Top Reasons to Board the Small Business Bus and Shop Local
Small businesses can be found at strip malls, conventions, festivals, downtown and online. They bring unique products, a great atmosphere and personality to the otherwise drab and distant business world. Small businesses are being created every day as more people turn to entrepreneurship to create jobs in a flagging economy.
If you aren’t already on board the small business train, here’s a full set of reasons why you should get down to your local mom and pop store and make their day.
Put a Face to a Name
You won’t deal with an endless amount of interchangeable employees when you go with a small business. The owners might be the only workers, or they’ll be a core group of loyal, knowledgeable employees who are personally invested in the success of the business.
If big businesses had their way, every town would look virtually the same. Strip malls filled with chain franchises, Super Walmarts on every corner and a lack of interesting character or products when you go from town to town. Many small businesses operate only in the town they are set up in, giving that city a local flavor and character that you cannot get elsewhere.
The Institute for Local Self-Reliance also recommends purchasing from small businesses in order to put money directly into the local economy. Not only are you supporting a local business directly, indirectly that business is likely to purchase from other small, local businesses.
When you support small businesses, you’re helping to add local jobs to your city’s economy. While they might only hire one or two people, this adds up when you consider how many exist and are opening in the United States alone — in 2010, there were 27.9 million small businesses with over three-quarters of them being non-employers, reports the SBA. Keep buying from them and they may turn in to employers.
You aren’t dealing with the same mass produced products that you find in every mall and department store. Products are handmade, gathered from unique sources or otherwise set apart from the mass market products.
Better Customer Service
How many times have you been given the run around by a big business whose product hasn’t worked since you brought it home from the store? Your complaints and dissatisfaction don’t particularly matter to big businesses, since they have countless other suckers to buy into their product lines. When you go with a small business, however, you’re dealing with people who are personally invested in each and every transaction. The business owners might end up helping you directly, but you generally get a knowledgeable and helpful customer service experience.
To better service customers, more small businesses are adopting mobile credit card processing and doing away with the “cash only” signs, as mobile tech grows ubiquitous.
Small Business Saturday
Show your support for small businesses by taking part in Small Business Saturday, on November 30. This movement, supported by American Express, shows AMEX’s dedication to small businesses outside of their business credit cards. They make a great push for everyone to experience the benefits and advantages of the small business world.