I am finally getting to sit down and compose a blog post on the importance of trying to shop with smaller businesses. Both online and on your streets.
It is beyond explainable just how difficult it is for small businesses to get a footing in the door enough to be able to have their little business be successful enough that they dont have to have a 'normal' 9-5 job and generate income enough to afford them to live solely doing what they love and having a small business.
I do not have a normal 9-5 job in addition to my little business. Sadly i have not been fortunate enough to get my business up to the level it would need to be in order for it to be something i could live off and just like everyone else i feel financial pressures, especially around this time of year.
Shopping online or on the highstreet at big chain stores who can and do offer large seasonal discounts and black friday deals etc is something that is undoubtedly tempting for everyone to take advantage of. And im not suggesting that you dont but what i am asking is that you consider taking a look at small businesses too. Alongside the bigger companies. Take a minute or two and pop online and have a look around all the smaller shops out there because believe me there are alot of us and we are all desperate for your custom. And i dont mean just for financial reason but for example with myself i find that my business and being creative helps my anxiety a considerable amount. When i have customers and orders it keeps me going and distracts my mind and allows me to have some respite from it. When i dont have customers and orders i find my anxiety levels rise...or are more noticable shall i say because i dont have anything to refocus my mind elsewhere. My anxiety is a whole other thing which i wont bore you with here but my point is that handcrafting businesses and small businesses as a whole are desperate to be seen and desperate for you to shop at.
Promotion can help, but from personal experience in a world of social media it isnt often enough to get seen with simple traditional ad promotion. Nowadays it is more celebrity based promotion and when i looked into the cost of this some time ago to get ONE tweet from a kardashian it was going to cost £250,000. The cheapest i was offered with a certain agency was £2000 for ONE tweet from a fitness instructor (whom i had never heard of before). Naturally i declined as a fitness instructor tweeting about my home fragrance items wouldnt exactly reach my target audience. But my point being that it costs ALOT to get promotion that is going to be remotely seen.
Please this year and all the rest of the year please take time to browse a smaller business. Give it a like on facebook, a heart on instagram or a share of their website. The costs at a smaller independent business are generally higher than the chain stores because the items arent mass produced in a factory and then imported cheap for sale. Please bear in mind that when you shop small you allow someone to continue doing something they love. You contribute considerably to their peace of mind. You allow someone to pay bills, take part in the festivities of christmas by allowing them the ability to afford presents for friends and family. Words cannot explain the gratitude from a small business owner when you choose to shop with them.
If you choose to shop with me this year then please use the code 'SHOPSMALL' at checkout and you will get a 10% discount on your order.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you.