Close this search box.
Close this search box.

Local vs. Global: Which Is Best for Small Business?

When faced with a decision between staying local or expanding to international markets, small business owners need to consider their ultimate business goals.

Go global, or stay local. That’s the question.

Small-to-midsize business owners (SMB) are often faced with contradictory advice. Article after article explains the benefits of buying local and working with homegrown businesses. Yet SMBs are also encouraged to harness technological advances to realize their global aspirations.

When faced with a decision between staying local or expanding to international markets, small business owners need to consider their ultimate business goals, target market/audience, and ultimately, their bandwidth.

Small is the New Big: The Benefits of Staying Local

The benefits of focusing on local markets are undeniable. Small businesses that hone in on their local market benefit from a deep knowledge of their customer base, and networks of support in the community.

By choosing to engage purposefully with your community, businesses gain access to the SMB owner’s best weapon: local marketing.

Local marketing is more efficient and affordable than one-size-fits-all approaches. Hyper-focused and specific messages will resonate with local customers compared with a generic tagline tailored to fit multiple audiences. You can get help from these small business seo consultants.

More recently, local marketing has gone digital. Digital local marketing isn’t an oxymoron—it’s a key strategy for businesses. According to a recent study, 50% of people who searched for a store or business visited that location within 24 hours and 60% of searchers said they make use of the information they find on local ads or the business’s webpage. Business owners can even use the geotargeting features offered by online advertising platforms to ensure that local customers can find your business.

Will customers be able to find information, reviews and contact data for your business? In today’s digital world, an online presence is vital to growing any business. Consumers and business partners don’t trust businesses that don’t appear on Google. Invest in search engine optimization services for your website, build your social media profiles and make sure to actively participate in localized online directories like Yelp and Google reviews, look for a SEO reseller company to help you out.

Once you’ve established your online presence, you need to maintain it. Encourage customers to leave reviews on the platform of their choice. According to one survey, 86% of consumers read reviews for local businesses. Keep in mind that Millennials trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Actively manage your online reputation by responding promptly to both positive and negative reviews. Social media is about conversation. You have to listen as well as speak.

Choosing to stay local provides the SMB owner with a unique opportunity to really tune into their audience. Whether that’s online, on the street or at the local carpool, small businesses who embrace their community reap a variety of benefits.

Go Global: The Benefits of an International Market

So, what about businesses whose products aren’t localized?

Online services, internet-based products and specialty goods are all businesses that are primed for globalization. In an increasingly connected world, there’s no need to limit your business to customers in the same geographical region.

Many small businesses already have a narrow focus or niche market. This intense focus on a particular space often makes going global easier. All they would need to do is work with SEO experts at Platform Creator in order to achieve a high level of visibility in order to gain a competitive edge.

With this razor-sharp focus on a particular target market comes a stellar reputation among that unique audience. The more narrow your niche, the easier it is to build your reputation. An established brand reputation is essential for a small business that is aiming to go global.

If your target market is narrowly defined to begin with, limiting your audience further by location will hurt your bottom line. Expanding your products or services to international markets increases the overall size of your niche, the amount of customers you can reach, and therefore your bottom line.

Despite its many benefits, globalization can seem out of reach to the average small business owner. Navigating different cultures, international suppliers, and global money transfers are hurdles that can be overwhelming.

Choosing between local or international markets is not a one-market-fits-all situation. Like many things in the SMB universe, it depends on your product, your customers and your business’s goals. Modern technology allows even the smallest businesses to expand globally, but the benefits of staying local remain.

Ultimately, as the boss, the choice is yours.


  • Get the CEO Briefing

    Sign up today to get weekly access to the latest issues affecting CEOs in every industry
  • upcoming events


    Strategic Planning Workshop

    1:00 - 5:00 pm

    Over 70% of Executives Surveyed Agree: Many Strategic Planning Efforts Lack Systematic Approach Tips for Enhancing Your Strategic Planning Process

    Executives expressed frustration with their current strategic planning process. Issues include:

    1. Lack of systematic approach (70%)
    2. Laundry lists without prioritization (68%)
    3. Decisions based on personalities rather than facts and information (65%)


    Steve Rutan and Denise Harrison have put together an afternoon workshop that will provide the tools you need to address these concerns.  They have worked with hundreds of executives to develop a systematic approach that will enable your team to make better decisions during strategic planning.  Steve and Denise will walk you through exercises for prioritizing your lists and steps that will reset and reinvigorate your process.  This will be a hands-on workshop that will enable you to think about your business as you use the tools that are being presented.  If you are ready for a Strategic Planning tune-up, select this workshop in your registration form.  The additional fee of $695 will be added to your total.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $695 will be added to your total.

    New York, NY: ​​​Chief Executive's Corporate Citizenship Awards 2017

    Women in Leadership Seminar and Peer Discussion

    2:00 - 5:00 pm

    Female leaders face the same issues all leaders do, but they often face additional challenges too. In this peer session, we will facilitate a discussion of best practices and how to overcome common barriers to help women leaders be more effective within and outside their organizations. 

    Limited space available.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $495 will be added to your total.

    Golf Outing

    10:30 - 5:00 pm
    General’s Retreat at Hermitage Golf Course
    Sponsored by UBS

    General’s Retreat, built in 1986 with architect Gary Roger Baird, has been voted the “Best Golf Course in Nashville” and is a “must play” when visiting the Nashville, Tennessee area. With the beautiful setting along the Cumberland River, golfers of all capabilities will thoroughly enjoy the golf, scenery and hospitality.

    The golf outing fee includes transportation to and from the hotel, greens/cart fees, use of practice facilities, and boxed lunch. The bus will leave the hotel at 10:30 am for a noon shotgun start and return to the hotel after the cocktail reception following the completion of the round.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $295 will be added to your total.