We’re getting to the end of 2021, and if you’re anything like me, you’ve found yourself getting creative over the last couple of years to generate interest in your business. And if there’s anything I’ve learned from working with the largest government GPO in the United States and the largest medical GPO on the planet over the last several years, it’s that if you’re not growing, you’re falling behind. This is true even during a pandemic. The marketplace has evolved, and you must too if you want to keep up. Tucson may seem like a small city sometimes, but remember that Pima County is home to over 1 million citizens, and countless opportunities for your business. Here’s our thoughts on how to compete, and better yet, grow in Tucson in 2022!
Tap Your Own Social Network
Many people have grown to despise online social media platforms like Facebook. But for a small business, being active on social media can yield some very amazing results.
But your social network obviously goes well beyond Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. However you can reach your friends and colleagues to either
Here’s an example: did you know that Tucson is the hometown to a former UFC champion? Dominic Cruz went to Flowing Wells High School, and he is the long time friend to one of our clients, True Line Turf and Design. They reached out to their old friend (offline) in hopes that he could help with business promotion, and despite his busy schedule, he did!
You may not know a celebrity, a professional athlete or anyone else with that much public exposure, but I’ll bet that someone you know well sure does. It never hurts to ask, especially if you’re transparent upfront about what you’re asking for. And sure, you can ask for someone to star in your commercial. But you may also know someone who knows a thing or two about business, or that is well connected in your target market. The point is: think strategically about what could give your business a boost, and then think about who you know that can help with that.
Leverage Online Communities
Speaking of Facebook, I’ve noticed a lot of Tucson community support discussion on Facebook lately. A relatively new group called Tucson #KeepLocalAlive has seen tremendous growth, and now (as of this post being published) has over 16,000 members. I see a lot of people asking for recommendations there, people looking for products and services of all kinds.
Join groups like these, as well as industry-specific groups that go beyond Tucson. You may pick up some great advice on how to market better, how to operate better and you may even find some customers.
Be Seen, Be Heard
“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” Wayne Gretzky offered up this incredibly wise (yet oh so obvious – why didn’t we think of that???) quote back in the 80’s. I always think about it in the context of entrepreneurs. As a wannabe startup, how can you achieve your dreams if you don’t just go for it?
But this also applies to more well established businesses, too (Although if you’re among the few unicorn companies out there that get all the business they can handle through referrals, congrats, you can skip this part). You need to be in front of your potential customers for them to want to do business with you. Why? They’re so inundated these days with advertising, they may have simply forgot about your business. So take the shot – advertise in some way, and reach those that would love to work with a company like yours and just not know it yet. If you don’t, you’ll miss that shot.
As a web design and digital marketing company, of course we are most familiar with advertising online. For local businesses with a well defined product/service offering, it’s hard to get a better return on your investment than Google Ads. The Pay Per Click (PPC) model, combined with Google’s fantastic tools to place your ads within very specific search results makes for an opportunity to generate leads more quickly than you thought possible. You must, however, ensure that your ad campaign is well built, including great copy and strategic targeting, and that wherever you send potential customers that click on your ad (your website, in most cases) is also built to convert interest into action.
Tap Resources Unique To Tucson
You’ve probably heard of some of the great business development groups that we have in Pima County:
- Tucson Metro Chamber
- Marana Chamber of Commerce
- Startup Tucson
- Southern Arizona SCORE
- Pima Community College Small Business Development Center
The list goes on. There are tons of resources out there, built to help your business grow. Some charge a fee, but others are available at you for no cost.
Build Trust Through Amazing Service
There are some amazing statistics out there about how vital good customer service is for a business. Here are couple that stand out to me: “A 5% increase in customer retention can produce 25% more profit” and “89% of consumers have switched to doing business with a competitor following a poor customer experience.“
Let’s start with the first one. How does bringing an existing customer back yield exponentially higher profit? Sure, sure that customer is likely to buy even more from you if you delivered a quality experience for them. But the more simple explanation is that people talk. People love to be the one to refer their friends and family to businesses that did well for them. Treat people well, offer great products and services and I promise you’ll see results.
On the flip side, the second stat tells us that customer retention is just about impossible if you can’t provide a positive experience for them. It all comes down to trust. If you lose their trust, you’ll lose their business.
Sell To Government And Education
Yeah, you heard me. Small business can actually thrive by selling to the public sector, and we just happen to be located in one of the public procurement hotspots in the nation. The purchasing departments with the City of Tucson, Pima County, Pima Community College, the UofA (not UArizona – I just….can’t), TUSD, Amphi Public Schools, etc., are filled with some amazing professionals that can help you learn how to do business with their respective entities.
Purchasing professionals from these organizations are even part of an award-winning chapter of the largest government purchasing association. They hold an annual reverse trade show, where you get to walk around and meet them in a speed dating format. Look out for that in the Fall of 22. And redefine what it means to be good enough for government work.
Leverage Your Local Web Developer
Ok ok, shameless plug here. But truth be told, web developers, digital marketers, SEO experts – we all have real value to bring your business. Talk to us and we’ll listen to your needs. At GWebware, we bring years of business experience to the table, so that’s the focus we bring. We’re also from Tucson, and I personally love supporting people from around this community. Give us a call or submit our contact form and let’s talk about how else you can grow.