By now you have most likely decided that investing in local search is a worthwhile venture for your business. You realize that with a little effort, you can improve your competitive position and reach more new customers from local search. The next step is deciding how to tackle the tasks required to increase your business profile and rank. There are really three choices when deciding how to get started. Should your business:

  • Manage Internally
  • Outsource to a Consultant or Agency
  • or Leverage a Platform

Let’s explore the pros and cons of each, and how you might make the best choice for your business.

Managing Internally

If you decide to tackle to the workload with internal resources you have two paths: do it yourself, or assign it to an existing or new employee. Either way, your decision boils down to time. As an owner of a small business, time is a valuable resource. There are only so many hours in a day, and with so many tasks associated with running a business, deciding your best use of time can be overwhelming. Is learning how Google works, paying attention to the never-ending changes in their algorithms, managing and updating your businesses data across a broad ecosystem – the best allocation of your precious time? Where does it compare to training, employee development, or customer retention? When it comes to hiring an employee or using an internal resource, we hear time and time again from business owners about the trials associated with this. Once this internal resource has become sufficient at the task, they leave and become a consultant. They learn on your dime, then offer to help you at their new consultant rate. And as you’ll learn, the hourly rate for a digital marketing consultant is not cheap.

Hiring a Consultant or Agency

Depending on the competitive nature of your local market, you might choose the help of an Agency in order to beat your competition. It is often hard for a small business to justify the expense of an agency, so most consider it a last resort. According to a recent study, the average digital marketing consultant bills out at an hourly rate of $119 USD, charges a minimum monthly retainer of $700, and bills each client an average of $1,779 per month for their services. No wonder your newly trained internal digital marketing person went solo – it pays well. Most small businesses have some big players in their local space to compete with – but beating them to become number one is not necessary, and can cost more than its worth. You don’t need to be in position one, or even two – simply aim to be on the first page and you will get your share of new customers. We find the easiest and quickest way to do that is to run a small locally targeted Google Ad campaign. It guarantees results, is immediate, and is an awful lot cheaper than hiring an SEO consultant.

Leveraging a SaaS Platform

You have most likely heard of software as a service (SAAS) cloud-based platforms, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning, etc. In fact, you can’t read an article these days without encountering these terms. Why? SaaS platforms make many services that were simply out of the reach of small business suddenly affordable. Think about it, Intuit QuickBooks, Salesforce, Workday, Shopify, MailChimp, WordPress – all of these platforms level the playing field for small businesses, allowing them to compete with the big guys. These emerging forms of technology allow small business to reap the benefits of automated services that free up valuable time. Leveraging a platform means more of your budget goes to driving results, rather than to a consultant to manage and report on your campaigns.

About Shotoit

Shoptoit is a cloud-based, automated SaaS platform, specifically designed to make it FAST, EASY and AFFORDABLE for any small business to create a perpetual stream of new customers from local search. In mere minutes, at any budget level, any small business can enhance their online presence and start getting found by nearby, in-market buyers.

Our team is always here to help – if you’d like to learn more about how our platform handles all aspects of local search for small businesses see our plans & pricing page, or feel free to book a call with a shoptoit rep to learn how we can help your business succeed.

Further Resources:

Page One of a Google Search Result, How does it all work?  >>read

Why Having a Website is Still Important for All Small Businesses  >>read

How to Control your Google My Business Listing  >>read
The Importance of Accurate Business Listings  >>read

10 Powerful Ways to Quickly Improve Your SEO  >>read

Local Mobile Search Growing at Unexpected Rate  >>read
Local Search Marketing Return on Investment  >>read
Facebook vs. Google Advertising  >>read
Our Ideal Customer – is it you?  >>read