On September 1, 2023, we lost a big name in music–Jimmy Buffet. As always happens when a celebrity passes, suddenly everyone is talking about him and his myriad contributions to entertainment. But Buffet’s popularity wasn’t because of his complex songs or his professionally-trained voice (he had neither). Buffet had something else. He became known as the king of vacation, his laid-back attitude was something a lot of people aspired to. For that reason, and eleven others, entrepreneurs can learn from this “son of a son of a sailor.” After all, he “sold” a way of life and a community that most of us find enviable.
The new year is a time of review and introspection coupled with making new promises for the future. We are often filled with a sense of control over our destiny and a desire to begin again. If you’re feeling the same, here are a few ways you can capitalize on the new year’s momentum by embracing the habits of successful people:
From Thanksgiving to Christmas there’s a battle that occurs for consumer dollars. The big guy against the little guy, the brick-and-mortar versus the online retailer, everyone is looking for a bigger piece of the pie. It’s time to start thinking about your holiday marketing.
If you have a brick-and-mortar location, chances are you're doing some sort of decorating for the holidays. Even if you don't celebrate, it's likely your customers do so in order to spread the holiday cheer you get festive.
The same should be true of your website. While you don't need to decorate per se, you do need to prepare for holiday traffic. Even if what you do or sell has nothing to do with Christmas, people often turn to the internet or online solutions during the holiday season. Plus, if you run a business that helps people prepare for the holidays, even if just peripherally, you want to make sure your website is ready. Here's how you can go about doing that:
By now you’ve likely seen the statistics that shopping small/local keeps roughly $68 out of every $100 in our community, whereas shopping at a national chain means about $43 remains here. Why is that important and what does it mean to you and your family? A lot more than you may think.
How Small Business Spending Makes a Big Difference in Our Community
Where Do the Dollars Go?
While it’s difficult to track the exact path of a dollar spent locally versus one spent at a chain, you can imagine it looks something like this:
That image is an example of what’s called “indirect impact.” Indirect impact is felt when a local business owner or employee spends the money they make locally but it’s not the only kind of impact that can be felt by spending local.
Johnny Goes to Band Camp
When your son or daughter has a school expense like a club trip, sporting event, yearbook expense, camp, or graduation program, do you email Elon Musk to fund it? No. You ask your local pizza parlor or favorite small business owner. They get their name listed as a sponsor and your child is one step closer to their goal.
Small Nonprofits Win
Along the same lines of sponsors, when it comes to local nonprofits and raising money for local causes or even natural disasters, it’s the local businesses that come through. They understand the importance of helping neighbors. Yes, large companies give hundreds of thousands of dollars to large nonprofits. We’re not discounting that. But local charities and nonprofits are often not on their funding radars. Chains are doing their part donating to the United Way and national groups like the American Cancer Society. Local charities often rely on local support.
We Enjoy a Better Quality of Life
According to studies compiled by the Institute of Self Reliance, “the more locally owned businesses per capita that a community has, the better off that place is on many of the other indicators of community health. The larger the share of transactions in our economy—buying, producing, investing—that involve a locally owned business, the more thriving, equitable, and resilient our economy and community can be.”
Local Vendors and People Win
During COVID and immediately after reopening, there were supply chain issues (we’re still feeling them in some industries). Many of those issues were due to lack of transportation or lack of labor in the transportation industry. That caused many businesses to look for local options to meet their needs.
When local businesses pay for things they need to do business (like inventory, utilities, equipment and pay to employees) locally, that has a direct impact on the local economy.
Chains and local businesses pay a salary to local employees so they both have a direct impact on the local economy. However, a chain is limited in where it can get its inventory, equipment, and other items from. These costs are probably paid to, or dictated by, corporate. A small business owner makes those decisions themselves and can choose to keep some of those purchases local as well.
Jobs Are Plentiful
In times when jobs are needed most—in high unemployment—local businesses are there. According to the article “The Contribution of Large and Small Employers to Job Creation in Times of High and Low Unemployment,” which appeared in the American Economic Review, “…in times of high unemployment, small businesses both retain and create more jobs than large firms do.”
Where you spend your money is an investment in the growth and prosperity of our area. You’re either investing for maximized returns on your holiday dollars by spending local or you’re not. We hope it’s the former.
If you own a business you probably spend a lot of time thinking of different ways you can sell your product or service. Maybe you’ve investigated neuro-marketing or tried one of these sales approaches. A hard, persuasive sell is getting more difficult these days, isn’t it?
Relationships are becoming incredibly important to brands, especially with social media. So is content marketing. Everyone wants infotainment. They long for information that is engaging and solid, not too long, not too short. Consumers are like Goldilocks nowadays.
But there’s so much noise out there. How do you get heard and give them what they want?
Whether you’re producing an article, copy, videos, or podcasts, here are a few simple concepts to keep in mind as you create your content. These approaches are used by copywriters everywhere because they work.
Whether your team works from home or in an office, whether you are a business of one or one hundred and one, taking care and making time for wellness is becoming increasingly important. Stress levels because of what’s going on in the world around us are increasing. You may not even be aware of the outside stress someone is under.
Making sure you create an atmosphere where wellness is stressed and made a priority is critical to successful performance. Stressed out employees make more mistakes and have difficulty making good decisions.
If you’re like me—and almost everyone else in this country—the end of the year is a time to look back and assess. I enjoy the nostalgia and reminiscing that occurs at this time of year, but it can also be a time of dread. It’s a time to realize you either hit the mark or you didn’t. And if you did, you may be apprehensive about being able to do it again in the new year.
So, we make resolutions.
We tell ourselves we’re going to do X differently this year. And most of us fall short of X because we forget about it, or we fall back into old routines because they are easy and we know how they work.
But this year, if you’re going to take on a resolution, we have some tips for you. The goal is to make resolutions more intuitive and doable. Here are a couple of ways to do that.
We’re down to the last two weeks before Christmas with some of the biggest shopping days of the season still ahead of us. Since every sale can help your future marketing, it’s essential that over the next few weeks you think not only of the money, but the data you can garner from each sale as well. But don’t stress. You still have time to implement these important activities for big results.
Things You Need to Do During Small Business Season
Don’t let the biggest sales season go by without gathering this data and implementing some of these activities to help with future marketing:
Okay, so this might not be a “secret” weapon, but email marketing can help extend the push to shop small that began on Small Business Saturday. These types of gentle reminders can keep customers buying from you all season (and all year) long. You just need a couple of great ideas, an email marketing tool (like MailChimp or Constant Contact), and of course an email list.