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The Importance of Having Local Business Listings

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The Importance of Having Local Business Listings

In this day and age, it is clear that having a strong online presence is very important for any company. Business owners know that having a functional, informative, and visually attractive website will draw in more customers. The same goes for a strong social media presence. We’re sure that you’re marketing your business on Instagram, Facebook, and so on. However, what people sometimes don’t think about are local business listings sites. In this article, we’ll explain the importance of having local listings and why utilizing such listings would be beneficial for your business.

You’re Easier to Find if Your Name is in the Phonebook

Basically, think about local business listings as a sort of a digital-era phonebook. Nowadays, whenever people need information on a certain kind of business, they’ll most likely look for it online. Local business listings can introduce them to a variety of companies offering the kind of service or product they need, based on the potential customers’ area. For example, people looking for moving companies in New York would find the company Dumbo Moving and Storage Brooklyn, as well as important information such as the company’s working hours, address, link to the company’s website, and its phone number. As a lot of queries also specify the location of the kind of business they’re interested in, having your business on these area-based listings can help you a great deal.

Posting important information on local business listings is not hard to do and it doesn’t take much time. It is an easy way to improve your digital marketing. So, why waste the opportunity to efficiently attract new customers? There’s even a good chance that interested parties will give you a call right away. People often use the internet on their smartphones, so it’s very easy and convenient for them to call you as soon as they find your number on local business listings. And if you receive a phone call, then you’re already halfway to securing new customers.

SEO Benefits

Apart from this obvious advantage that local business listings provide, there are more “under the hood” benefits as well. Namely, they can increase your search engine visibility and overall brand visibility. If you’re paying attention to the keywords you use, then you’ll be pleased to learn that local business listings do the same. They’ll most likely use the same or similar keywords you’ve used, thus generally improving your SEO. These sites usually have significant domain authority. Even if your potential customers don’t find your website while using the specific keyword, they’re likely to find your profile on local business listings.

What’s more, the benefits to your search engine visibility don’t stop there. The people working for the major search engine companies like to compare their data with data found on such sites. If your information is there and it is consistent, search engines will deem your business to be more reliable and trustworthy. And if it’s not, they might think that you’re running a shady business, causing your SEO to degrade.

Local Business Listings Can Improve Your Reputation

The importance of local business listings in terms of your reputation isn’t only related to SEO. Potential customers themselves might think that it’s strange that your company isn’t listed there. They might consider it a red flag, warning them to take their business elsewhere. Even if they’ve already heard of your company, finding another one on local business listings might make them call that company and end their search right there and then.

On the other hand, local business listings also offer user reviews. If your company is not only listed there, with all the up-to-date, relevant information, but it also has a lot of good reviews, that’s often all it takes to secure a customer. While we know that many company owners often fear reviews, if you don’t have faith that you’ll receive good user reviews (in other words, if you’re not sure that you’re providing a quality service and/or products), then you have more pressing matters at hands than thinking about the importance of local business listings. However, if you are good at what you do, then you can expect the positive reviews on such sites to help you significantly. You can even post the same reviews on social media or on your website.

When it comes to your reputation, it is also worth noting that some business listings will include your information without your knowledge. This information could be incorrect. What’s more, your competitors can also use these listings to harm your company (this doesn’t happen often, but it is possible). Setting up your profile by yourself on local business listings will prevent that from happening.

Five Most Important Business Listings

So, utilizing local business listings is easy and can generally only help your business. The only thing to consider is which business listings to use. We’ve prepared a list of the five most important ones to help you out:

-Google My Business

-Yelp for Business Owners

-Yahoo Business Listing

-Bing Places for Business

-Facebook Business

There’s not too much difference between these five listings. They are all free and easy to use and setup. However, Yahoo Business Listing will require you to pay 9.95$ every month to allow you to include pictures, which could be important depending on the type of business you run. They also offer the option of paying 29.99$ every month. Choosing this option is recommended because Yahoo’s employees will then include your business in about 40 other local business listings as well, thus saving you some time.

Facebook Business is also highly recommended because many people are using Facebook to find businesses in their area, even if you are mostly doing business with baby boomers. Unlike other business listings, this one not only makes it easy for potential customers to call you, but it also makes it easy for them to message you, if that’s their preferred way of doing business.

Of course, these five sites are just the tip of the iceberg. Don’t stop there and try to include your business in as many local business listings as possible (even if you’ve paid for Yahoo Business’ 29.99$ option). Taking the time to do so means that you’ll have less time to dedicate to running your business, but in the long run – it’s definitely worth it.

Americana Holdings Announces Major Real Estate Acquisition

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices real estate franchise, Americana Holdings, announced the acquisition of Tarbell, Realtors® this week. Tarbell is known for the operation of 20 Southern California-based offices. Family-owned Tarbell boasted $1.1 billion in sales for 2018.

“Culture is everything,” he said. “To find a company with the same thought process and has treated their people in such a positive and supportive manner is key. It’s unusual to find two organizations so committed to their people and to sustaining a quality culture – we’re a great match. We look forward to sharing all our support in helping these professionals further grow their businesses and provide even more value and service to their clients.”

Through the acquisition, Americana Holdings added 11 Tarbell offices around Orange County and Palm Springs. Office locations include Anaheim Hills, Lake Elsinore, La Quinta, Murrieta (French Valley and Menifee), Oasis Country Club, Palm Desert, Palm Springs, Temecula, Upland and Yorba Linda. Tarbell’s remaining offices were acquired by Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices franchises based in San Diego, Redlands and Cerritos.

“We’re excited to have found a real estate network that shares the same passion for the business that my family has had for generations,” said Ron Tarbell, CEO of Tarbell, Realtors®. “Our company’s standards of integrity, professionalism and service to the communities we serve are perfectly aligned with those of the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices brand.”

“This merger continues the expansion of our California market presence, which has been a focus for our company,” said Gordon Miles, president and COO of Americana Holdings. “It continues to enhance our footprint in our Orange County and desert communities, while opening opportunities in new areas in which we weren’t previously represented.”

“Our primary objective at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices is to help our network members grow,” said Gino Blefari, chairman of the network. “We are delighted to announce this transaction as Tarbell, Realtors® has a strong and distinguished legacy in the marketplace and has always attracted top real estate professionals. These professionals will further strengthen our brand and add significant value to the brokerages involved.”

Small-Town Life: Why it’s Good for Business

When it comes to relocating your business, you can go big (city) or you can go home. But while conventional wisdom would have you believe bigger is better, there’s something to be said for going home to small-town life–and small-town business. If you’re on the white picket fence about whether to relocate your business to a smaller, more rural locale, let these four small towns prove that bigger isn’t always better. We asked economic development leaders from Dodge City, Kansas; Kiowa, Kansas; Moundridge, Kansas; and Vandalia, Illinois, why small-town life is good for business. Here’s what we learned.

“One of the great things about living in a small town is the connectivity of businesses and residents; we can really bring partnerships together,” says JoAnn Knight, executive director of the Dodge City/Ford County Development Corporation. Dodge City hosts a population of fewer than 28,000 but has dealt with housing shortages with aplomb, pairing businesses with local universities to build and flip homes. The program benefits not just residents and contractors but new businesses looking to relocate in Dodge City and create jobs.

In nearby Moundridge, which is one of the fastest growing communities in Kansas, Economic Development Director Murray McGee cites the town’s hardworking workforce as a benefit to small-town business. We have a lot of manufacturing here and people experienced in manufacturing,” notes McGee, who is also director of the Moundridge Chamber of Commerce. “Good hardworking people—a good quality workforce.”

Another incentive to small town business? Incentives themselves, according to Kiowa City Administrator Lou Leone, who oversees a population of only 964. “In a smaller town if the town owns the utilities, it’s easier to offer incentives,” Leone explains. “Larger cities can’t always do that.”

Vandalia Economic Development Director Amber Daulbaugh echoes the sense of community—as well as a lack of competition—as major small-town selling points. “Depending on [the] type of business, there may not be competition, and their presence will fulfill needs in the community,” she explains.

Big city business is intrinsically different from small town business, but as all four experts are quick to point out, only in the best ways. Leone says one benefit of doing business in a town such as Kiowa is less bureaucracy. “We can move faster,” says Leone. “There are less middlemen, and the permitting process is a bit more streamlined.”

Over in the historic Illinois town of Vandalia, easier, more streamlined access as well as possible savings over big city business are just a few more perks, says Daulbaugh, who also cites a sense of community pride. “Word of mouth and referrals are utilized tremendously in small town business,” she explains. “Collaborations between small businesses are organized in efforts to reach more potential customers, [which] provides a sense of pride.”

According to Knight, that strong sense of pride is also helpful to another class of business. “In our community, a lot of our businesses are run by individual entrepreneurs that have been here for years,” she says of the Dodge City faithful.

McGee seconds the notion that a strong sense of business support comes from small town living, pointing to another major difference in many small cities and towns such as Moundridge: Utilities can often be a one-stop shop. “There’s a lot of synergy,” says McGee. “In Moundridge, our city provides all services: gas, water and electric. One call gets you everything you need. It gets people on site within minutes. That’s a big deal, especially in manufacturing.”

Much like their larger counterparts, in addition to incentives, smaller cities have their own local charm that cannot be duplicated.

Take historic Vandalia. Chartered on March 30, 1819, it is the oldest existing capital city. It’s also where President Abraham Lincoln began his political career as a state representative. Naturally, this brings a hearty tourist boost to Vandalia each year, when visitors view not just the statehouse but the town’s museums, gardens, trails–and its fire breathing dragon statue.

According to Knight, smaller cities can offer something else unique: a more personal relationship with business partners. “I think any community can do this but not all want to: listening to the businesses and seeing what we can do to meet their needs. It’s not always about land or water. We need to build a network to get them what they need. In Dodge City, we take a very hands-on approach to get businesses what they need to be successful.”

In Moundridge, McGee cites freebies for would-be business investors as a perk you can’t always find in larger cities. “Our community owns property,” he notes. “We offer free land for development in exchange for investment, development and job creation.”

Kiowa’s Leone says ownership of utilities makes smaller towns unique—and easier to do business with. “We own all four utilities, so we can gear packages toward driving costs down,” he says. “We’re very conscious about taxes as a whole. We try to get you the best bang for your buck on a lot of our projects.”

In the end, it all comes down to which businesses will do best in which towns–and that largely depends on the needs of the town as well as the resources and the skills of the local workforce.

In Kiowa, that looks like manufacturing, but Leone isn’t about to limit prospective businesses to just that. “Kiowa is open to any kind of business,” he says. “We have a very progressive council and have been talking about municipal internet for internet-based businesses or a data center. We have Kiowa-net on the shelf but wouldn’t hesitate to pull the trigger to get it going here for the right business.”

Over in Moundridge, McGee also recommends manufacturing for small-town business. “In my community, manufacturing works well because we have three global businesses here,” he says. “We have a workforce that is used to working in the manufacturing arena. We also have a major switch facility for Verizon Wireless, so tech companies could thrive here, too.”

Towns such as Vandalia could use a little bit of everything, says Daulbaugh. “A clothing and accessories store that has clothing and shoe options for the whole family and of all ages, a full-service, family-oriented restaurant, a microbrewery—we have a distillery that will open in 2020 and this would complement it,” she says.

Ultimately, what’s important to remember, as Knight so succinctly explains, is that one should never judge a city by its size. “In this day and age, you can be wherever you want and get what you need if you have the right resources.”

Fisker Inc. Manufacturing Announces New Senior Advisor

Don Jackson is the new name behind the manufacturing strategy and site selection at California-based Fisker Inc., the company confirmed this week. Jackson brings an extensive 40-year background in manufacturing leadership positions with big-name companies such as Volkswagen and Toyota.

“Following the exciting announcement on our affordable electric luxury SUV for the mass global market, we sought out an automotive industry leader with a strong history of results in high-volume manufacturing and the utmost in quality control,” said Henrik Fisker, chairman and CEO. “Don has lead operations for the largest OEMs, raising the bar in vehicle quality and reliability. We are delighted to have him join our team as we ramp up toward launch in 2021 and prepare to bring a more emotion-stirring, American-made EV design to people worldwide.”

Jackson’s role will directly impact and support Fisker’s focus on breakthrough automotive technology and advanced mobility solutions as the company continues finalizing facility selections for the production of an
all-electric luxury SUV to mass market.

“The future of the automotive industry lies in electric vehicles. There’s an undeniable shift toward sustainable mobility around the globe, and Fisker is breaking the mold with the most forward-thinking technologies complemented by Henrik’s world-renowned, emotionally-compelling design touches,” Jackson adds.

“I share Fisker’s vision of driving mass electrification forward by producing more desirable EVs for the global market here in the United States, and I look forward to building a disruptive strategy that combines Fisker’s unique business model with the very best manufacturing practices that assure unparalleled results and outstanding, reliable products. The Fisker team is committed to exceeding customer expectations globally.”

Local Entrepreneur Brings “Magic” Back to Miami Apparel Industry

Serial entrepreneur Jason Prescott believes in the future of Miami – so much so, that the Los Angeles native packed up his family last year and moved to the city, where he launched Florida’s first ever international apparel and textile show.

Now, Prescott and his team – with expanding offices in Aventura – are gearing up for the second act of his show, called Apparel Textile Sourcing Miami (ATSM) 2019, which is set to take place May 20–22 at the Mana Wynwood Convention Center. The largest apparel and textile sourcing show in the Southern U.S. and Latin America, ATSM is focused on global trade and poised to bring thousands of out-of-state and international visitors to the Magic City.

Not only is Prescott producer of ATSM – and its sister shows in Toronto (Apparel Textile Sourcing Canada) and Germany (Apparel Textile Sourcing Germany) – but he’s also CEO of JP Communications Inc., the highly successful publisher of the leading online international trade platforms TopTenWholesale.com and Manufacturer.com.

His long-time industry expertise has enabled him to connect with the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Textile and Apparel (CCCT), the largest textile and apparel trade agency in the world, which supports the production of ATSM. He has also attracted the participation of dozens of other apparel and textile organizations – from some 15 countries – all of which will have a presence at the May show.

“We at ATSM are so grateful for the support of all our international partners, and our community and business partners in South Florida, each of whom has been instrumental in helping us make this show a success and with whom we look forward to growing,” said Prescott said.

ATSM 2019 event – which presents three days of networking, seminars and fashion shows and connects Southeastern U.S., the Americas and the Caribbean to the production world of apparel, textile, and fashion – will host more than 300 international and domestic manufacturing companies exhibiting a wide range of products and process solutions in the field of manufacturing and sourcing services. The 2019 event is expected to double in size from this year’s inaugural show.

Prescott, through this one-of-a-kind show, has brought $2 million in investment to Miami and boosted local tourism by attracting thousands of out-of-state and international visitors. He has awarded dozens of projects to local contractors and has brought hundreds of Chinese and other global manufacturers and respected industry experts to do business and revive “Magic” in the Magic City.

In addition to CCCT, the show’s impressive list of international partners includes: Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP), Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC)Wool and Woolens Export Promotion Council (WWEPC),  Export Promotion Bureau of Bangladesh (EPB)Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers Exporters Association (BGMEA), VESTEX GuatemalaExport and Investment Promotion Organization of El Salvador (PROESA) and PRO MEXICO.

Local supporters include Moishe Mana of Mana Wynwood, City of Miami Mayor Francis SuarezMiami Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez,Commissioner Dale Holness from Broward County, Commissioners Jose “Pepe” Diaz and Audrey M. Edmonson from Miami Dade CountyDr. Shanjie Li, Executive Chief Economist and CEO of Miami-based American Da Tang Group, as well as organizations such as the Greater Miami Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, the Broward County Office of Economic and Small Business Development, the Port of Miami, the City of North MiamiPort EvergladesFlorida East Coast Railway, the Fashion Business Association of AmericaFashion Group InternationalGreater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Beacon Council, the City of North MiamiEnterprise Florida and Miami International University.

According to Manny Mencia, Senior Vice President of International Trade and Development for Enterprise Florida: “The apparel sector remains very important to Florida’s international economy. In 2017, nearly $8 billion in apparel trade flowed through Florida ports and airports.”

“The Apparel Textile Sourcing Miami Show will bring a large number of domestic and international industry decision makers to our community, and promote Florida as a premier destination for the industry and stimulate the local economy,” he said.