Last night, I had the honor of attending a local business networking event at the Crystal Lake Weddings venue, on the Crystal Lake Golf Club grounds. I have driven by and often thought I should stop in and check out the venue, but never had. Wow was I missing out! The golf course and the wedding venue features gourgeous views of Crystal Lake and the Benzie County country side. The sunset over the lake was wonderful. I know I was there for work but it certainly didn’t feel like it. The food was provided by Odette’s Custom Catering and was FANTASTIC as well.
There were many wedding vendors from the area and it was great to meet new folks and learn more about just how vibrant the wedding industry is in this area. Northern Michigan is quickly becoming a destination wedding spot for folks all around the country. There was talk about using modern online services such as skype to chat with brides and grooms who were not able to meet in person due to the long distance from where they currently live. It was obvious that developing a network of local professionals that you trust and feel good about recommending is crucial for many of these businesses. When a bride and groom are planning a wedding from a long distance, they have to rely on those networks to make their wedding day perfect. This network offers accountability and a level of trust between the vendors and keeps business local.
Another topic of conversation was how the online reach of larger companies has caused stress on the local vendors. Certainly a large company with a massive budget can throw their weight around and impact local business, but with the right strategy and planning local businesses can compete strongly online! One of the first things we recommend is for all small business to create a local business listing on Google, Bing and Yahoo. Make sure that the business profile is filled out completely and great looking photos are included as well. There are lots of listing services available, but start with the search engines first. I will be perfectly honest, they do not always make creating a free listing easy, and it can be a lot of work to do this. There are many more listing options available out there as well.
If you need help competing online, give us a call. Pro Web Marketing offers a full range of services from social media advising and implementation, local business listings, to Google and Bing search advertising. Your business should and can stand out online, and we can help. Give us a call at 877 577 6932 or get a quick quote here!