Came across this during the week and thought it was an intriguing idea. Using the internet to showcase local businesses to customers in their area. Sort of a 21st century version of the Yellow Pages, except you don’t need an unwieldy phone book — you sit right where you are, at your trusty computer keyboard.
Here’s how it works. A prospective customer goes to the site —showmelocal.com — and enters what they’re looking for, cleaning services for example, in your area of choice (city, state or zip code can be used). Up pops a list of local businesses that you can check out before making a call. Click on each business name and you’ll find yourself on a professional looking web page that has a welcome message, general information, a map, customer reviews and any coupons or special offers.
And unlike those phone book ads, the listing on showmelocal helps you promote your business online by using all the bells and whistles we’ve come to know and love. Tell a friend. Use social bookmarks or subscribe to an RSS feed of content from the business. All the high tech help you need to expose your business and spread the word about what you do.
It’s free, fast and incredibly painless for a business to get started. You can keep a free listing, or choose a full subscription package, the most expensive of which is $34.95 a month. The packages have lots of features so that you can showcase your business and what you do to those looking for you. And the more you use the features the better your position in the results displayed on the site.
The website, beta-tested and ready to go, is touted as an affordable way for small businesses to get exposure to their local markets using the internet. I’m intrigued enough to give it a try… and I’ll keep you all updated on how things go…