New Jersey is one of the top 20 states having an overly large amount of municipalities. It is a town with 565 municipalities, per the 2012 Census of Governments data and figures for each state per 100,000 residents. While other states have many municipalities, our is spread over a rather small amount of space. For storefront small business owners, online business owners too, this means as usual there is some bad in this and of course some great opportunities.
Folks say the bad part is that an excessive amount of municipalities leads to extreme inefficiency. New Jersey towns are way too small as we can and do have two towns side by side, each town is 3 miles wide and both will have their own post office, associated judges, police, municipal offices, town presidents all the way to using different garbage companies serving the residents of the two towns. Economy of scale just does not happen across the state and therefore everybody’s taxes are too high.
The good part for us small business owners developing and growing our individual businesses is that these many town governments hold and conduct numerous civic events continually throughout the year. In addition the residents of these towns also have many community events that they conduct also throughout the year.
For you, the small business owner, this gives you many opportunities to expand your brand, reach and impress potential customers from other areas beyond your obvious local marketing efforts. This large amount of municipalities provides your small business with a wealth of local events that you can use in your small business local marketing and website promotions. Think about it, you have nothing to lose, just reuse and recycle your local marketing plan for the next town over during their local event.
The key tip here is that, the local governments, the real estate professionals have already segmented and defined these local consumer markets. As a business owner, you can request this data and you can also find a lot of the consumer statistics already available for free online. You can truly target market to your heart’s content when you have this many local markets.
Knowing this I suggest you take advantage of the local events in and around your neighborhood. As your local Newark Business Development Examiner, I list below a few events that are in and around Newark, NJ.
Music Genre – Who doesn't love a day in the sun listening to great music? Check out the recently renamed South Orange International Blues Festival(SOBIF) at http://southorangebluesfestival.com/. Generally hosted in Cherry Lane of the South Mountain Reservation which is less than a 20 minute ride from Newark.
Know that the event has grown dramatically year after year. The (SOBIF) Facebook page, now announces the "next generation" of SOIBF! "We are now: the 2014 ESSEX COUNTY/SOUTH MOUNTAIN INTERNATIONAL BLUES FESTIVAL!!" Mike Griot is a gracious host who states that "'the mission of SOIBF is “to create a superior festival experience through performances, community collaboration, and educational exhibits that are innovative in approach and execution.”
Community Events - When it comes to local events, another local marketing activity along this line of thinking is the Hat City Streets Festival. Also 20 minutes away from Newark, it is held at the ValleyArts Firehouse Gallery, 580 Forest Street in Orange, NJ 07050. The festival is a day-long celebration of music, visual art exhibitions, dance, family activities, delicious food, and non-stop fun that reflects the spirit and diversity of the region and celebrates the creativity of Orange.
The Hat City Streets Festival is located in a number of local venues centered on the Firehouse and Hat City restaurant. The Hat City Streets Festival features concert headliners that range from reggae to pop to blues; appearances by marching bands, step teams, choirs, and dance ensembles; arts exhibitions by professional artists from around the region; and a variety of arts activities for children and families, including hat-making workshops that evoke the neighborhood's past as the hat-making center of the world.
What I learned as a small business owner is that we are really no different than a big business owner especially when it comes to adding to your local marketing plans. These annual events provide not only a great venue to listen to music and explore a new community, but also a place vendors can plan in advance on how to participate in the event. Use these local events in growing, marketing and promoting your local small business.
Another tip is when you start searching for your local events, try one of the best places to search local events that I use which is Yelp. Because in using Yelp you get an added bonus in that you also get to review the local event when you are done.