After braving early morning hours at massive chain department stores on Black Friday, consumers enjoy Read more →
Celebrating Small Business Saturday: Good Things Comes in Small Packages!
After braving early morning hours at massive chain department stores on Black Friday, consumers enjoy a more intimate shopping experience at local, independent retailers, which are less crowded and overwhelming on “Small Business Saturday.” American Express started Small Business Saturday to help small retailers during the economic downturn. The federal Small Business Administration estimated nearly 70 million customers spent $5.5 billion nationwide last year at small, independent stores during the event.
Why should consumers shop at local stores today? Who owns a small business? Small business owners are the face of the American dream. They are the risk takers in today’s economy. They are loyal citizens who continue operating a family business, which has open for decades. They are entrepreneurs who left corporate jobs with a steady income and employee benefits in hopes of making a living by serving the public.
Small business owners give blood, sweat, tears and perhaps retirement funds with optimism and enthusiasm. Owning a small business has risks and benefits and can results in overnight success or a devastating failure. Small business owners participate in the local community as merchants, but also contribute to charitable organizations by raising money for worthy causes. Small business owners give back to the people who support their business. They have a desire to know their customers on a first name basis and develop long-lasting relationships. Anonymity is not an option for small business owners. It is the individual, personal service that creates a solid customer base, essential for growth and development.
Big or small, national or local, profitability all boils down to providing exceptional customer service. Ensuring a positive consumer experience is the most important element for a business leader, regardless of the industry. Do sales associates at a large clothing store offer to help customers locate a specific size or are straightening displays and watching the clock? Does the teller at a local bank greet customers, remembering names and details upon arrival or simply deposit their check? Do restaurant servers take food orders or do they treat customers like guests?
When customers feel valued as people they develop brand loyalty. They return to the store for additional business. They tell their friends and family members about their positive experience. In the weeks and months to come, shoppers may not remember the meal they ordered or specific items they purchased, but they will remember when and where they were treated with dignity, respect and common courtesy. The holiday season is officially here! Shop ‘til you drop on Saturday, November 29th. . . Support the local businesses in your community and celebrate “Small Business Saturday!”