|Local businesses. Flickr user RachelVorhees.|
2) You'll be able to make face-to-face connections. This is especially important if your customers are other businesses. You can call on new and prospective clients in person, sharing local stories, and building long-term connections. Your customers won't need to wait for you to fly into town to see you - you'll be able to stop by anytime. If you sell to consumers, you'll also be able to invite them to your store or call on them much more easily.
3) You'll have a much better understanding of the market than your non-local competition. Since you'll be selling to people who live and work in the same community as you do, you'll have an intrinsic understanding of the needs, environment, and conditions of that community. Knowing your local market inside and out will put you one rung above your non-local competition.
How do you access that local network? Simple is best - use your local papers (web and print properties), local events, local chambers of commerce and business groups, and local groups on LinkedIn to connect. Facebook also allows you to advertise by location, so you can find local customers there as well. Don't forget other networks that focus on local business reviews - like Yelp, ServiceMagic, and MerchantCircle.
What are you doing to strengthen your connection to your local community? Please share in the comments.
Are you local to the DC area? Drop me a line or let's connect on Twitter or LinkedIn.