No longer does your geographic area necessarily define your economic sector. Thanks to technology, you can define where you exist by vertical market and offering. You can create a hybrid business environment – a flexible, resilient sub-sector of the mainstream economy focused around your company.
Your local economy is defined by all the businesses that have an economic relationship in that physical area – a lease or mortgage with bank, phone line & internet connection with a provider, associated financial services, employees and their related economic impact, etc. These are just relationships, but the nature of where they are defines the local conditions in which your company exists. The associated positive or negative economic factors within that region can impact your company and impact your local customers. In the past, as the local economy went, so did the small businesses tied to it.
Casting a Wider Net with Technology
What if we could leverage our influence over a wider geographic area? We could minimize any negative effects related to specific economic regions and, as a result, create a more secure financial situation. Years ago casting a wider net, expanding reach into other markets and taking advantage of growth in other geographic areas, was only reserved for large corporations with the resources to expand their influence.
Thanks to technology, we all now have the ability to leverage against our local market, reach out to customers around the nation or the globe and seek greater stability through a more diverse client portfolio. By allowing vertical markets in products and services helps define our economic sector we can outperform the local economy, gain market share through specialized offerings, and in many cases outperform national trends.
Business Relationships Are Increasingly Important
If we take this one step further, our economic sector can also be defined by the personal business relationships we create, no matter where they are. We can outperform national industry trends by associating ourselves with great companies and good people.
Traditionalists will always want to market locally and may not see the value of marketing through competency in a particular market or through business relationships. Often the concern is in the fulfillment or service of customers whom you will never meet in person. Taking the opposite approach has always been my philosophy and now it is easier than ever before. Technology is linking us all together – webinars, video conferencing, chat and VoIP technology are all tying us together.
I am a virtual unknown in my local market: some people think I am the night janitor at the local Burger King and that is fine with me (I will admit that I may be a little guilty of perpetuating that myth). It is the relationships that our company has built nationally and internationally over that past 10 years that have helped our company continue to grow in these uncertain economic times.
Next week, I will talk about defining your own economic sector – the sector of “Your-Name-Here”.
Image Credit: Robert S. Donovan (booleansplit)
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Read: Business Owners Need to be More Involved with their Marketing Strategy