Small Town Rules For Building Businesses

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If you have been reading my blog for any amount of time, you'll know that one of my weekly and monthly habits is re-reading my journals...

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I've got about a decade plus of ideas, thoughts, quotes and nuggets jam packed into these puppies! And re-reading them always fires me up and gives me some great ideas for content and building our businesses.

One of the 'nuggets' I recently re-over was something I wrote down, back in about 2010.

It was called 'Small Town Rules For Building Businesses'.

I can't remember exactly where I picked it up, but I believe it was a combination of something I wrote down, plus my own thoughts on it. The general idea behind it was to treat building your online business, like the 'good old' days of doing business in a small town!

Exactly what does that mean?

Here's a few of the ideas I wrote down:

Word of Mouth Works

Still one of the best ways to generate referrals and good ol' fashioned strong personal brands...Having your customers rave about you and tell others about your business / service. And did you know what social media is right now? Digital word of mouth!

Get your customers to write reviews and share your content with their followers, and you have expanded your reach to new markets and potential customers. People do business with those they know, like and trust...And they LOVE to tell their friends about awesome service they've received. A simple but effective tactic!

Focus on 1 on 1 Relationships

Remember when the local shop owner knew your name? What you liked? What your favorite product was? That's because they took the time to develop a 1 on 1 relationship with you. I can't even count the number of times I've built relationships with small business owners around town over the years, and because of that, they always gave me superior service.

Guess what I did in return?

Ended up talking about their business to my friends a lot :) See how this works?

Community Is King

Best selling author Michael Hyatt once said 'Tribe building is the new marketing'...An d guess what a tribe is? Community! It's king for VERY good reason. People want to feel a part of something, and enjoy being part of something bigger than themselves. Tribalism I guess...But it works!

I am loyal to Apple products, not because of what they have done recently lol But because when I first started using Apple products, I was part of a passion community of enthusiasts. I felt part of something!

How can you build more community in your business?

Be Loyal

A lot of small town businesses are built on loyalty! From the products, suppliers, services...They tend to set things up and continue to use the same people / companies for years and years.

Loyalty can never be purchased, it must be earned. So ask yourself how can you build a loyal following with your customers / followers? Here's how I would suggest....Add value to THEIR lives every single chance you get! Put them first, put your people before profit!

I always loved reading these notes I wrote down about this 'tactic'. We can learn so much from 'small town businesses' and the relationships they build with their customers. The trick now is...To take these techniques they have been using for decades, and bring it into the digital space.

It'll most definitely separate you from the crowd!


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14 comments
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Yes the word of mouth is a great help for small business. Let your customers market your own products to their friend. So, make sure to have the quality not just the quantity and yes it is one of the big secrets of successful business owners.

Thanks for this tips @jongolson

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I think word of mouth is still important and I am more likely to use a recommendation from a friend or family over some online reviews. As for the entire relationship thing, it does work but I wonder if it ever goes too far. The parasocial relationship between content creators and consumers sometimes seems awkward.

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Working in a small place improves the quality of life compared to large crowds. In a site like this, warmth and word of mouth are essential to develop the business. And also they can be very profitable businesses and with less risk since they focus more on the margin than on the volume.

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Word of mouth is very important because it is one of those things people look out for when they are trying do business with new people, and we can’t underestimate the power of 1 on 1 relationships it creates bonds.

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I also noticed that small town businesses are closely knitted together. Attacking one of them is like attacking all of them. We find a close resemblance in the digital space with the Apple community. I guess loyalty is everything once you've earned it.

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I learned a lot of these things pretty late. I wasted time trying to innovate and do business on same time. Now with education side, I try to sell and educate and make sure to find out pain points of people to do business to serve them. I guess we learn a lot of lessons late it seems :)

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It's all there! Even big cities live by these principles. It's just that they work within the smaller parts of the city. So no matter how you spin it, even scaling it, you have to build it up the same way, just step by step. Then there will be soul and life in it. 💛💙
!СTP
!invest_vote

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I remember hearing someone say long ago that successful businesses are low-tech and high-touch. I'm not saying we need to tell time using sundials and calculate purchases using an abacus, but tech doesn't need to be the latest and greatest for a small business; it just has to help us accomplish our goals and mission.

We still need tech, but it has to be in service to the human element which all businesses and communities need.

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Great points! Yeah I agree...For years I sent physical post cards to clients as a thank you. I always thought, anyone can send an email, very few with send a thank you note in the mail.

!CTP

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I've always said "I do relationships, not business."

Online or in the physical world. Same same. It's about people at the end of the day.

Clients have stuck with me for over a decade. And me with them. Because we like each other.

You also can't beat working with like minded, good people.

Sound suggestions here 👏

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