Small business Saturday is only a day away and I want to take the opportunity to celebrate the small business owners I know and wholeheartedly support. It’s also a great time to highlight the benefits as to why supporting small businesses near you is one of the best things you can do. For them and you!
WHY SHOP SMALL
This is the first question most people ask: Why should I shop small? The bigger retailers and online ease make shopping elsewhere so much easier and affordable.
A common held belief and frequent argument for not shopping small. With more of us feeling time poor and having to multitask, sometimes logging onto our chosen retailer can seem like the easier and cost effective choice. But is it really?
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS
Most small retailers will have an online presence of some sort. Whilst they may not have a next day delivery promise, what is guaranteed is the highest level of service. A personal pride in the item or service you receive, and a business owner who genuinely cares about your happiness and satisfaction. Can the same really be said for ‘next day delivery’ promising retailer?
If you make the choice to visit the small business owner, you will experience something not often found in bigger stores or companies. A warm and heartfelt welcome, one not paid for from a hired greeter, but genuine thanks from someone for choosing them.
Isn’t it wonderful too when someone knows or makes an effort to learn your name? To understand the exact needs you have for the item or service you are looking for. Having someone ask who you are shopping for and give you a range of options as to what they would personally recommend? All without a hard sale or push towards a higher-priced, commission linked product.
THE DIFFERENCE YOU MAKE
Shopping small isn’t just about making a monetary difference. You may be familiar with the term ‘when you shop small an actual person does a little dance’. Now, most small business owners may not dance in front of you, but I can guarantee they will be genuinely grateful for your interest, whether you buy from them or not.
It isn’t just the difference you make to them either. They make a difference to you. Take Photography as an example.
You may be a parent thinking about having a photograph of your children captured in time for Christmas. Grandparents will love a new photograph of the children and you would quite like a reminder of this time too. There is a temptation to pop into Boots or another high street retailer or Photography studio, but what will you actually walk away with? What will you and your children remember of this experience both from being there and the photograph you have at the end?
Will the Photographer take the time to get to know your children’s names? Interact with them as they prepare to have this moment captured? Give them and you the time they need to feel comfortable and enjoy the experience? Will they ask who the photograph is for and provide you with options as to how you could present this and why they think this would be best for you?
MY TOP 5 SMALL BUSINESSES
I still fall into the small business category myself, and I am proud of this, but this blog is not about me. This is written to support the other business owners I am privileged to know and admire. I want to introduce them to you now.
Hanson & Hopewell
Hanson & Hopewell is the home of stylish and personal gifting, creating beautifully considered gift boxes through creation and curation of hidden gems from independent British artisans. Next week sees the launch of their new natural beauty range for both men and women, all in time for the Christmas gifting season.
What’s more, the wonderful duo behind this company want to give you something very special this Black Friday. I am delighted to share with you a special offer for 15% off their gorgeous English Rose Gift Box using code ENGLISH ROSE at the checkout until the end of Sunday 25th November.
Johanna Pedrick Flowers
Johanna is one of those people who can make your day brighter just by hearing her New Zealand accent and seeing her smile.
The creative mind and hands behind Johanna Pedrick Flowers, you would definitely think twice before ever buying flowers from a supermarket again. Johanna goes beyond just suggesting which colour would suit your big day or the flowers that are in season. Johnna speaks a language of flowers that mesmerises and amazes in equal measure.
I am a self-confessed cheese and coffee lover. Whilst Partisan Deli may not provide the latter, the selection of the former and the quaint surroundings of their Guildford deli more than satisfy my needs. With family at the heart of owners Owen and Mike, Partisan Deli is a jewel in Guildford’s crown and definitely where my Christmas cheese orders will be place this year.
The Inspiration Space
Created and lead by the force of nature that is Liana Fricker, this is more than just a networking group or members co-working space. Through The Inspiration Space, Liana has created a community whereby small business owners and business owners to be can come together, talk shop, learn and inspire, all in a central Guildford location and with more support and expertise than you could ever find in a single space online.
The Godalming Food Company
My favourite place at home to venture out to if coffee is needed or to meet friends. They even welcome dogs so Neo can come too. In a brave move for any small business, Kevin and the team at The Godalming Food Company moved to a bigger premises next door to better serve their loyal customers. Consistently delivering the best foodstuffs and introducing and educating us on gin and wine, not only do they now open early to provide coffee to commuters, they proudly support and champion other local suppliers.