Posted by Heather Brautman on Sat, Mar 29, 2014 @ 10:00 AM
We’re throwing a huge party today – did you receive your invitation? We’re celebrating the 28 million small businesses that operate in the country. (That’s a lot of balloons!) Today is officially National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day. Anyone running his own business knows it’s far from “small:” over 50% of the population works in small business, and small businesses are responsible for 65% of the net new jobs created since 1995. Seems like a great reason for a party! And what’s a party without party favors? Read on for some ideas to keep your small business in the party spirits.
It’s Your Day!
You may have opened your own retail business to be the captain of your own ship and enjoy the perks, but we’re sure there are plenty of strains and stresses too. So make sure to take advantage of special days throughout the year that are geared especially towards small business owners. Small Business Saturday is an annual event where a lot of the marketing is done for you through ad campaigns and social networking blasts, but you should still participate as much as possible. Have a special in-store event, sale, giveaway, or other attraction to get even more people through your doors that day. Some cities have their own additional small business day or week. Find yours and show off how great things come in small packages.
Small business owners have a big edge over major franchise retailers and big box stores – the ability to go a bit off the beaten path with what’s featured on their shelves. Whereas a chain store may have every single square foot mapped and vendors paying money for premium store shelf placement, in your shop, you hold the reigns. To distinguish yourself from others, and draw in a wider range of shoppers, consider adding some focus on local interests. Seek out crafters in your community who may wish to vend on a consignment basis. What’s your area well known for? If you’re in Gilroy, California, keep some jars of artisan garlic near all your registers (closed, of course!). Used book store owners can create a section for native authors and even feature them in readings and signings.
Borrow Till Tomorrow
Another great benefit of being a small business owner is that you make and play by your own rules. This means instead of iron-clad contracts that govern your every move, you create your own. Adopt a policy of bartering and borrowing with other local business owners, and you’ll have resources you never thought you could enjoy. Small art galleries partner with local cafés to trade work for the walls in exchange for opening night catering. Another option is to offer to place artwork on the walls of that café, and when the work sells, the café receives a small commission for almost no work but providing space to show off.
Cancel the Show
There’s one aspect of retail sales that can really hurt small business owners, and that’s showrooming. This is the ever-increasing practice of prospective buyers coming into your shops, tying up sales people with questions, handling merchandise, and then departing without making a purchase, to go buy online or elsewhere. The good news is, you can take steps to counteract this activity, starting here, with our free guide to combating showrooming behavior. Steal it here: