‘Shop local’ is the matra behind Small Business Saturday, a national campaign aimed at championing the importance of the local small businesses and specifically independent retailers. This Saturday (5th December) will see the return of the highly successful scheme for the third year. Despite the campaign being in its infancy it has already had some huge successes as identified by the statistics from the 2014 event.
- 16.5 million People shopped in a small independent business on the day, representing a 20% increase in footfall on 2013 or 2.7 million more shoppers
- 64% of UK consumers were aware of the day, a 33% increase on 2013
- Over 3.5 million Facebook views and #SmallBizSatUK trending at number one all day on 6th December 2014the campaign
You don’t have to be a high street retailer to be involved, they want to hear from all kinds of small businesses whether you are a family business, local shop, manufacturer the programme is there to support you. They have some great online resources to help you promote your involvement including a marketing pack, a tool kit and social media tips.
If you are a customer you can do a post code search and will get a list of all of your local businesses taking part.
As if to highlight the importance of local businesses, I was at a Redbridge business networking event yesterday evening talking about this subject to a Martin Engleman, a Wills and Powers of Attorney writer. He told me that while queuing in his local post office he struck up a conversation with another person in the line, they got on to business and Martin subsequently walked out of the post office with an appointment to see this man’s aunt who was going in to a nursing home and thought it was time to sort power of attorney while she was still in charge of all her faculties.
Martin was telling me he regularly advertises in his local post office and over the years their reciprocal relationship has generated a lot of business for both of them. When we think about networking the traditional view that comes to mind is a room full of people, but speaking to local businesses and building relationships, engenders a great sense of community and can generate leads.
As the guest speaker at yesterday’s event, Stefan Thomas said: “Every opportunity starts with a little conversation.” So I challenge you to support your local shops this Saturday and if nothing else find out the name of the person serving you.
To find out more visit www.smallbusinesssaturdayuk.com/ or to keep up to date, follow @SmallBizSatUK on Twitter and get involved in the conversation using #SmallBizSatUK and #SmallBizSat.
Tom Bircham, Business Development Manager, Enterprise for London
Enterprise for London is an enterprise organisation supporting London businesses to start and grow.
Enterprise for London are working with Redbridge Council through the Enterprise Desk scheme to provide a business drop in clinic every Wednesday for residents to come and get advice on all aspects of starting a business.
To make an appointment to see one of their advisors call 020 7101 0696 or email firstname.lastname@example.org