No SEO, Not Even a Website – I’m A Local and Small Business

No SEO, Not Even a Website – I’m A Local and Small Business

One of the things I enjoy doing is hanging out with small business owners.  I say “hanging out” because our gatherings are never formal and we do not have an agenda whenever we meet.  All of us seem to like this format as we’ve been doing it at least a couple of times per week for the last five years now.  To me, small business owners are not only independent types but also very smart people from whom I can learn things I could not taking traditional college courses.

At a recent gathering, the topics of Advertising and Marketing came up.  As we discussed different ideas, the first thing I noticed was that advertising and marketing were the same thing for what we were looking for.  Basically, the question was how reach the largest number of potential customers with the smallest possible budget.  In other words, my small-business owners friends (I did not commit the mortal sin of calling them small business owners right in front of them) wanted the least expensive way to tell the largest possible crowd about the best, most reliable, most honest, and lest expensive services that are available to them right here in town.

We discussed television and radio ads but they were quickly dismissed.  None of us has had any experience with television or radio ads but we all thought they could be very expensive and therefore reserved for those with more money than all of us do combined.  Mass mailing using the postal service and other services sounded better but could be risky as several of us has tried with mixed results.

Local newspaper and magazine ads…yes everyone loved them.  Everyone has has done local newspaper or magazine ads since they opened their businesses years ago.  We all agreed on the effectiveness of newspaper ads but wondered if we could improve them and to make them even more effective.   We also agreed that placing an ad in local newspapers and magazines that target different ethnic groups was an excellent idea.

But are there any other ways out there?  Of course there there are.  I knew about a couple of them that I read somewhere and wasted no time to bring them up…the Internet, web presence, SEO, online marketing and all those nice stuffs.  Being the most tech-savvy in the group, I did most of the talking.  I explained the huge benefits versus the low costs.  I explained about the necessity of going online in today’s business environment.  I explained how it could give them a great competitive edge.  I did all I could and gave them all I knew.

And they weren’t interested.  No website.  No email campaigns.  None of those online stuffs.  Their reason?  Their businesses rely on local customers only and they’ve been doing fine without the whole world knowing about them.

My attempt to explain to them how the Internet can greatly improve their business bottom line seems to be unsuccessful, at least for now.  Maybe the next time when we meet, I should tell them how fast their competitors are passing them by and it’s only a matter of time when catching up will be their game of survival.

By: Huy

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