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5 Things Successful Local Businesses Are Doing & You Should Be

Feb 21, 2020

Every local business owner dreams of being successful but those dreams don't become reality for everyone.  In our recent State of Local Online Marketing 2020 report, we found that 39% of businesses said they were more or much more successful than their competitors. 

We wondered what those businesses were doing differently than less successful businesses and how that contributes to their success. 

We found five things successful local businesses are doing that their less successful counterparts aren't. 


32% of successful local businesses have a solid marketing plan in place while only 5% of less successful businesses do. 

We've talked before about how having a plan can help grow your business up to 30% faster and makes you more likely to hit your goals.

And while there's still plenty of room for improvement here even among the most successful local businesses, their planning skills are way outpacing their less successful peers and are likely a big contributing factor to their success.

Social media marketing is tricky and constantly changing, but 29% of successful businesses say it's not very or not at all overwhelming for them. 

Compare this with only 6% of less successful businesses who are feeling in control with social media marketing. 

We know moms are on social media and it's a very important platform for reaching them.  If your business has the skills and strategies necessary to manage social media without overwhelm, it's likely to affect your overall success.

Having a solid understanding of your ideal customer and what your brand stands for is a cornerstone to successful marketing and business. 

This makes sense when we look at the successful businesses in our survey.  62% of them are confident they know their ideal customer and 59% are confident with their business branding. 

Less successful businesses don't have the same level of mastery in these areas.  In fact, only 38% are confident in their understanding of their ideal customer and just 21% feel like they've mastered their business branding. 

Knowing who you serve and what you stand for leads to great business success.


It's hard to improve what you don't know, that's why tracking the key performance indicators in your business is so important.  One of the numbers you should know is your lifetime customer value – how much a customer is worth to your business over the life of their relationship with you. 

46% of successful businesses know their lifetime customer value while only 21% of less successful businesses do. 

Lifetime value is a metric that looks not only at revenue potential, but the health of your business and your customer retention strategies when you watch for trends over time. 

Keeping an eye on key metrics like lifetime value makes businesses more successful.

Finally, our more successful places have been in business longer than their less successful counterparts.  66% of successful respondents have been in business for more than seven years while only 37% of those less successful have had their doors open more than seven years. 

Does that mean there's nothing you can do to see success in the early years of your business?  Absolutely not, but it does show that the more you learn, the more success you can have with your business.

If you want to jump-start your success, make sure you're following the path that the most successful businesses are – make a plan, manage overwhelm, know your customers and your brand, track your metrics and most importantly – enjoy the ride.  

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