Updated: Mar 21, 2019
Let me start off by saying that this blog comes straight from the heart, it is hard work running a small business yet most do not get the credit or success they deserve for their efforts.
I always knew it was important to shop small and buy from local businesses as opposed to the big corporate giants but now that I am one of those small local businesses I realise I could have done a lot more!
So here is some of the reasons why it is so important to support the little guy (or girl):
Blood, sweat and tears (sometimes literally) goes into creating their products
Small businesses rarely have an army of employees or a factory to churn out products. More often than not it is one person sat in a home office trying to juggle everything themselves. And when I say everything, I don't just mean making the products, that's the fun bit, that's the reason they started this business in the first place, I mean on top of that they now need to be experts in bookkeeping and finances, advertising and marketing, sourcing suppliers, working out their CODB (that's cost of doing business for those of you that don't know), customer service, product testing, sales, HR and the list goes on and on. Not to mention they also have lives, families and themselves to maintain. So why do they put themselves through it all I hear you ask...because they love what they do, and they believe in their product/service, and so should you!
They can be having the worst, most stressful day ever but I guarantee that a sale or enquiry will brighten their day and have them happy dancing again in no time.
Independent businesses is what keeps our high streets unique
When you visit a new place you don't want to walk down the high street and see the same shops you have back home, what is the point in going?! Independent retailers are great for showcasing local talent and setting your area aside from all the other towns and cities. They are a hive for tourists who want to take home something unique to remember their trip, and in turn they boost the local economy.
Don't just assume that because your favourite local seller now has a shop that they are doing really well and don't need your business as much, if anything they will need it more! The cost of running a space, be it a shop or gallery is far greater than working out of your spare bedroom so please keep buying, even if it is something small.
Small businesses give back to the local community
Despite often having strained bank accounts and little time to themselves, you would be surprised at how much small local businesses give back to their community. This could be anything from creating job opportunities, donating products to charity auctions or raffles, getting involved in local events or craft fairs to supporting other local businesses through collaboration or purchases. Lets be honest, you aren't getting that kind of help and support from the big corporate retailers are you!
They offer unique and unusual products
We have all had that moment at Christmas were you receive a gift from someone only to find, to your horror, that you have bought them almost exactly the same thing!
With independent retailers this is far less likely to happen (unless you both love the same shop) as you cannot buy these products from anywhere else, or if you can it is only in limited shops. A lot of handmade products are of a limited run so there is only a few made, so not only do you get a lovely present, but it is also limited edition!
I could go on but I'm hoping you get my point. If you do want to read up further on the effects of small businesses and how to support them I urge you to check out both the Just a Card campaign and Small Business Saturday.
So remember, whether it is a Birthday, Christmas, Father's Day, Christening, or just a treat to yourself....