4 To-Dos for Local Businesses in 2014

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As big box stores and corporate brands continue to grow, it gets harder and harder for local businesses to survive. Although it’s definitely a David and Goliath situation, it is possible to arm yourself and take on the giants. How? By resolving to take these steps in 2014.

Avoid daily deals sites

We’ve known for years that local businesses can’t rely on daily deals sites alone. Now, with Groupon and LivingSocial continuously going back to the drawing board, local businesses should keep their distance. During their heyday, daily deals sites could provide local businesses with a brief flurry of activity, but it wasn’t enough to keep the foot traffic coming back. As the “cold streak” that daily deals sites found themselves in in early 2013 has only continued. Even if you had sporadic success with daily deals sites in the past, don’t take the time to employ them this year.

Embrace booking/ordering services

Instead of relying on a daily deals site to get your name out to locals, embrace a service that makes purchasing, ordering or booking your products or services easier. If you’re a general practitioner, sign up for ZocDoc — it’ll make it easier for patients to make appointments, and it will make it easier for new patients to find your practice in the first place. If you’re a restaurant, you might try GrubHub. See what’s available for your industry and look into signing up.

Build or reclaim your Yelp profile

If you’ve been putting it off, 2014 is the time to put together a Yelp profile. If it already exists, reclaim it and maintain it. Update any and all contact or menu information and make it a point to check it on a regular basis ¬†for feedback. Speaking of which…

Do your review homework

Do a bit of digging and determine which review sites actually house reviews for your business. Whether it’s Yelp, Angie’s List or another review site, keep an eye on the reviews submitted. This will help you stay aware of what customers are saying about your business, and it will also give you the opportunity to deal with any potential problems head on. The more you can endear yourself to the local community, the better your business will be.

Looking for more ways to boost your digital presence? make your local service mobile friendly and accessible with these tips.