banner Ads
flashing and blinking obtrusively.
Just good, solid content
- content designed to impart John's knowledge onto his
visitors and show them that he was indeed the local expert.
Content that would also rank highly with the search
engines and attract targeted visitors to his website.
offered tips on the best time to plant various types of
trees and other plants, advice on mulching and pruning,
garden ornaments and features, waterfalls and statues.
had coupons for discounts available only to website
visitors, and he had a page where visitors could subscribe
to his fortnightly Newsletter - The
Green Thumb. Here they would receive additional
discount offers and gardening and landscaping tips from John
on a regular basis.
he also had written short articles about each
of the other
Businesses in their little group
visitors were excited! So was John.
had already received his first order - a book he sold for
$50 from a gentleman in Sydney - in another state...
web visitor had found John's site through a Google search on a topic
that was one of John's keywords - cactus propagation (the 'brainstorming' function in the
Solo Build It!
Manager found that this was a high profitability
keyword - lots of search engine enquires for it but not too
many sites that mentioned the term) - and
purchased the book over the Internet using his credit card
for payment, after reading one of John's informative
they thought when John told them about this, Internet
marketing works! They all decided to
give it a go.
helped each one of his colleagues build a theme based
content site around their Business, although they didn't
need a lot of assistance. The manual showed them how to use
the Brainstorm function to find the highest profitability
keywords for their individual niches.
showed them how to create web pages and write editorial copy
that pre-sold visitors on why they should call them instead
of the opposition.
told them to use local place names in their keywords and
body copy so that when someone searched for
gardening+supplies+cleveland the results would include their
website (if your Business sells gardening supplies in Cleveland,
showed them how to create web pages that rank highly with
the search engines because of the way the are built and
all started to funnel targeted visitors to their
Businesses and they were able to fight off the attack from
their much larger competitor.
The SBI! program automatically
submitted their pages to the search engines as they built them in a
manner that complied with the engine's rules, so they weren't banned from submission. And
re-submitted them if they were dropped from the listings.
the Business people offered free or discounted products or services to their
website visitors that weren't available to offline
customers, and did online joint ventures with each other,
just like they did offline.
They promoted their websites online and offline and started
to build their own email lists of dedicated subscribers, who
received articles and offers every couple of weeks in a
customers responded by staying loyal and continuing to
shop with them for years to come...
Now, how could
you apply this to your Business? Could you use the
Internet in the same way to build relationships with your
customers so that if a new competitor comes into your area
they will remember you and continue to give you their
website and using email marketing is a very powerful and
inexpensive way to stay in contact with your customers.
ability to have continuous contact with customers forever,
for free, is what makes the Internet so powerful. The
cost of direct mail has become prohibitive and the Yellow
Pages are so full of competition, it's very hard to get
building an email list of people who are interested in your
area of expertise is one of the most highly leveraged, lowest
cost ways of staying in contact with your customers that
allows you to build a lasting relationship with them and sell your products or services to them over and over
Abraham has said, "The goal of all Businesses should be to
find more customers, to persuade those customers to buy more
initially, and to encourage those customers buy more
Businesses only try the first part of this
three part strategy, and they don't do that
very well, because they aren't any good at marketing - then they
forget about the second two methods of building Business -
and all the profits for a Business are in these second two
the back-end sales.
number one cause for Business failure is often quoted as 'Inadequate
Capitalisation'. Robert Allen, famous Author of Books
such as Multiple Streams of Income and Nothing
Down, says that this is absolutely false.
believes that the major reason most Businesses fail is
because they poured all their money into marketing that
didn't work. And they continued to do that until they went
broke or simply gave up trying because it was all too hard...
simply must start to get the names and email
addresses of every customer or prospect who comes into your
store or calls you on the phone, and then get their permission to
put them on your email database.
Then you can keep in touch
with them for as long as they stay on your list, which could
easiest way for you to do this is to direct people to your
website with a free offer and get them to give you their
email address right there and then in exchange for your
avoids errors that can occur when manually placing email
addresses into a database, and the address has to be correct
for your visitors to receive their free gift.
If you can't
do this for some reason, then have your staff collect
customer names and email addresses at the point of sale by
offering a free gift or reward.
a website that pre-sells your visitors and customers
on the benefits of dealing with you rather than your
competitors effectively has the potential to supercharge
your profits quicker than any other form of marketing.
gives you Leverage!
you have your own list of email addresses and are providing
regular, quality information through your Newsletter, you
can send out a regular email to this entire list with a time
limited special offer, and guarantee that many of your
subscribes will act immediately, either by coming into your store or
calling you for an appointment.
And your cost to send this
email? Nothing - maybe a few minutes to
write the message. And you can offer a discount for prompt
response because you have no marketing costs!
How's that for
if it doesn't attract any customers - the offer was FREE to send
out! Even if it fails, it cost you nothing to try! Try
that with an off-line marketing campaign. Failure off-line
can cost thousands of dollars...
sending an email message to your list with running an ad in the local Newspaper or the Yellow
Pages. You incur an immediate expense without knowing if you will get
any response. And any orders can take weeks or months to
If your marketing message isn't all that
interesting to the local community, no-one will come in to
your store or
call you. You broadcast your message to thousands of people who
couldn't care less about your offer. You pay up-front for
this wasted effort.
by sending an email note with a limited time offer to your
targeted list of subscribers who know and trust you, many of
them will respond, some of them immediately. And it
As Robert Allen says, on the
Internet, "You can fail fast for Free."
means of course is that you get an almost instant response to your
marketing message, and if no-one responds, it hasn't cost
you anything except a few minutes of your time.
your email Newsletter mixes good quality information with marketing
messages, you will be able to build a high quality list of
customers and prospects that you can communicate with again
and again for years and a percentage of these customers will
buy from you every time you contact them.
It's always a
different 1% - 5% who respond, depending on the offer, but
some of them will buy whatever it is you offer them each
time you send them an email.
You can send out surveys asking your customers
what they want to buy, then sell it to them. How easy it that?
should be the goal of every Business - to build an ongoing
relationship with your customers, ask them what they want,
then offer it to them in a way that doesn't look like you
are selling them anything - you are merely providing a
solution to a problem that they already have.
Your Newsletter provides valuable
information, then recommendations on what customers should
buy to achieve the results they want.
of course, they will buy from you - the acknowledged
expert that helps them make informed decisions about
whatever it is that you sell.
When they think about whatever
your product or service is, they think of you - because you
have taken the time to develop a relationship with them.
big multinational is all about making a profit and faceless
staff just doing a job - but you, your the local guy who
gives a damn and helps out when they have a problem. Some
folks will still shop at the big store, but they will also
come to you if you give them a reason...