Finding your new favourite local business is tough on your own. Search engines just don’t cut it when we all know the best recommendations come from personal experiences.
A lot of consumers turn to online articles with headlines like “Top 10 Patios in Downtown Calgary”. While these articles provide some value, there are many issues with them.
In this article we’ll go through the common pitfalls of these lists. Then I’ll let you in on how you can find better recommendations straight from the personal experiences of people with similar values to you.
Here are six reasons why you should never use top ten lists:
1. Missing Businesses
One article cannot cover all the incredible local businesses in a given area. This means that the writer is drawing from a limited pool of businesses to make a top list out of. Once the top list is created, the reader is left with a severely condensed list of local businesses.
Now, one might argue that this condensed list is better because the reader is only being shown the best of the best. But what about those hidden gems that fly under the radar? There is an abundance of top-notch local businesses that lack the publicity to make it on these lists.
2. Outdated information
While the local businesses in your community are opening, closing, changing, and evolving, these lists are not. They include the top __ amount of businesses at a moment in time and they never evolve.
The top list from a year ago could be very different from today’s list. While an article from 2019 seems recent, it is two to three years old by now and was published pre-pandemic.
Unfortunately, many businesses have had to close their doors since then. Number five on the Top Ten Best Coffee Shops in Bridgeland could be replaced by Starbucks by now. On a more positive note, new businesses have opened their doors in the past couple years and are waiting to be discovered.
Businesses that you already know and have been around for many years are different now too. They have proven their resilience throughout the pandemic by evolving and being revitalized to be better than ever.
3. Limiting selection of business types
Top lists focus on a specific category. Their titles follow a format like “Top 15 ______ in Calgary”. This limits what a reader can discover.
Sometimes you find yourself not specifically focused on going to a coffee shop or brewery or bakery, but rather focused on discovering a business with a unique vibe. It is the people behind the local businesses that curate that unique vibe, and their stories are often overlooked in these lists.
Some businesses are quite abstract so they would rarely fit into the specific categories prevalent in these lists. Take Revival Brewcade for example. It may not make it into the top brewery list, or the top arcade list, but it is a glorious union of brewery and arcade that you might miss out on if you limit yourself to top ten lists.
4. Exclusive to select communities
Top lists often claim to be for whole cities, but only focus on that city’s downtown and central trendy neighbourhoods. These areas have the widest selection of local businesses. But limiting yourself to these areas alone could cause you to miss out on your new go to spot in your own backyard.
Even if you live in one of these trendy neighbourhoods you could still miss out. Let’s say you find yourself a list like “Top 10 Restaurants in Inglewood”. Your new favourite spot could be just across the elbow in East Village but you would never know because that list is limited to Inglewood only.
5. One person’s opinion
Generally these articles are written by one or two people. This means that the list of businesses is subject to the research and opinions of one or two people. Somebody else’s favourite coffee shop of all time could be your least favourite, and vice versa.
It is important to have the opportunity to make up your own mind about whether you like a business. Part of the fun of shopping locally is discovering extraordinary establishments for yourself. It is a rewarding experience to tell your friends about the funky new spot that you discovered all on your own.
6. Hides the people behind the business
Every business has a story, and it is that story and its characters that keep customers coming back. Ask any local business owner. It is about so much more than the product for them. It is their thoughts, ideas, values, and beliefs that became a dream that they fought to turn into reality.
I’ll tell you right now, every brewery in Calgary has spectacular beer. That’s not what makes them each special. It is the people and their unique vision, beliefs, and values that set them apart and give each establishment its one of a kind ambience.
To avoid these issues, look to Locate Local. It is the mobile app that provides consumers with powerful insights into the people behind the local businesses in their city. Get on the waitlist today and discover your new favourite spot.