One of my favorite quotes is "Think Global, Act Local." It's been a business model for Coca Cola and has been inspirational to me throughout my years in non-profit work. Now as a business woman it takes on a whole new meaning, especially with the unique economy I've faced in my almost 4 years in business.
There are lots of easy, local ways you can help support your local economy and provide much needed stimulus to your favorite local businesses. Small acts of support have a tremendous impact on us and you really can make a big difference.
#1 Commit in a tangible way to buy local programs. Here are two of my favorites:
The 3/50 Project has been a tremendous grassroots movement emphasizing how support of local independents stimulates both the local & national economy. Their message is simple. Pick 3 local stores, restaurants, service providers that you can't live without and spend $50 a month among those stores. (You don't have to spend $50 at each store, just among the 3 stores). They even have an app for that!
I've got my personal 3 stores I support as well as 3 independent manufactures I support with my business.
American Express has jumped on the small business train by sponsoring Small Business Saturday, the first Saturday after Thanksgiving. To encourage you to shop small, they're giving you a one time $25 credit on your AmEx statement when you spend $25 or more at an independent on November 26th. You will have to register your card in advance. Visit their website or facebook page for more details!
And there is this funny, friendly reminder from Rachel at Perfect Day Scapbooking in Huntington Beach:
#2 Pay with Cash or Check
I did so much research and strategic planning before opening the shop and forgot one teeny, tiny thing. Credit cards cost money! I was shocked at how much I was paying in fees every month for accepting credit card transactions. I pay per swipe, plus a percentage of the total sale. OUCH! You can help your favorite independent by paying with cash or check. Not only will that help us with our fees, but it improves our cash flow. Often it takes 5 days to receive the funds from credit card transactions. I know this is a tough one, I rarely carry cash myself so I know that this requires some advance planning. But if you can remember cash, especially for purchases under $20, you will really help your favorite indy.
#3 Occupy...the Workshop
So this is a big buzz word right now, but what I really mean is you can show your support by simply showing up for a crop, class or even our free workshop time. A full shop is a happy shop! Whenever people are working here, there is a natural draw. People want to come in and find out what's going on. Some people discover their own crafty passions. So even if you're not in the mood to go shopping you can show your support by filling our workshop with the sounds of paper trimmers, scissors, eyelet setters and most importantly laughter!
#4 Bring Your Own Bags
We're scrapbookers so we never seem to be in shortage of bags. Bringing your own bags when you shop with your favorite independent is not only good for our environment but helps a business owner with their bottom line. Imagine how many cool scrapbook supplies I could buy for the shop if I didn't have to spend so much money on bags!
#5 Spread the Word
An independents most powerful marketing tool is YOU!!! Spread the word and share your personal experience. Why are they so special to you. Share your heartfelt experience. Your personal recommendations go a long way towards promoting a local business!
Yelp is one of the best ways to review our shop. It's got a great reputation for business reviews. Whether you take the time to tell your friends, review us on Yelp, follow us on Facebook or Twitter, you are my most powerful marketing voice!
Thank you for all of your tremendous support! Love you!