Paul and Sarah
Edwards ( www.
the authors of
17 print books,
and have a new
Be there to
BUYING LOCAL IS in. It’s personal, popular
and convenient. “Shop local” campaign
efforts like Google Place and the American
Express–sponsored Small Business Saturday
are putting local enterprises on the map.
But to stay there, these businesses need
to be available when people need them. Our
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holiday experience clearly demonstrated
this. In the spirit of shopping locally, we had
planned to make our holiday purchases in
Unfortunately, we found several stores
closed during their posted hours, and we
called proprietors who never returned our
calls. As a result, we had to turn to outside
services and establishments that were open
and answered the phones.
Of course, it can be tempting for a
small-business owner to take off at special
peak shopping times along with everyone
else, and it is difficult to always cover the
phones when demand is high.
But technology and some planning can
help owners meet these challenges without
losing local business or, worse, disappointing
potential customers who won’t come back.
Here are three steps you can take to
attract and keep local customers.
1. Broadcast your presence. Searches
for local businesses on smartphones and
computers on sites such as Google Plus Local,
Apple Maps, Facebook Nearby and its newly
announced Graph Searches are on the rise.
They put you a touch away from shoppers, so
long as you’re listed in all possible local
business directories, including Google, Bing,
Yahoo! and MerchantCircle. For links to these
directories, see “The Ultimate List: 50 Local
Business Directories” at HubSpot.com.
Tablet or smartphone?
Scan or click here for a short
video from Paul and Sarah
Edwards. (See page 5 for
The cure for knee-jerking
Find a friend
IN A QUICKENING world where the pressure to respond and deliver is high, speed can
lead to mistakes and inefficient leadership.
Costco member and leadership developer
Kevin Cashman (http://cashmanleadership.
com), author of The Pause Principle: Step
Back to Lead Forward (Berrett-Koehler
Publishers, 2012), argues that our most
powerful weapon against these
crushing forces is the one
thing we tend to resist the
most: a pause. He offers
these tips on why you
should wait a moment.
Pause for understanding. Certain that
you know the answer?
That’s a good time to step
back, gather more information, ask another relevant
question, listen to someone
else’s perspective and consider
alignment with values and
purpose. Managers too often
make a quick response as a
show of strength; leaders
take all the time allotted for reflection before
responding or rendering a decision.
Pause for growth. Schedule time and
invest in your personal leadership growth
through self-awareness and learning. Help
others grow and develop their talent. Foster an
innovative culture by encouraging curiosity
and questions that push boundaries. Pause to
think, “Why? Why not?
What might be possi-
ble?” Reward risk-
and appreciate fail-
ure for the learning
SOMETIMES, AS A small-business owner,
you may feel like a contestant on Who Wants
to Be a Millionaire?, searching for an answer
and in need of a lifeline. That lifeline may
very well be the United States Small
The SBA’s core operations are focused
around what they call the “Three C’s”: capital, contracts and counseling.
• Capital. The SBA guarantees loans to
help businesses start, grow and succeed.
• Contracts. The SBA serves as an
advocate on behalf of small businesses, helping to ensure small businesses have access
to the nearly $100 billion of federal procurements available to them.
• Counseling. Counseling and training
are available to small businesses around the
country through a national network of more
than 14,000 resource partners, including
Small Business Development Centers,
Women’s Business Centers, Veteran Business
Centers and SCORE. Those who receive
counseling and training are more likely to start
businesses, their businesses are more likely
to survive over the ensuing years, and they
are better prepared to seek financing and to
plan effectively for future business growth.
For more information, go to