Find opportunities in your local market

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Photographer: Chesney Bradshaw

Trade and commerce is two way. Consumers have the option to buy local or global today with the Internet. But there is a good case to be made for local businesses attracting local customers.

Opportunities in the property market are local. Property owners are achieving high rentals in upmarket suburbs.

The local and international tourism market provide excellent opportunities for local property owners who wish to rent out accommodation.

Prepared foods are local. Local restaurants and fast-food chains reap the benefits of being local. For some it might be hard to attract those consumers who opt for fast foods from the international chain but they play their role in creating employment.

Attention to the quality of local cuisene provides many local business opportunities.

Local Internet gurus keep hammering away at selling online to international markets. There is nothing wrong with this of course – it provides important opportunities. However, first look around and identify local opportunities that lie right under your nose.

Services provide many local opportunities. Businesses in electrical repairs, plumbers are the obvious ones but there are also roof coating specialists, glass fitters, kitchen cupboard re-fitters, local furniture manufacturers, furniture restorers, carpenters, tiling and floor experts, and garden landscapers.

With the consumer having so many choices these days, it pays to understand local tastes and preferences. It’s also important to keep in touch with local buying trends and to tap into them. (Security services, for example, are in high demand – a sad reality.) Talk to your customers and find out what they want. Ask them for feedback on what you are providing to them and how you could improve not only the products they buy but also service.

Local markets provide much opportunity for entrepreneurs. But with high volumes of imported goods and services, local entrepreneurs have to up their game and be better than the best.

To outsmart competition, you need differentiation – in product, service, packaging, local content and astute marketing. Buy local can just be an empty promise or futile statement unless your local offering has clear competitive benefits and value to local customers.

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