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Hello everyone! Mom and Pop Shop advocates here! We just wanted to thank everyone for the overwhelming support we got from our last article. The emails keep coming in and the response on social media has been fantastic. Obviously we are not the only ones who care about small businesses and seeing their success in a large business marketplace!

So we wanted to continue on the momentum of our last article. We think its very important that everyone understands the key principles on getting “found” today in the internet marketplace. Most small businesses are focusing on how to get found from the street. You’ll see signs up and displayed or those crazy sign spinners out in the middle of the summer (I always feel so bad for them!) And these methods do work. But we also need to harness the power of the search engines.

Boost and Support Local

People who may living within a 10 mile radius of your business may not be driving in your direction. But you may have valuable services that they are looking for. For this reason it is becoming increasingly important to be a strong presence on youtube which is the #2 search engine, but also on google which is the #1 search engine that people use. I wouldn’t even worry about yahoo or Bing search engines. If you perform well on google you are going to perform well on those search engines as well.

Stay in Town

So the first thing I recommend is hiring a local SEO Arizona company. I feel that outsourcing is key. You have so much to manage with running your physical location that trying to spin your wheels and figure out how to rank on a search engine is not worth your time. And you can actually do it wrong and have it negatively affect you. So leave it to the pros and let them figure out the hard stuff.

Expect it will take several months. It takes google awhile to realize what your business and website is all about. Search engine optimization is what this is called and it is a process. So be patient with your company. In the meantime, if you enjoy social media or blogging you should do all of that as well. The more you can get your name and your information on the internet the better. It honestly can’t hurt to have more avenues for google to pick up. So create awesome share worthy content that will attract people to you.

Use strategic keywords. Like if you are a toy store, be sure to include keywords that describe some of your most high selling products. It might be “dolls” or “barbies” etc. All of that will help the search engines further realize what your site it about. And don’t forget the power of telling your friends on the internet! Create an email list and encourage people to share your content! Word of mouth on the internet travels 10 times faster than it does in person! It is very nearly instant as people are checking their social media accounts multiple times each day!

That’s all for now! Go and get yourself found!

Buy Local

Mom and pop shops

In the wake of the ever expanding, ever increasing Walmart giant series of stores, one has to wonder…”Where have all the little guys gone?” What happened to the days of the “mom and pop” stores? Well we are here to tell you they may have dwindled but they are not gone for good! This site is dedicated to teaching small business owners how they can thrive in a retail giant type world and produce a viable income without become a mega-chain.

First off, I think we can all agree, the saying “bigger is better” doesn’t always hold true. What about the first computer ever made? It took up an entire room just to house all the parts! Or what about the first cell phone. Yep bigger not better for sure! I’ll gladly take my much smaller iPhone 6! Bigger just isn’t always better.

What do small businesses offer that the giants cannot? This is where you will need to focus. Not trying to become them. You don’t want to! What you offer is character, charm, and a unique experience.

Even Walmart is beginning to recognize this. America’s largest supercenter is scaling down: Wal-Mart has announced plans to scale down their sprawling establishments so as to cast a larger appeal to communities around the nation. Wal-Mart, which has received endless criticism for their expansive buildings, is going to start new store concepts over the next few years. Instead of building the enormous super centers (which average 187,000 square feet), Wal-Mart will be featuring smaller versions which average 40,000 square feet. (Taken from spokesperson for Walmart.com)
Hopefully this will be a step in the right direction for this discount retailer. Personal attention and customer satisfaction is something that is becoming increasingly more popular and Wal-Mart knows it needs to accommodate those interests!

How to get found by customers

So you have the charm, you have the sparkle, things Wal-Mart and others could never compete with. But there is one area that you are going to have to become proficient in–and that is being FOUND. We live in big cities with lots of stores. Peoples eyes are naturally accustomed to looking for big stores. And how can they not. The huge retailers have tall building that take up massive amounts of space. It really drowns out the little guys with his mom and pop shop 2 doors down. Most people don’t even know all the store that exist in their local strip mall.

You MUST become a viable presence on the internet. People MUST be able to find you when they search “coffee shop Scottsdale.” Google is the #1 search engine (89% of all searches originate there) and if you aren’t on page 1 of google.com then you can just forget about being found. Gone are the days of the yellow pages! Most young people don’t even know what those are!

50% of all searches originate from cell phones. So you must have a mobile responsive website as well. These are all things that many local stores don’t have time to learn how to do themselves and so they get drowned out. I recommend hiring a pro and that’s exactly what we did with our sites. We use Derek Abello (www.derekabello.com) and have been very pleased with our results and all the new traffic it has brought us to our site.

So what’s the take away today? Bigger isn’t always better BUT we must also find a way to be found. Focus on what you do well, turn up the charm and uniqueness, but still take advantage of modern day technology, like getting yourself on page 1 of google, getting a decent website made, and making sure it is mobile responsive. And never ever give up! America needs you and what you have to offer!

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Do you agree that mom and pop shops can offer better service than retail giants? Is less really more? We’d love to hear your comments!