Cheshire-based entrepreneur and founder of Local Life, Laura Bosworth, wants people to think local and shop with conscience over convenience. It’s what prompted her and her husband Mike to finally stop talking and start taking action in the best way they knew how. With the creation of a brand that makes it easy for people to not only know about the incredible independent businesses around them but to buy, book, and engage with them too – both online and in real life.
“We were unfortunate in that we were finalising the business in 2019 so we were interrupted by the pandemic. Nevertheless, when we managed to reach out to the small business world we were greeted by a very positive response, which we’ve really tried to take on board in a meaningful way and incorporate into the platform before launching it in August this year.”
The idea for Local Life came about in 2007 meaning that Local Life is a brand that’s been in the making for 15 years! Having grown up in Nottinghamshire, due to family growth, university, and a general explorer mindset, Laura went on to live in more than 8 counties of the UK by the time she turned 30. Having taken the path of getting a job and working in marketing for the 10 years after university, Laura finally settled on the Cheshire, Staffordshire border and was reminded again of just how difficult it can be to really feel at home and know a new town. It was then, in 2019 when Laura, along with Mike revisited that original idea of ways to get to know what’s around you, and started searching for solutions.
How it started
When it came to implementing Local Life, the need for the solution that Laura first saw 15 years ago had now been recognised by others. At least two similar platforms were now trying to solve some of the issues that Local Life had been created to resolve… Because of her experience in digital marketing across the UK over the previous decade, Laura saw immediately the gaps that still existed and set about evolving what would turn out to be Local Life into a platform that bridged these gaps, shining a light on independent businesses in a way that was affordable and most importantly, effective!
So, what is Local Life?
Local Life promotes independent and small businesses within its local area. On the platform members can create a business listing unlike any other where we ask them to include a staff photo and a bio because it’s important to us that we shine a light on the whole business – we’re not about saying “buy out product, buy our service’, it’s about more than that. The platform breaks down vital data so business members with the lowest level of technological understanding can see who their customers are, what times of day they’re most active, and information about where they live and what they’re interested in. Unlike app-based business directories, Local Life can easily be viewed on any internet browser, which means there is no middle step of downloading an app. It also means we can advertise our members directly rather than having to advertise our own brand first. This means we can put our member’s businesses front and center in front of the people who we know are interested. Using our data-backed approach, we can easily see who this audience is, and more importantly, every one of our members can see who their audience is!
Why is Local Life needed?
Convenience culture exists for a reason. The technology to support a life lived online gets more advanced by the day but does that mean we should embrace that as our lifestyle? Local Life sits between online and offline and promotes the benefits of both. Answering questions like ‘How can independent businesses thrive in a bricks and mortar world but be found amongst the bright and busy digital world that lives in the palm of peoples’ hands?’ and ‘what’s local to me’?
On the platform, users can search, compare and shop for sustainable and ethical alternatives to everyday things. The point is to educate and encourage people to know the power of their pound and look beyond places such as Amazon. Thanks to Local Life locals can now do better with their shopping and buying habits by looking much closer to home!
What to expect from Local Life
After phase 1 officially launches in August with a focus on Cheshire, Greater Manchester, and Staffordshire, phase 2 will launch across the UK towards the end of 2022. We’ll be adding to our extensive list of features which include e-commerce, bespoke URL (giving members their very own website!), and personalised dashboards with some really cool elements – sign up to the newsletter to find out more! As our Members Hub grows so too will the resources we offer, meaning even greater benefits to business owners to help them increase customers… plus, we’ll be launching a better way for customers to experience our member’s shops by blurring the line between digital and physical! (This is an exciting one!)
Keep an eye out for our new podcast (coming soon!!) hosted by Laura and featuring plenty of marketing tips to help small businesses thrive. Plus, expert guides showing customers how to shop sustainably (and why it matters that they do!)
To get involved in the social revolution to #ShopSmall # SupportSmall, reach out to the team at [email protected], we can’t wait to hear from you!