Water Your Roots: Maximize Your Home Business Location
Trees need roots to grow. When a gardener plants a tree, he does not water the leaves or the branches. Instead, he sticks a hose near the roots and lets them soak up all the moisture they can hold. In the same way, whenever we begin a grass-roots business, whil we have the opportunity to expand, we must remember to maintain our roots: the community in which we live and work. In the past the success of a home business relied large on its geographical location. Local farmer would sell their produce to local consumers.
Basket weavers would weave their wares for the general public in their community. However, the growth of the internet has literally allowed local home businesses to explode into the global market place. As a result, many home businesses have lost touch with what once was the bread and butter of the home business world: the community. Home businesses owners must recognize the unique customer base they have within their own community. These are the people they can see face to face, and thus the individuals that can recommend the home business products to others locally.
Word of mouth is a powerful (and cheap) advertising tool, and thus home business owners must work hard to cater to the literal customer while serving the virtual customer as well. Secondly, home business owners can use their particular geographic location to their advantage. Let's say you live in the sticks of the Midwestern United States. Your closest neighbor lives over a mile away, and the closest paved road is well over two miles away. You drive 30 miles one way to get groceries, and 60 miles one way to eat out at a restaurant that doesn't consider "hashbrowns" a legitimate side. You get the idea. You need the global customer, the virtual customer, to survive. So how can you take advantage of your geographical location? Two words: graphic design. If you live in a beautiful, unique part of the world, then use those images as a part of your business logo or website. Finally, participate in the community.
When the local school has their homecoming parade, enter a float for your home business. Join the local small business association, and participate in community activities under the auspice of your business. Contact the local school and see if you can contribute to the booster clubs and put your business name on a plaque as a result. Whenever you have the opportunity for advertising your business and building a positive image in the community, do it. Just because the world has given us the opportunity to go global does not mean we can or should forget our neighbors. The home business began at home and relied solely on the goodness of those in its immediate vicinity. We should remember our roots when we start to grow, and continue to water them as we hope to reach the skies of prosperity.
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