Monday, October 20, 2008

You Can Make a Big Impact on Small Business

A little background before I get on to my topic for today:

I am a small business owner. I am a consultant for Watkins, Avon and Taste of Home Entertaining. This is my job besides the job of being a housewife and pet mom. The economy is so bad that I have virtually no orders and the few orders I do get, although I’m grateful, doesn’t even cover the monthly cost of my website fees.

Last week, I met with a friend of mine who is also my insurance agent and we were doing a little checkup on the state of our insurance and to see if things had changed and if we needed to adjust coverage. She asked me – “what is your personal income?” I had to say zero, when in all seriousness, the zero is actually a negative number. I have to buy catalogs and materials, samples and such. I have fees to pay and I am bringing in almost nothing.

I sell Watkins and they have daily needs and groceries and I still can’t get any sales! These are things you buy every week, like laundry detergent and food! I really don’t get it at all.

It’s sad but I am not alone… which brings me to the topic of this posting.

This week I’d like every one of you (and pass this along to your friends) to go out and buy something from a small business owner you know. Heck, I challenge you to do it all week. You have NO idea how this impacts someone that works from home and works on commission or the person in your town who has to pay rent on their little storefront at the strip mall. That purchase impacts that person, their family and their team (many home businesses are network marketing, which means someone else is making a small commission on their sales so it goes up and up) and those with employees are affected as well – if they lose business, people lose jobs.

The small business owner is your friend. You need them to maintain competition in your area. If they go under, you lose because pretty soon your only choices are the big box stores that don't give a shit about you, your business or the service they provide.

Make an effort this week to make it a good week for a small business owner.

It could be a lipstick from the Avon or Mary Kay lady, buy a new stamp set from Stampin’ Up, a few kitchen goodies from Pampered Chef, surely you can spare $20 somewhere.

Here are some ideas:
  • Go to the local bakery and buy your bread or the donuts for your meeting.
  • Pick up your weekly needs at a local drugstore instead of Target.
  • Book a party with your friend that has a 'party plan' business. It's a great reason to have friends over for food and fun and it helps her out.
  • Buy a pizza from the pizzeria down the street instead of Pizza Hut or Domino's.
  • Shop at the local hardware store instead of Lowe's.
  • Take your car in for an oil change at the locally owned place instead of Lube Pros.
  • Pick up your morning coffee at the local coffee shop instead of Starbucks.
  • Have breakfast at the diner downtown instead of IHOP.
  • Order Tupperware instead of picking up containers at Target.
  • Pick up appetizer products for Thanksgiving from Watkins or Tastefully Simple.
  • Buy some candles from a Partylite consultant instead of Yankee Candle at the mall.
  • Shop for a unique gift at the museum gift shop in your town.
  • Buy your best friend a box of candy from the local candy store instead of Godiva.
  • Call up your Avon lady and ask if she has anything in stock she wants to sell for a bargain.
  • Buy your salon shampoo at a local salon instead of Trade Secret or Ulta.
  • Take a trip downtown and find something for yourself in one of the little shops.
  • Pick up a bouquet of flowers for your mom at the local florist.
  • Have your next meeting catered by a local restaurant.
  • Order your holiday hams and turkeys from the local butcher shop instead of the chain grocery.

If you aren’t familiar with , go browse there and buy a few things – think ahead for the holidays! Search thru for things you've been wanting. You'll probably find a deal to boot! If you can’t spend money on yourself, then start your holiday shopping and do it all with small business owners this year – not Wal-Mart.

Every single choice you make can impact a small business owner in a very big way. Besides, you'll get personal customer service from someone that appreciates your purchase and is there for you in the future. I’m not saying you need to buy something from me. Just go and search out the little guy because those dollars could mean a meal on the table or a necessity for their family.


Anonymous said...

I agree! Kyle and I said last night we will continue to shop at Small World here in Rockford. We love their selection, the quality is ABOVE the norm, especially here, and we love the owners/staff.

AND...for those who think small businesses charge more, not always so: we priced several things at SW and compared to Babies R Us...and yes, BRU was more expensive. Car seats, 10-30 more, small things like teethers, 1 dollar more. Very encouraging!

Marie de Carabas said...

Very true. With the economy the way it is I have been trying to buy as local as possible. I try and plan to get coffee at Java Cat not the mall even if I'm headed to work. I've been trying to buy yarn from a shop up the street too. I pay a bit more but the quality is better than Michael's or Hobby Lobby.