When marketing a local business it can be difficult to judge how far you should extend your catchment area for attracting new customers. Small businesses neither have the time nor the resources to waste on targeting consumers who may not consider them local enough to be a viable business for them to use.

It’s more beneficial to target those consumers in your immediate area, but how do we know how far is too far for a local business? Just how ‘local’ do you need to be to attract new customers?

Enlisting the help of our US consumer panel we put this single, simple question to them:

How much time are you prepared to drive for to visit a local business?

We presented the panel with 13 business categories and asked them to enter a driving time against each category.  We had over 800 responses (all US based) to the poll and the answers are displayed & analyzed below.

Select Business Categories

With literally hundreds of Business Categories & Sub-Categories in existence we needed to condense these down to a manageable amount so respondents could complete the survey easily, and so the results could be easily reported.

We selected 13 sample categories which cover the majority of industries & sectors. If you don’t see your specific category then you you should be able to find a category that share similar traits & customer profiles with yours – e.g. ‘Specialist shop’ could be a bike shop or computer store, or for an Osteopath you can equate yourself to ‘Doctor / Dentist’.

13 Local Business Categories

Restaurant / CaféGeneral Shop
Clothes ShopDoctor / Dentist
Pub / Bar (don't drink & drive folks!)Gym/Sports Club
Specialist Shop (e.g. bike shop)Garage / Car Dealer
Hair / Beauty SalonYoga Class /Alternative Therapies
Wedding Shop / VenueRealtor / Surveyor
Accountant / Solicitor