Happy Small Business Saturday!
Earlier this month I shared some of my thoughts on Instagram about how important it is to support small business with online reviews, social media engagement, and word of mouth. The Scoop community showed up in a big way following that post! I was blown away by how many people took the time to post a review for Scoop on Google and Square.
Words cannot express how much I appreciate you being part of this incredibly positive and uplifting zero waste community. I love the way that we are all joining together to normalize sustainable living. On this beautifully sunny (and cold!) Small Business Saturday, I wanted to take a moment to remind you of a few simple ways that you can support small businesses. Many of them are completely free and require only five to ten minutes of your time - maybe even less!
1. Leave a Review: I am the type of person who reads reviews, and I was just thinking about how it takes a lot of positive reviews to outweigh a negative one for me as a consumer. Unfortunately, many of us only think to leave a review when we have something to complain about. When you have a positive experience at any business, I would like to encourage you to take a moment to appreciate it. What could you do in that moment?
- You could leave a review (google, yelp, square, facebook etc).
- You could give the person providing you with excellent service a compliment and express your gratitude.
- You could follow up with a kind email or direct message via social media, or even let a manager know what a great job their team is doing.
*Please remember that your words are powerful! Our culture has trained us to give little thought to the words that we post publicly, but your words can have a massive impact, positive or negative. If you do have a complaint, consider reaching out to the business privately first to give them a chance to right the wrong before you leave a negative review that could potentially do a lot of harm.
2. Engage on Social Media: Having a lot of followers looks great as far as first impressions go, but what is truly helpful is having an engaged community of followers. Like, comment, and tag friends on the posts. Share posts when they speak to you and add value to your life. Repost! Do an Instagram live and tag small business owners. Share photos and videos of their businesses to show everyone else how awesome they are!
3. Pay with Cash: You've probably heard about these things called "credit card fees," but what you may not be aware of is how quickly they add up! Whoa! Small businesses generally aren't in a position to absorb these fees and over time, they have a significant impact.
Every now and then a customer will ask "do you prefer cash or card?" and I used to always say "whatever is easiest for you!" People pleaser alert! Haha! And then it dawned on me, our business is paying a large amount of money in credit card fees every month. I think it's totally okay for me to let my community know that actually, if you've got it, we DO prefer cash, and we appreciate you making the extra effort to help minimize our fees!
*Note: not all small businesses prefer cash. You will encounter some that prefer the convenience of accepting credit cards and aren't prepared to accept cash. However, it doesn't hurt to ask as a courtesy.
4. Do Your Holiday Shopping with Small Businesses: We may not be able to provide free two day shipping, but we do offer charm, intention, passion, extraordinary customer service, and a strong commit to our ethics. When you purchase holiday gifts from small businesses, your gifts come with a story, and the recipient of the gift will likely be thankful to know that the present comes with the added value of supporting a business that they believe in. Not sure what to give? Gift cards are another great option and many small businesses are happy to sell them to you!
5. Tell Everyone!: Most small businesses build our community through word of mouth. One of the best things that you can do is to tell everyone how much you love the business! In the first month that Scoop was open, a customer came in and told me, "You're all the buzz in the office!" and it made my heart so happy! I am always so thankful when I find out that our customers are sharing their love of Scoop with the people around them. Some of our customers and community members have even offered to include us in magazine articles, blog posts, on podcasts and radio programs, and have even invited me to commend give a talk at their place of work or on a panel at a community event. This is how we spread the good news of low waste living!
By supporting the small businesses that add value to your life, you are actively building the world that you want to live in. Take a moment right now and ask yourself, "What is one way that I will support a small business I love today?"
Hope to see you in the shop today!
All my best,