Small Business Saturday will be taking place on Saturday 1st December.
In the weeks leading up to the event, we have been focusing on topics such as business environment, employment and skills and exporting – this week we are focusing on Shop Local.
If you’re unsure what your local area has to offer, there is a convenient tool on the Small Business Saturday website which allows you to search for a particular small business in a specific location, click here to find out more.
If you’re not convinced, below are 5 reasons why you should shop local:
1. To fully support British Entrepreneurs
Shopping local can encourage more opportunities for local entrepreneurs. It’s always hard to find your feet when starting a new business venture and often entrepreneurs work alone, which makes it especially difficult. The more people that choose to support their local small businesses, rather than a larger chain, the more likely it is that entrepreneurs will be able to not only find their feet, but to get them in the door as well.
2. Online shopping isn’t always the best option
Have you ever ordered something online for it to turn up and look or feel completely different? Although it might be convenient, online shopping can sometimes be a nightmare. When shopping in your local high street, you’re able to see exactly what you’re buying and you know exactly where it has come from. Unique small businesses in your local high street will mostly be looked after with care, where as dusty warehouses all over the world might not even comply with health and safety regulations.
3. To encourage innovative ideas and solutions
Innovation often happens within smaller businesses, many entrepreneurs have some great ideas for innovative solutions in all kinds of situations in various sectors. Every innovation in business was once the dream of a business person with entrepreneurial spirit. Without creative ideas and new solutions to problems, we wouldn’t have half as many great gadgets or processes in the modern business world.
4. Unbeatable Customer Service
I’m sure we have all experienced the sheer terror of going to a big chain supermarket to check out in less than a minute, crushing your bread or breaking your eggs because there’s simply no time for organisation during the packing process. In most cases, visiting a smaller retailer or produce seller is a much nicer experience, they appreciate both your purchase and your time, which means you get a better standard of customer service. You’re not just a number or a target to them, you’re a valued customer who they want to keep coming back.
There is a reason that in the current marketplace most bigger chains are starting to follow suit of smaller independent retailers, as they have higher customer satisfaction. For example, café’s are now priding themselves on having independently sourced tea and coffee or providing cakes which have a more home-made or rustic feel because their customers prefer it.
5. To support your local community
Buying locally is a key part in supporting your local community, when you make a purchase you are putting funds back into the local economy. Local shops are more likely to support local causes such as food banks or charitable organisations, which means when you’re shopping in your local town you are also helping those local good causes. You are in turn helping to support local business people who could expand in the future or even invent an innovative solution to change the way we experience the retail sector altogether.
Make sure to take a look at our Small Business Saturday business drop in clinic at Why Not Coffee in Bearwood taking place on the 1st December!
There are plenty of resources and links for small businesses available at the SBS website here.