Enlign-Business-BrokerIf you have a physical address and are not using the core free local business directory listings, you are missing thousands of dollars in free ad space. Here are the basics about the big ones:

Just look up your company name and address in Google Maps, and if you don’t find your place, go to http://Google.com/places — if you find it and it says in the upper right hand corner “Business owner?” then you need to claim this listing before someone else does. Click on the “Business owner?” link and use your business Gmail account to fill it out. If you don’t have a Google Gmail account, it is free to get one and only takes a few minutes.

This is what I call a feeder directory, used by most of the main directories to obtain their base info. Sometimes people will correct an address or phone number in another directory and in a month or two it switches back. When they update their listing at infoUSA.com it will stay corrected after a short period of time.    Scroll to the bottom of the page and select “Find a Business” and first see if you are listed; then go to: “Update My Listing” to add or correct your listing here.

Also you may want to add your business listing to Yahoo or Bing.
For Yahoo go to
http://listings.local.yahoo.com/ to list your business after checking to see if it is listed on http://local.yahoo.com/
On Bing go to the “Bing Business Portal (BETA)” site:
www.bing.com/businessportal to list your business. First check to make sure you don’t already have a listing on Bing at: http://www.bing.com/maps

If you are a micro, local-owned business let me know the link to your business in the comment area. Learn tips and training by following my Facebook Business page: http://BrossmanOnFB.com


Gift ideasWhy buy local for the Holidays?

Looking for Holiday or Christmas gift ideas? Why not buy from a local merchant and help your local community as well?

I asked a few people to share reasons to take advantage of quality products from local merchants in your area and I want to share what they had to say:

“Buying local is a great way to strengthen our community on a smaller scale. As a pebble ripples through a pond, then can the positive effects of our stronger base community to ripple out and help others. One of the educational pieces I give my clients is to make sure you are strong, healthy and practice self-care so that your personal resources are set before you help your families. If our community is strong, then we can cause our own ripple effect within and outside ourselves.”
– Nancy Campbell www.campbelllmbt.com

“People should buy local to help support the local businesses that they like to frequent. We are seeing so many shops and restaurants closing down because they just can’t make it in this economy. How disappointing is it to go to the mall only to find your favorite store gone!

Online shopping does make shopping easy; however, consumers should consider calling a store directly and ordering over the phone instead (usually for the same deal). This will help even the bigger name stores stay in business here in Raleigh. If you have found a certain something on-line, do an Internet search to see if the product is available locally. You would be surprised how many items are made and sold right here in North Carolina. Google and Yahoo of course are good resources, but not all small business are listed or come up on the first page of search, so I would encourage consumers to ask their friends (tweet it, Facebook it or e-mail). I had a neighbor looking for a good dentist the other day. She received so many responses simply by sending an e-mail to a group of friends.

Buying local means to keep as many dollars right here in North Carolina as possible. Independent shops do keep more dollars locally; however, big name stores are equally important to our community (ordering on-line from a chain that is present in NC does not count as shopping locally if it doesn’t directly affect the sales at the local chain). Bottom line: consumers should try to shop at a variety of stores and buy local when they can.”
– Terri Voltz http://www.electricbeanz.com”

“You should support your local businesses because otherwise you’ll be paying the government for your neighbor’s unemployment and welfare checks, food stamps, and health care. If you support these local businesses, you enable them to remain in business, which means people stay employed and the debtload of the country and your state can be reduced. Plus, shipping costs are lower. :)”
– Marie-Dolores Anderson www.pamperedchef.biz/mda

“Consumer spending drives 70% of the economy. But when we shop at the big chain stores the dollars we just spent are overseas before sundown.

When we shop at local family owned stores 68 cents of every dollar returns back to our community and when we buy American Made at these stores every penny supports the growth of our own economy! Yep, the economy and the end of this recession is up to each and everyone of us. So get to work, find the “right gifts” for this holiday season… those that are American Made!

Here’s a few great resources to start with!  Links: http://www.FindAmericanMade.com http://www.AmericanStyle.com , http://www.AmericanCraft.com”
– Wendy Rosen – www.americancraft.com

How can you find local businesses? Just search Google Maps ( http://maps.google.com/ ) for what you are looking for and the area you are in. Like “Toy Stores near Raleigh, NC” and you can tell which are local owned vs big box stores. Also make sure your own local business is listed here.

Lets hear your reasons to Buy Local and If you have or know of a local business that has gift ideas please share them too! Please share this with anyone you know and here is a short URL: bit.ly/buylocalgifts

To see more comments, check out the replies to this questions on LinkedIn and inSide919:

Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/answers/marketing-sales/advertising-promotion/viral-marketing/MAR_ADP_VMM/756219-548650

inSide919: http://inside919.ning.com/forum/topics/why-buy-local-for-the-holidays

Related post: Five Reasons for Buying Local

Thanks! Martin Brossman http://NCSmallBusinessTranining.com

New World Coffee - RaleighFive Reasons for Buying Local

By Martin Brossman – Success Coach and Author of Social Media & On-line Resource Directory for Business

You can’t help noticing the current buzz about buying local, re-inspired by deep concern for the environment and the necessities of the economic slowdown.   Restaurants are proudly announcing more locally-grown foods on their menu, and many of our friends announce their decision to shop smaller specialty retailers instead of chain discount stores.

Aside from the warm fuzzy feeling you get from helping your neighbor, there are some strong tangible benefits to buying from local merchants.  Buying local is beneficial to the environment in a number of different ways, while at the same time boosting the local economy. There are also political implications to your buying choices. Here are a few of the ways your family wins when you buy local.

1. Reduced shipping distance equals lower environmental impact

When you buy goods in your home town, you reduce carbon emissions and fossil fuel consumption by virtue of the simple fact that no one has to ship the goods to you from a long distance. When you purchase industrially-grown produce, for example, it typically travels 1,500 miles1 or more before reaching your dinner table. The environmental impact is staggering. A 2009 study2 revealed that in the state of Iowa alone, fuel consumption could be reduced by up to 346,000 gallons per year if 10% more of the state’s food were grown locally. The same study stated that annual carbon dioxide emissions would likely decrease by up to 7.9 million pounds.

2.Local dollars stay in your community

When your dollars go to local merchants, they are much more likely to buy from other local merchants than large corporate-owned stores. Most larger merchants are contractually obligated to buy from suppliers outside the towns where they operate. They often buy in bulk from central locations. The increased number of steps in the supply chain not only adds no intrinsic value, but often results in lower product quality. The reinvestment of business revenues into other local businesses generates local tax revenues.

3. The economic boom and bust cycle stabilizes over the long term

A locally-based economic infrastructure is less likely to suffer radical oscillations, due to the fact that it doesn’t depend on a small number of large businesses for the majority of its revenue. For example, suppose a factory moves into town and employs a large number of the town’s residents. The newly created jobs will attract more people and create a swell in house prices. Then, if economic conditions force the factory to close down or move offshore, there will be no cushion to absorb the economic impact of these lost jobs. The real estate market will decline, leaving affected families underwater on their mortgages.

When a local economy derives its income from a large number of small businesses, economic recessions are less extreme. Since small businesses move into town one by one, and economic growth occurs at a slow, natural pace, the likelihood of a sudden “gold rush” drops off, and prices are less likely to artificially spike.

4. Communities have a greater say in their own future

Economic dependency on a few large businesses shifts political leverage away from the local community. Companies who dominate local economies tend to get their way, whether citizens of their host communities like it or not.  Your everyday decision to buy from small grassroots entrepreneurs or big-box stores has an impact on the power structure governing your home town.

5. Local  pride increases as revenues improve the local environment

A Google search can show you exciting evidence of nationwide support for local independents.  Innovative Chambers of Commerce and merchants’ associations are implementing downtown revitalization projects, local currencies, networking events, joint advertising and community education efforts to bring small towns back to life.

“Shop Local” campaigns are so successful that Corporate marketers are climbing onto the local message bandwagon.  They may use terms like  “shop nearby” or “your local _____.”   It’s a trend that’s widespread enough to have gained the name “local washing.”

So how can you tell who is REALLY LOCAL in your home town? They are locally-owned AND independent,–and committed to making their community a better place to live. There are also many franchises with local owners that are important to support as well, keeping money in the community.

Just pause and think before you shop–can I get this from a locally-owned business? Help others become aware of the value of buying locally.  If you see the value, share it with a friend. I just invited a friend to lunch and said, “Let’s go to New World Coffee House for lunch; it’s good food and local-owned.”  Share your stories of buying  local!


  1. URL: http://www.localharvest.org/buylocal.jsp
  2. “What Exactly Is Local Food?” Sustainable Table, January 2009. URL: http://www.sustainabletable.org/issues/eatlocal/
  3. Schuman, Micheal. “Why Buy Local?” Helios Resource Network. URL: http://www.heliosnetwork.org/Why_Buy_Local.pdf

Contact Martin Brossman: martin@coachingsupport.com or (919)847-4757. His business coaching and training website is www.ProNetworkingOnline.com . Thanks to Dave Baldwin for his help with this article. To learn more about classes offered for Small Business Centers and Chambers of Commerce see: www.SBCSpeakers.com and select Courses

Click here for a printable PDF of this article.