A large part of the assumptions we're making with goroam are based around the idea that local business wants to capitalise on the Internet to bring in business. But it's not easy. How do promote a book store, toy shop, cafe or plumber in your local area online, now imagine you have a books and toys to sell, coffees and tea to make or houses without hot water to help - in short, a full time job that doesn't leave much time for SEO, SEM, analytics and tweaking a website and search advertising strategy.
We're not just pulling the assumption out of thin air though- helping local business market online is big business, Yodle's 700% growth last year and $10M C round is a great example of this trend and from the techcrunch article, they're not the only ones in the game.
Yodle competes against a number of similar, venture-backed companies such as ReachLocal(which raised a substantial $65 million in funding to date), MerchantCircle (which raised its $10 million in Series B funding round in November 2007), Ingenio (acquired by AT&T, also in November 2007), WebVisible (total funding: $17 million) and a plethora of smaller companies trying to get their piece of the pie.
So we've got the social proof, now we just have to capitalise on it and bring something to market that makes it easy for small businesses to target their services at the people in their area who are interested.