Today is Small Business Saturday 2014. American Express founded this day in 2010 to help small businesses rise above the noise of local, regional and national competitors in order to get more customers.
What actually happens on Small Business Saturday? In the early years, American Express would issue a rebate of up to $25 to shoppers that used their Amex card at a participating small business. (The Dogz are hoping this returns someday… ) Now, small businesses are offering discounts to customers on Small Business Saturday (SBS). American Express has created a special SBS website where you can search for participating local businesses by zip code. Small businesses can use the site to create marketing materials such as printable signage and on-line ads to drive traffic to their sites.
Marketing companies such as MercoLocal, a Utah based company, help small businesses everyday by providing a comprehensive online business profile directory. A small business can showcase their offerings with a blog, coupons and promotions. In addition, a company’s product or coupon could be included in the ‘MercoBox’, a specialty compilation of local goods and services offered at a discounted price.
Small businesses can use Small Business Saturday, marketing companies, local listings, seo techniques, social media and paid advertising to conquer the “getting more business” challenge. It’s important that the small business owner define metrics or Key Process Indicators (KPI’s) to measure the return on any marketing investment as they would with other business processes.
Love Small Biz
There’s something about supporting a small, local business that radiates warm fuzzies. Visions of Mom and Pop that remind you of June and Ward Cleaver running a wonderful, high quality coffee shop that features local art and music. Their long hours and hard work put food on the table for Wally and the Beave. How cool is that? It doesn’t get any better!
Let’s face it. If you were to say, “I support large corporations & will only shop at Fortune 500 companies,” it’s pretty much a buzz kill. Does it mean that an employee at your local Wal Mart who needs to pay the bills for Grandma’s surgery should get laid off because everyone is shopping local instead? We’re not going there. That’s a whole ‘nother ‘What if’ article. Now back to the warm fuzzies….
I look at local business as my support system, my neighbors and even as coworkers on my team. My dry cleaners keep me from looking like something the cat dragged in for important meetings. My favorite local restaurants give me a culinary escape from my own kitchen. My coffee shops provide me the fuel for high productivity and an office space. We are all just people sharing the same environment, snow storms, power outages, tax hikes, and of course the excitement of the bear at the Burger King.
In conclusion, if I have a choice to support June and Ward Cleaver’s high quality services over a company with a CEO that has ethical trouble like Eddie Haskell… You know the answer. More money for my local community and brusselsprouts for the Beave will always win.
Have fun with Small Business Saturday!
Note 1: The Dogz are totally cool with ethical large business CEO’s that provide quality products & services in addition to caring about their employees and customers 😉
Note 2: If the small business provides lousy quality and service, don’t go. Do them a solid and refer them to the national Baldrige Performance Excellence Program that provides Self Assessment criteria for small businesses to evaluate and improve their operations.
A little Simon and Garfunkel for some warm fuzzies…