Iowa’s West Coast Initiative Feature: Go Local Siouxland

BUSINESS OWNER:  Robbie Carroll
  Go Local Siouxland
MAIN PRODUCTS/SERVICES:  Online Local Directory/Bridging the Gap Initiative
LOCATION:  Siouxland

Short description of your business: Go Local Siouxland started as a web-based directory for local businesses in the Siouxland area. We aim to utilize the directory and supporting marketing solutions to help local business owners market their businesses to attract existing and potential customers in the local community. Our goals are:

1. For the directory and brand to become the “go-to” website for consumers and businesses. From low-value purchases such as coffee and take-out food to major purchases like homes, automobiles, and everything between the two extremes. 

2. Encourage consumers to spend locally versus nationally where there is a choice to do so

3. Create prosperity in the local community that business owners and consumers will benefit from buying locally. 

4. Finally, we strive to bridge the gap between the ethnic diversity of businesses and consumers, making the page easier to access and use for different ethnic and minority groups through our “bridging the gap” initiative.

What motivated you to start your business? What drives you each day? 

Honestly, the flexibility of hours, I have a young son and a lovely wife who works a lot of hours (at a job she loves), so being able to set my schedule was a big plus. What drives me each day is simple. Helping other small businesses succeed in a world and an economy where they struggle to make ends meet. 

What’s unique about your business? 

This new phrase has been coined, but it fits my team, my company, and me. I’m sure those that have met me will agree. “Formally Informal” we have a diverse staff, who are professional when we need to be, but we have a good laugh 90% of the time. 

What’s your biggest challenge to overcome as you grow your business? 

It was, honestly, overcoming adversity. I’m not from here; I’m not even from the US. Originally, I’m from the UK, but my wife and I chose Siouxland to lay down some roots. Not being from here and gaining the trust of colleagues, potential clients, and the community has been and still is a bit of a slog. I don’t want to sound negative, and it’s not anything against the community; I’m an outsider, and I get it 100%. I’m used to it. I know it will take time. 

What has been your greatest reward? 

My team, Jonathan & Shawn, have been great in bringing in and converting leads, but the support they have shown me for Go Local Siouxland was precisely what I needed at the right time. 

How have you benefited from the startup community in Sioux City and the region? What resources did you use?

I haven’t as of yet. I’ve been in the stages of developing Go Local Siouxland and taking revenue from my other business CV Kreative Marketing to make that happen. But I am sure I’ll be leaning on the resources available soon. 

Why is it important for the community to support startups and small businesses? What more can be done to help them?

It’s incredibly important. I want to earn money to give my son a great childhood, but if I am earning money, my clients are earning money. If we are all earning money, we pay more taxes, and more taxes means bigger local government spending. Which means better schools by the time my kiddo is in high school. 

What is one thing you know now that you wish you had known when starting your business?

It will be hard, and there will be sleepless nights, but keep working hard, networking, and taking action. You’ll get there. 

What advice would you give to someone looking to start a business?

I’d ask them if they know this is 100% what they want. If it is, then go for it; take the opportunity. Grab it with both hands, and DO NOT let go, no matter what. If they do that, they’ll be successful. 

How can the community continue to help your business?

Follow us on social media, interact with other small businesses in Siouxland, and shop locally.

What are some future goals for your company?

Go Local Siouxland is our pilot program. We are planning digital Go Local franchises in other areas, but I live here, my business partner’s son and grandson live here, and so does my team. So Siouxland, congratulations. Go Local Siouxland and the Bridging the Gap Initiative launches on March 9, 2023. 

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