Why I love local internet marketing & local small businesses

in On Local Business Marketing

A few days back, a friend asked me why I spend so much time working with small businesses on their local internet marketing. His argument was that there is much more money to be made working with larger companies that have more money to spend.

Maybe, maybe not.

But to really answer the question, I need to tell you a little about myself.

Several years ago my wife and I were contemplating a move. We’d been living in the same area for a few years, and were ready for a change. We did the things people looking to move usually do … looked on the Internet, visited different areas, asked the people we ran into where they lived and what they loved about it.

For me, at the end of the day, something came through loud and clear…

The places I love the most are packed with unique, compelling, local small businesses. Amazing businesses and entrepreneurs that add flavor to their communities, provide meeting places for their customers, and that seperate their city or town from the endless drone of places every bit as charming as a drab, gray cubicle.

One of my mentors has spent years teaching small businesses how to make more money. He was very good at it, and, in turn, I became very good at it, too. In fact, there are few business growth situations I run into nowadays that I can’t fix in a jiffy. The solutions are just … obvious.

Anyway, my mentor and I had a very different perspective on why we do things:

He liked making the business more money, so the owner could go off and do what (s)he really wanted. Conversations like “I hate the X business, but as long as it keeps me on the golf course 5 times a week I can live with it” were common.

I’ve got a different take.

I love working with local entrepreneurs who love what they do and who they do it for, and who, completely freed from marketing and money worries, are free to transform their businesses into a no-limit dream. In the process … they add flavor … inject passions … and transform their customers and communities.

It gives me chills. Seriously.

So many small business owners get into business with big dreams and aspirations. To quote Steve Jobs, they want to “make a dent in the world” … even if their world is a little, local community they’ve come to know and love. But all too often, a year or two in, the economic realities of growing a business have “deadened the dream.” Instead of waking up passionate and enthusiastic about what is possible … they begin to wake with fears about what might be around the corner.

Being a part of making those fears disappear … a part of bringing the passion back … and, in my own way, contributing to the number of cool people doing cool stuff keeps me going day and night.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 juliacassidy May 18, 2010 at 9:36 am

Great post. I like it because it, not only describes some of the advantages involved in working with small businesses but also because of the personal approach you has given to it. It's great.
Just like @Cami says, contrary to popular belief, it is a relief to think that even though you are an entrepreneur, with all the skills and requirements, you can still feel free to o pack your things and move on, and keep on being an entrepreneur just as effective enven if working at a quiet town, in a small business. And being a small business, it doesn't mean you will be making less money. Believe I know that from my own experience.
Thanks for sharing.

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2 Cami April 15, 2009 at 9:12 pm

Hi Dave,
I love small business, I love it with passion! I know the excitement and the fears and the sleepless nights associated with both! I also love communities and living in a big city suburb, no matter how nice it is, kills me! But, some day, I hope to be able to just pack and go, find a community that will embrace my family and to which I could also contribute with much pleasure.
In the mean while, will you be my mentor?
Cami

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3 Anonymous September 25, 2005 at 4:09 pm

Great comments.  I too enjoy working with small businesses.  I have always had companies in a service industry of one type or another.  I have had Fortune 500 clients and I have had start-ups.  By far, I enjoy the response and interaction I get with small business owners.

Darryl
——-

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4 Anonymous September 25, 2005 at 9:09 pm

Great comments.  I too enjoy working with small businesses.  I have always had companies in a service industry of one type or another.  I have had Fortune 500 clients and I have had start-ups.  By far, I enjoy the response and interaction I get with small business owners.
Darryl——-

Reply

5 Anonymous September 24, 2005 at 12:09 am

Thanks for writing such a passionate post about local small businesses. One of the reasons I move to Austin, Texas was because of the incredible community support for local small business. They even have t-shirts that say “Keep Austin Weird” referring to the funkiness of the local businesses here in town.

It’s folks like you who support us local small business owners that make all of this possible. Thank you!

Happy networking!

-Scott

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6 Anonymous September 24, 2005 at 5:09 am

Thanks for writing such a passionate post about local small businesses. One of the reasons I move to Austin, Texas was because of the incredible community support for local small business. They even have t-shirts that say “Keep Austin Weird” referring to the funkiness of the local businesses here in town.
It’s folks like you who support us local small business owners that make all of this possible. Thank you!
Happy networking!
-Scott

Reply

7 Anonymous August 28, 2005 at 7:08 pm

Small businesses are the most fun to work with for many reasons. With only a few people in charge my clients are highly motivated and quick to implement new ideas.

The result? When I show a small business owner how to improve their marketing, they can see the results within weeks if not days. No need to run every decision through a committee.

Best,

Charlie Cook
/ Helping small business owners get a better response with their marketing and more clients //

Reply

8 Anonymous August 29, 2005 at 12:08 am

Small businesses are the most fun to work with for many reasons. With only a few people in charge my clients are highly motivated and quick to implement new ideas.
The result? When I show a small business owner how to improve their marketing, they can see the results within weeks if not days. No need to run every decision through a committee.
Best,
Charlie Cook
/ Helping small business owners get a better response with their marketing and more clients //

Reply

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