For those who are looking for employment, perhaps finding it tough, one thing you can and should pay attention to is events such as local business week.
These events are held in order to assist small businesses expand or survive, identifying areas of opportunity to increase sales revenue.
All too often, the image portrayed on LBW and similar events that take place up and down the country, are that they’re geared at business people and hold no bearing to employment. The opposite is true as anywhere a business can improve, is opportunity to identify a skills gap where you can find employment, before the job goes into the market place.
To help show you how you can tap into new jobs using events as a source to predict future employment, the information below will focus on Local Business Week, and how it’s helped show local business the way forward, and then show you the skills gap where you could be providing services.
From the 13th – 19th May, Local Business Week was underway, with a “Take the Pledge” theme, asking locals to buy three items for their local store, or a local service.
You may have it seen the posters in the shop windows in your local highstreet.
The aim of the campaign was to support smaller businesses identify areas for future growth. Within the last 7 years, the local market has been fairly stagnant, with not many new customers coming through the doors of smaller stores.
The fact of todays highstreet is that it’s fairly disintegrated into extinction. Or it nearly has anyway. Consumers are doing more shopping online, which is directly affecting local business. While consumers are turning online, they aren’t always looking to make a purchase.
All too often, people are too busy with other things, when their out and about, that they’ll see something that captures their interest and make a mental note of the company name, or the shop details. Later when they’re home, they’ll then turn to the Internet to find out more information, or to contact that place of business.
So many people are just aware of the convenience of using the internet, it creates a mindset of “I’ll look at that later,” which wouldn’t have been the case a decade ago, when there wasn’t the ease of access to the information the internet has, readily available.
That said, the information online is competitive, so while SMBs know there’s a problem needing addressed, they just don’t know where to start. A website? Sure. Most know they need one.
Getting one though then brings with it marketing, to create visibility, helping people find them. Does it have to be that difficult? Not at all. A simple one-page website is sufficient for most local business owners.
Just having that website name in the shop window, gives consumers the place to look when they do turn to the internet. The other way for small businesses to tap into their market, is to understand their customers. Are they local residents who hang out on Facebook, Twitter, or perhaps there could be a community forum, where people are hanging out? These are places where SMBs can advertise locally.
The market online can be simple, but only when business owners take the time to understand their customers. With an estimated 9 in 10 people preferring the convenience to supermarkets, there is still room for local businesses to drive new customers to them. Price isn’t everything, and the marketing budget of supermarkets isn’t required.
One of the fundamental statistics identified by the Local Business Week revealed that 1 in 4 businesses around the UK are operating without a website. Additionally, for small businesses who do operate with a site, there’s only 1 in 3 using it to drive further sales into their business. Where does that create a valuable opportunity?
Any service you can offer, relating to get exposure to small businesses is a valuable skill that 1 in 4 local companies are requiring. A further third of companies with a website would benefit from web developers who can implement shopping carts or sales funnels by programming the existing sites, to be eCommerce friendly, driving further sales and making the process seamless for the customer.
For web designers, graphic experts, and developers, there will be small businesses around you who need your skills. Those who can help build a website, provide advertising opportunities, online or offline, through print advertising flyers and posters, as well as those skilled in marketing, will not just improve the bottom line of SMBs, but in some instances, it could be a service that throws a lifeline to their business.
The bottom line is to be pro-active when you’re on the job hunt. You can use local business events, published in the media, as your crystal ball to finding a gap in the jobs market, where you could find employment, or valuable information on the training you could be focusing on, if you’ve not decided on a career path.