Small Business Labs has been doing a great job tracking examples of “new localism” in the world of small business. In their Intuit 2020 Report, they describe localism as a new way of life in which “people invest in the places they live to make them better…spawning local economic development in new dynamic ways”—and as “one of the most interesting, complex and important” trends they follow.
One thing that I find interesting about new localism is that it seems to be happening everywhere: in cities, in suburbs, and in small towns.
Two examples of new localism at work in a variety of areas:
- Local food
- Local community growth as described in the influential essay Good News on Main Street
- Cities: Web-based community newsletters
- Suburbs: New “village squares” and arts plazas
- Small towns: Local “place-branding” events for tourists (rodeos, festivals, etc.)
How can this trend help small businesses like yours?
- List your business in Google Places and local directories. According to Yahoo! CEO Carol Bartz, people searching online are increasingly looking for options in a 5-10 mile radius.
- Be like Macy’s and study your local population “like anthropologists,” then use the data to offer products that appeal to local tastes.
- Post one of your local bargains on Signpost and reach neighborhood customers searching for a deal.