Forget Google, Are You Ranked #1 in Your Street?

4 Minute Mission #3: Take one step towards being the most recognised business in your street.

Small Business Findability2

With all the current focus on Google rankings and SEO, has the physical presence of your business been a little forgotten? Has your business address simply become the business you work in? If yours is a new businesss, you may still be very conscious of the appearance of your business, but there’s still a risk that you’re trying to blend in with the businesses around you. This mission is a plea to business owners to re-focus on standing out!

To accept this 4 Minute Mission, watch the video with a pen and paper ready. The steps are also repeated below for ready reference.

Watch the Video

Step 1

How could you increase the awareness of your business within your street?

What do I mean by awareness? Well, if I did a door-to-door survey in your street, could every single person in your street (residents and business owners) tell me where your business is and what you sell? If so, then there is a great local awareness of your business and what you do! If not, then what hope do you have of gaining a reputation across your suburb, town, or city?

small business stand out

Nobody does it better than McDonalds and the other fast-food giants

Does your shop-front stand out from others nearby, or does it blend in? There is sometimes an urge to ‘look the part’ or ‘look professional’, but in business Same = Invisible, and it’s more important to stand out than to ‘look good’. If there’s a McDonalds in your street or suburb – you know about it – guaranteed. But there’s probably an accountant or dentist around the corner that you never noticed because they occupy neat but non-descript offices. Which of these does your business most resemble?

For this step we just want to get back to basics – the things you probably thought about when you opened your business, but that you never got arount to, or let slip over time.

Now there are many ways to get noticed:

  1. Be louder. Think brighter, bigger, more obvious, more unique. So you need a more prominent sign by the roadside that can be seen from down the street or from a busy intersection nearby? Go into strategic thinking mode.
  2. Be more personal. Let’s say you own a cake shop – what if you delivered 2 free cupcakes to a different house or business in your street every day and introduced yourself? Or even without the cakes – what if you simply went and visited every business or house in your street just to introduce yourself and say hi – “ I just wanted to say gday and let you know that we’re here if you ever need X, Y or Z.” Now that the locals can put a face to your business, you will automatically stand out from the many faceless ones – at zero cost! You’re guaranteed to stand out because NOBODY ELSE IS DOING IT!
  3. Call out your customer. One of the best ways to stand out is by being relevant. Smith and Jones Solicitors isn’t going to resonate with anyone, but if you can call out your customer specifically, their brain instantly knows to pay attention. Here are some examples:
    • Injured at work? We can get you compensation.
    • Moving House? We can deliver your boxes within 24 hours!
    • Hungry? McDonalds 5 mins ahead.

    If you’ve been injured at work, you’re moving house, or you’re hungry, then these messages immediately have your attention, because there’s no ambiguity. This is something we’ll be working on a lot more in the upcoming missions on the topic of Clarity.

Step 2

What would it take to be THE most recognised business in your street?

This is not the time to be sensible – GO SILLY – no idea is too crazy. Just now I thought of a brick wall across the footpath to divert customers into a store or to stop them getting past. Silly right? But that got me thinking –

  • What else would stop people dead in their tracks? Puppies in a pet shop window? What could your business do? Perhaps rather than diverting people into your business, you could take your business to them by extending your shop outside somehow.
  • Is your building a landmark? Distinctive looking businesses are used as everyday landmarks. Let’s meet at McDonalds. Turn left at the BP service station. It’s just past the pool shop with the giant pool. Some businesses are talked about every single day because there is something distinctive about them. Think of ways to make it near-impossible for someone walking past to miss your business. I’ve seen pet stores with their cutest puppies in the window, toy stores with an exhibit in the front window, and a craft store with windchimes chiming in the breeze and heard from down the street.
  • Perhaps there’s only so much you can do from your building. Think of those accountants doing tax returns in a small booth the middle of a busy mall. The dominos kids waving a sign for 5.95 pizzas at motorists on the roadside during peak hour traffic.

shop window

 

Your budget might not allow for major renovations, or even a paint-job (and frankly, most of the time I’d recommend investing time/money/effort into serving your customers better so that they will do your marketing for you), but you might be surprised what low-cost options brainstorming could uncover, so do not skip this step.

Apple stores are known for giving a standing ovation to customers when they make a purchase! This costs them nothing, but they turn heads, and people talk about it when they go home because it’s very uncommon, and it’s fun.

Step 3

Follow through with just one new strategy – starting with the easiest, the cheapest, or the one that you’re most excited about. Schedule it in for this week (preferably today), and do it.

How can we be different or stand out? This is the mindset of a business owner or entrepreneur – it’s what separates a manager or service provider from a successful business person. If Richard Branson owned a butcher shop, he’d be thinking ‘How can we stand out?’ or ‘What can we do to be different?’, rather than what temperature the cold-room is set at. You may need to do both, but with regular 4 Minute Missions I hope to get you thinking about the business more often, and about the cold-room a little less.

Extra Yard

Get out of the building!

  • Walk down your street and note which businesses stand out and which don’t. What do they do well and what do they do poorly? And where does your business fall in this range? How could you move to the #1 spot?

Best Resource

Pen, paper, eyes, ears, imagination :)

Success Stories

I’d love to hear any strategies you came up with in the comments below!

See you soon for the next mission…

Dave

P.S. Sign up for free on the right of this page to receive a fresh new Mission each week!

The existing Missions are here if you want to take a sneak peak at what’s in store for you.

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