marketing strategy.

One of the great things about living in Helena or any other smaller city is that most people know each other and know the town very well.  This can leave business owners with a false sense of security and the feeling that “Everyone knows where I am.”  That is not always true and can mean missing out on potential new business.

Every day, new people arrive in Helena as new residents moving here or as tourists from out of town or out of state.  These are all potential new customers who don’t know where you are or that you even exist.  Including clear location information in any advertising or promotion you do is critical to letting these people know how to find you. 

Consumers are very impatient these days.  If they have to hunt or do work to figure out where a business is located, they will often move on to the next best option – your competitor – or will just click a few buttons and order it online. 

So by all means, make sure your address is in your advertising and is easy to see.  Most newcomers rely on their phone’s mapping capability and will simple type in an address and follow directions to get there.  Landmarks are helpful, such as next to some well-known coffee shop, but without an address that may not help.  Also, remember that newcomers don’t know the names of the buildings downtown.  So saying you are in the Power block, doesn’t help someone.  Adding the address makes it clear.

The other thing to keep in mind is that newcomers don’t necessarily know the names of all the surrounding towns.  If your business happens to be located in one of these small towns, then let people know how to find you.    Occasionally, you’ll hear or see ads that says, “Come out to such and such town and see us.”  Well if your potential custom has never heard of that town, they don’t know where to go and will likely skip it. 

Your website is often the first place a potential customer will go for information, especially if they are out shopping and trying to find you.  Make sure that your location information is right on the home page or in a very prominent location that is obvious and easy to find.  For that matter, why not figure out the most important information that is asked over and over again and put it on the home page.  Address, phone number, hours of operation, a menu, or anything else that your employees are constantly asked over the phone.  Don’t make your customers have to call you to find out.  We are lazy shoppers and most won’t. 

Growing a business in a small town can be a challenge simply because there are fewer people to shop in your store or buy your services.  It is important to take advantage of any newcomer to the area as a potential customer and a way to grow.  Start by making sure these new customers can find you.