5 Ways to Gentrify your Business in 2017…

I live in Inglewood, CA. If you’re not from here, you’ve probably heard of it, but instead of thinking about the lush palm trees, eclectic blend of cultures, and the golden era of NBA domination…you might be thinking about this. (No shame if that’s what popped in your head, that’s my song!)

But, since the announcement of the St. Louis Rams moving to Los Angeles, and most recently the San Diego Chargers joining the bandwagon, when investors hear Inglewood, I imagine they start thinking about:

And these investors aren’t wrong. Like many cities around the world, Inglewood is now attracting high net worth families and residents, who are bound to create visible change in the city. So, whenever a new influx of unfamiliar residents enter a community, there are certain to be discussions around “gentrification.” But what exactly is gentrification, and as a small business should you be afraid of it or excited by it?

Gentrification is defined as “the process of renovating a district so that it conforms to middle-class tastes.” In a nutshell, you’ll see a lot more Starbucks, Whole Foods, Old Navy’s, and Targets. Understandably so, a lot of people fear gentrification and don’t look at it for what it is and can be, not a war of the races, or an attempt to push out small business, but as an incredible business opportunity. Here are my 5 tips to help your business not only survive gentrification, but thrive in it.

  1. RENOVATE your brand. Take the time to talk to branding experts about how you can stand out in the community. Refreshing your logo, updating a menu design, or even incorporating modern decor can do wonders when attracting new community members.
  2. CREATE community events with FREE samples/services. Don’t be afraid to giveaway your products in exchange for positive word of mouth in your community. Each product give-a-way is an opportunity to not only generate business from the customer who received it, but also from their friends who they are sure to tell about your business.
  3. COLLECT E-Mails. Community events are an excellent opportunity to begin collecting e-mail addresses for your loyal and new customers. Your e-mail rolodex will be critical in helping you become a integral part of the community. Businesses that don’t remain in contact, usually don’t remain in business. Create Facebook ads, optimize your search engine results, and revamp your website so so you can start sending them deals and promotions to bring them back to you.
  4. EXPAND all marketing efforts. Increase flyers, internet, and retail promotions to the point that new residents believe you are the local authority in your space. This will not only cement your business as their first stop, but will give the perception that you are everywhere, all the time.
  5. SHARE your brand story. Big, box stores have their place, but everyone loves an excellent story. What’s yours? Make sure that it’s seen throughout every facet of your business. From the branding to your service, every customer should know what makes your business special.

With these tips, businesses should not be afraid of “gentrification”, but should be ready to grow with it. If your marketing is not delivering the expansion you expect, and you need help getting started on these tips, please contact my team at ExpansionAgency.com to set-up a free consultation and strategy session. We would love to help your business not only survive, but thrive.

Excellence is the standard,

Jerome

P.S. For more tips on Social Media, small business growth, and other random musings, follow me on Twitter.