9 months ago my wife and I bought our first house in the suburbs of Atlanta. There are a lot of hard working people that live in this area, but it's also a part of town where things are a bit behind the times in that almost all the local businesses around here lack an internet presence of any kind.

Our last apartment was in a more urban and modern part of the city so the discrepancies between that area and our new one became evident immediately. I've been blown away just how many businesses aren't leveraging the simplest of tools.

Obviously, since moving in my wife and I have taken it upon ourselves to get to know the community, especially the local stores and restaurants. There are some great places to eat out this way! Unfortunately, when I talk to anyone from the surrounding area, they often know nothing about the places I'm describing. Whether it's amazing doughnuts, delicious tacos, or heart-satisfying biscuits people don't seem to know much about their own community and local businesses are doing nothing to change that.

Now, we could easily blame this on the consumers (or would-be consumers), but I think the blame lies squarely on the shoulders of the establishments. Most of these places don't even have a Facebook page. No social media activity, often no Google My Business presence, and usually not even a basic website.

For $12/month these businesses can set up and host their own Squarespace website (add $15 for a custom domain for the year). Google My Business and any social media presence (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc) would be completely free and yet they leverage none of them. I believe that should any of these local restaurants start leveraging the opportunities in front of them they would see an immediate spike in monthly revenue. A simple presence on the internet could increase monthly revenue by hundreds or even thousands of dollars while adding minimal monthly expenses to the budget. I won't even get in to the possibilities available if they'd spend a minimal amount of money on ads geographically targeted to the local community! For pennies per impression (or click), these restaurants could drive thousands of dollars in new revenue to their establishments. 

To their credit, I believe that the majority of these businesses aren't leveraging opportunities like this because they don't know how and don't feel they have the resources to do so. This is a big part of why I'm offering my services as a marketing consultant for free for at least one month to any and every local business in my community. Any presence is better than no presence and I love supporting small, local businesses so why not leverage my knowledge and passions to do something about it.

If you work for a business in the metro Atlanta area and you're interested in talking with me, you can reach me here. Have a great week!