With Groupon’s S-1 filing for its IPO, and the previous $6B bid by Google, the business of creating new marketing vehicles for promoting local businesses is sizzling hot. I’m watching the trend from the other side too. How does a local business actually grab these tools and technologies for itself?
My favorite recent experience happened at home in Lexington, MA. My son was catching me up on his high school buddies’ summer work and told me, “Jeremy’s landscaping business really took off last year, so he’s adding a bunch of new crew members. He told all of the employees that whoever could bring in the most business will get the best assignments. He asked if you could post something on your blog about his business.”
This request delighted me. We’ve successfully employed these guys several times so I have no problem endorsing their work. (My son already has a full-time job driving a catering truck so this is not some thinly-veiled ploy to get more Pieri income in the door.) These guys are strong, enthusiastic, reliable and perfectionist. (And the founder Jeremy Moss is a fellow Wolverine, so I know he is True Blue.)
Of course the “JTK Landscaping” guys are indeed handing our flyers, and getting plenty of old fashioned word-of-mouth. But beyond co-opting parental blogs, they have their own very fine website with a helpful rotating photo gallery of the crew and past jobs. I admire these trust-inspiring initiatives. And I admire Jeremy’s chutzpah in asking about my blog.
I liked these other two initiatives I saw at a neighboring town’s annual street fair yesterday:
A woman is aggregating all the local blogs in her town. She told me most of them are actually for small businesses, sharing their work.
I’ve been hearing great things about Patch, the hyper-local news vehicle being developed by AOL. I was surprised to see them manning a booth at the same town fair. The guy under the tent is a full-time employee–clearly a huge investment is being made in the 1,000 towns being covered by Patch.
It’s really fun to see the fluid interplay between real world (landscaping, town fairs) and creating community through easy online tools and platforms. Speaking of which, here is Jeremy’s contact information: firstname.lastname@example.org, (781) 572 – 7264. Hire these boys and get them working hard for your yard!