How often have you heard about a great idea in your community, only to find that it had it existed for ages and you never even knew?
Maybe it was a local market, a community garden, a book exchange or a local motherâ€™s group?
Sometimes we miss out on experiencing these neighbourhood gems first-hand because of a lack of communication. There are many reasons why we are the last to hear about a great thing, or even struggle to communicate with others when we find something new, but here are some of the biggest stumbling blocks to being better connected in the community:
1. Marketing budget
Understandably, small businesses and startups donâ€™t always have the capital for extensive marketing budgets. New businesses need to be clever with cash and make tough decisions about what areas take priority. Material and staffing costs are often more important than a new website, even if it might boost your online profile and find new customers.
The cash flow problem is even more critical when the organisation is a not-for-profit. These groups rely on donations and the funds are put back into helping important causes, which doesnâ€™t leave much leftover for self promotion, raising awareness or gaining new members.
What organisations need is a solution that is cost-effective for the short and long term. Even if you can find a website or digital marketing solution within your budget, it doesnâ€™t always include ongoing costs such as maintenance, security and SEO or digital marketing costs. Itâ€™s not very helpful if your websiteâ€™s google ranking is so low that no one can find you. It can also leave you or someone within your organisation with the stress of maintaining and managing your content, software updates and security. Which brings us to our second point:
Small business owners are often time-poor. Maybe theyâ€™re busy managing their business, maintaining social media, mailing packages or answering the never-ending emails in their inbox.
The same goes for not-for-profits except someone (possibly a volunteer) will be tasked with managing this during their precious volunteered time!
Maintaining a website takes time: learning how the website work, familiarising yourself with the CMS and generating new content. Big businesses have the budget to hire people to do this for them, a luxury which some small business owners can only dream of!
3. Referral Network
Often websites are seen as a catch-all solution. If you are having a cash-flow problem or hoping to generate new business or get new members signed-up…well, just get a website right?
Unfortunately a website is only as good as the traffic that it can capture. If people donâ€™t know where to go, how will they get there? If they donâ€™t know what to search for how will they find you? Maybe youâ€™re finding that handing out business cards is just too slow.
So, without a budget, the time to promote your business or a referral network – what can you do?
Whatâ€™s the solution?
It helps to have online referrers that direct people to your business. A reference from a trusted referrer helps you to get more traffic to your business and your website. It also increases the likelihood that the people coming to your site will be within your target audience, people who are nearby and who are looking for specific services or products. The more legitimate references to your website online boosts your SEO and helps your google ranking.
One solution to these problems is to rely on social media, something that can be easily managed and updated by you and is mostly free! Social media security and updates are also managed by a trusted third party, basically all the hard bits of running a website are managed for you by Facebook & etc.
The main drawback of social media however is that itâ€™s a scattergun approach. Your profile is only as good as the traffic that youâ€™re getting and while your Mum and your best friends are very supportive of your online presence, you may need to extend your net a little wider to gain more followers! (No offence to Mumâ€™s intended.)
This is where a solution like directerly comes in. Itâ€™s an affordable and easy way to create a local network by making a business directory online, or finding a pre-existing local business directory to connect to. You can be sure that the traffic to your business or website is coming from a trusted referrer like a local school or a business group.
Directerly is cost effective and extremely easy to use (watch our video to see the straightforward interface). Itâ€™s powerful, allowing you to add contact details, opening hours, a google map, promotional video, images and even list jobs for no extra fee.
A directerly is a great solution to help local organisations stay connected and ensure that no one misses out on the great ideas, services and products that are exist in local communities.