Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Whatever works

businesscardcar.jpgSmall business want leads. It is amazing just what they will do for them. This was a great find in the parking lot of Rustic Canyon one day. This guy had literally glued a business card holder to the door of his car so people could pick up a card.

It is this agreesiveness in doing things that work to drive new customers, we want to tap into at MerchantCircle.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

New release

We have 14 Million Blogs out there now for local merchants all over the country so they can tell thier story about how they deliver value to the local community. We think every small merchant has something they want to say about thier community, thier customers, thier events, or maybe they just want to talk about a sale. Imagine what happens when 14M local merchants are publishing thier own local newspaper online and letting everyone in town have access to it. Blogging has had a huge impact on communication and dialogue around the world, we now want to take that to main street.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

One year anniversary of Mikado

DSC00066.JPGThe crew goes to lunch all most every day
in Los Altos. Today, we helped celebrate
Mikado's one year anniversay. (We love their coupons!)

Satura Cakes is about to open in Los Altos

DSC00065.JPGOur offices are right across the street from
Satura Cakes We've been watching their
progress every day and wait with much
anticipation for their opening. Our Vice
President of Marketing, the sweet tooth of
MerchantCircle, is especially excited.

Monday, December 19, 2005

A business bulletin board

BenBBQbusinesscard.jpgWe have all seen this in our favorite local joints. A set of business cards from other local merchants posted on a Bulletin Board. In fact, even some big mega chains like Starbucks have tried to do this.

This picture is from my favorite BBQ place in Fairhope, Alabama. Ben Jr's

There are a good 50 businesses listed on this, and if you are looking for a handyman, this is the place to look.

At MerchantCircle we are trying to allow local merchants to better leverage the one advantage they have, they are local by taking these same common behaviors and taking them online. No what if you could post your business card in every local business in 15 seconds. Well you can with MerchantCircle.

Table-top marketing

tableads.jpgThis is a table top in Julwins in Fairhope, Alabama. It is interesting to see the different creative approaches that local businesses will take to drive local revenue. Putting your ad on a local resturants table top or menu is an old classic.

By the way Julwins has been around for a long time. The quality of the food comes and goes but the character of the people eating there is more interesting every year. I can promise you if you want to have a conversation about people running a specific red light, you can have a quick conversation with a local officer over coffee and expect action that afternoon.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Lunch at Maltby's

MerchantCircle.JPGSo we all took a walk around for lunch today. We tried Maltbys

It is clearly a popular local eatery for lunch. It has great real home style food and they did not mind when we spent 2 hours doing the executive staff discussion after lunch.

Friday, December 9, 2005

New MerchantCircle release!

So we released our new stuff this week. The blog functionality is really interesting. If you look at what Elvas (see Elvas Listing) has done here on Elva's blog, you will get an idea of the potential power of small businesses communicating with each other and their local consumers this way.

We have a lot of work left, but we are up to it. Let us know if you have ideas or feedback. As I watch Lou's Village (which has been around since 1946) look to close shop along side of another Starbucks showing up in Willow Glen, I see the continuing destruction of unique local neighborhoods.

Hopefully our simple product can help local merchants better use the one advantage they have that the mega-brands cannot steal, that they are in fact local.