‘Tis the Season to be… BUYING? Alas, it certainly is. In December, Americans tend to show their love by purchasing gifts. But while you’re buying your remembrances for family, friends, neighbors and associates, we’d like to remind you to show small businesses some love too. Look to buy from small, family and/or local businesses wherever possible. The benefits are not just warm fuzzies, but investing in the strength of communities and reinforcing the American Dream. Now that’s a WIN-WIN-WIN-WIN gift.
Many big companies practice the “Doorbuster” method of marketing in November and December. They know that one ridiculously good deal will get you into their store, and you’ll probably pick up a number of other items while you’re there. Smaller businesses may not be able to offer such a huge loss leader, but they have other perks that don’t scream from advertisments. It’s a huge perk to shop where someone cares about your needs and addresses them personally. You can get hand-made or unique items, of course, and pre-packaged products are often competitively priced, with less of the purchase price going to advertising, layers of middlemen, or expensive store decorations.
If you’re an online shopper like me, don’t forget that many online stores (or physical stores with an online presence) are also small businesses. I get a wave of glee when I call about an online order and get the owner or a family member. They have the product, the price and the service, and they got my attention. You don’t have to be huge to compete, you just have to be good and GET NOTICED.
With every gift you give this year, give twice. Shop small.