When you buy from a mom or pop business, you are not helping a CEO buy a third vacation home. You are helping a little girl get dance lessons, a little boy get his team jersey, a mom or dad put food on the table, a family pay a mortgage, or a student pay for college. These are just some reasons why you want to Shop Small on Small Business Saturday.
By: Sarah Bergman
Shop Small | Small Business Saturday
By now, most of us are familiar with Small Business Saturday.
It’s a movement started by American Express to encourage shoppers to shop local, patronizing small brick and mortar businesses in your area.
There are so many ways to shop small: craft and vendor fairs, farmers markets, boutiques, local restaurants; you can check out the Shop Small Map by American Express to search out other local small businesses.
However, there are a few ways you can support small businesses that may not immediately come to mind.
1. Shop Small on Small Business Saturday With Travel Agencies
I couldn’t NOT start with this one.
Disclosure: Patty’s the owner of No-Guilt Travel and I own Park and Preston Travel.
Travel Agencies are excluded from the official “Small Business Saturday” business list but when you use a travel agent you’re actually supporting a small business.
When you purchase a vacation package with a travel agent you’re not paying a penny more than if you were to purchase the package on your own.
At least that’s how it is with us. Travel Agents are paid a commission by the supplier so it is absolutely NO cost to you in order to use us!
Plus, you get the added service of a real human being who cares about your trip.
Please know you are more than a credit card number to us.
We work for YOU and not for Disney or Sandals or Royal Caribbean or Hilton; our customers are our shareholders and we will do everything we can to make sure that you have the best experience possible.
And if something goes wrong? You don’t have to sit on hold with a 1-800 number and hope that whoever answers the line will care enough to help!
2. Shop Small on Small Business Saturday With Direct Sales
We all have that same gut reaction when we see a friend on Facebook post about their new lipstick, nail polish, or essential oil they have started to sell.
However, my attitude on this subject began to shift a few years ago when I realized my friends are just trying to change the outcome of their lives in a small way by selling a product that they are passionate about.
Essentially – they are running their own small business.
If you’re going to buy a candle, call your Scentsy rep!
You know you need some holiday entertaining ideas, check out Wildtree!
Do you bathe? Posh has some fantastic products… just sayin’!
When you purchase a product from your network of friends and family you are building up the people around you and supporting a small business in a BIG way.
3. Shop Small on Small Business Saturday with Affiliate Programs
So you are reading this post which means I *THINK* you are a blog reader. Just a hunch.
There’s no doubt that blogging is a business, and it can be a big one at that (ahem, Ree Drummond…)
Most bloggers know that they aren’t going to be the next Pioneer Woman, and ultimately, their blog is a small business of its own.
When you read a product review and decide you’d like to try out that product for yourself click the link provided in the post!
Then, most likely, that blogger will make just a little bit of money from the sale of that product.
Affiliate marketing like this definitely won’t make a blogger rich, but it’s a small, simple, easy and effective way to support a non-traditional small business.
My No-Guilt Life does participate in affiliate programs such as Amazon. Please feel free to click and buy if you are doing your shopping online (and thank you!).
Here are a few of our favorite posts that you might want to check out before you shop online!
4. Thumbtack, Task Rabbit
Need something done, and don’t want to do it?
There are a couple of apps out there that can help you find a local professional to get the job done.
House cleaning, interior design, personal training, dog walking, legal representation, moving and packing, accounting, event catering, piano lessons, furniture assembly, marriage counseling, photography— the list goes on and on and on.
These small business owners invest time and money to reach out to consumers in this unique way – and this is also a great opportunity to find LOCAL small business owners to help you with what you need!
With these apps, you send in what you need help with and a few local professionals will reach out to earn your business. You pick your pro, and get to work!
5. Shop Small on Small Business Saturday Bonus Tip
Did you know that there is a really clever and easy way to support your favorite small businesses without spending a dime?
Engage with them on social media.
Hot tip: Facebook loves to promote content that it thinks people are interested in. So when you like a picture, Facebook likes that like and will push that picture out for more people to see it!
Write reviews and comments, share the content that they share; you never really know how your interaction with a small business Facebook page can really help them out in the long run.
The more you interact, the higher chance your friends will see their content.
And their friends’ friends. And their friends’ friends’ friends? you get the picture!
When you have a positive experience with a small business – tell people about it! Write reviews, make recommendations.
Word of mouth is really the lifeblood of any local small business.
And, it’s free!!
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Patty Holliday is a Marvel loving, Disney obsessed wife, and mother of four. She’s a travel agent specializing in Disney & Universal vacations- and loves a candid confession. Find her in Virginia (or anywhere frequent flyer miles or her trusty minivan takes her.)