How to promote your business locally

Discover how you can find new business opportunities right on your doorstep

The internet has opened up a new world of potential customers for small and medium-sized businesses but many still operate on a local level.

Some of the methods listed below may help you to take advantage of any local opportunities that may arise.


Many customers now search for local businesses online, so it is important to have a presence online even if you only sell in one location.

Many businesses are also using social media to build a loyal customer base and keep them up to date on special offers.

Public relations (PR)

Getting your business mentioned in the local newspaper is not only free publicity for you, but also helps to build your profile within the local community. If you have a story that you think is worthy of a place in the paper, the best thing to do is get to know your local journalists.

PR can also be about being visible in the community, so you could get involved in local eventsand charities to support the local area and raise your profile.

Business directories

Business directories are updated and distributed to millions of households every year, but they also have online equivalents and sometimes offer small businesses discounts for buying advertising in both.

There are also plenty of free and paid-for local directories, plus local and trade organisations and publications may have directories you can join.


Advertising in local shop windows is the obvious choice for the business owner marketing on a shoestring, but for those with a budget you may want to consider advertising with local newspapers, magazines and radio stations to get the best reach.

Printed materials

It’s important for your local business to be visible in the surrounding area and one way of doing this is by distributing printed materials like flyers, postcards and brochures at local information points such as libraries, pubs and cafes, hotels and tourist offices.

Outdoor promotion

Outdoor advertising like billboards can be seen as expensive for small businesses, but hiring out one strategically placed outdoor ad can cost about the same as an advert in a newspaper.

Outside promotion placed in close proximity to your business or where people might need to use your service work best.


Collaborate with other small local businesses to offer a special deal to customers locally. The aim is that each business involved will make an offer which benefits the other partner’s customer and encourages them to take up both services. Between the businesses you can save money on promotional costs and get valuable referrals.


One of the benefits of being local is that you get to meet your customers face-to-face. One way to do this is through events, either ones you attend or host yourself. You could offer free promotional products or demonstrations of your service and be sure to collect as many details of potential customers as possible.

Word of mouth

Many people trust the recommendation of friends and family, and this can work to your advantage, particularly in a local community-based setting. Go the extra mile for your customers and they’re more likely to tell people about it.