The rise of online shopping and big box stores has made it tougher for small businesses to compete in their own local markets. While the mega retailers can often undercut local businesses on price, there is one key advantage local businesses can leverage, and that is trust. Shoppers tend to be more confident about doing business with retailers or service providers they know to be reputable, accountable, and concerned about their customers.
As a member of the community you serve, there are many things you can do to build trust as a local business.
1. Get Involved with Community Organizations
People recognize the value of strong community businesses. Demonstrate that your local business is committed your local neighborhood and you will earn the trust of local buyers. Depending on your available resources and budget, your involvement can include things like sponsoring a local sports team, hosting a fundraising event, or donating discounted products or services to support an organization.
2. Add Customer Testimonials to Your Website
Buyers put a great deal of confidence in customer reviews. For local businesses, a testimonial can be especially persuasive if prospects read that people in their own neighborhood or that they know personally are happy doing business with you.
3. Endorse Other Local Businesses
Consider writing a blog feature or making a post to your social media accounts to endorse another local business you know and feel confident in recommending. This will help to position you as a knowledgeable and trusted community resource. The businesses you promote may reciprocate and provide you with a little extra support.
4. Share the Story of Your Business
People in the community you serve will feel more connected to your business if they know more about you. Share something about the history of your business and relationship to the area. Buyers have a tendency to trust businesses with strong community roots.
5. Offer Free Guides and How-To Blog Posts
This is a good promotional strategy for any business, but local businesses can customize their resources to address area-specific concerns, such a climate or geography. Whenever you offer assistance without an obvious expectation of getting something in return you naturally build trust that invites buyers to do business with you when they have a need.
Interested in more ideas for building trust as a local business?