Small Business Saturday 2011

Small Business Saturday Presents Big Opportunity for Entrepreneurs

Small Business Saturday is coming up on November 26.  This awareness campaign highlights the importance and impact of small businesses and encourages anyone making a purchase on that day to shop with a small business. Entrepreneurial individuals and organizations have been the wind in America’s economic wings since our country was founded, and this important day is a reminder of that fact.

It is now more critical than ever for each of us to be conscientious in our shopping habits; and to buy more from small businesses.  These growing companies will invest in and bring jobs to local communities faster than large corporations will in the new, data-driven, analytics economy.  Buying from a small business is investing in the renewal of the American economy.  Individually, you may not believe you are having an impact; but
collectively we are.

Just as crucial as consumer buying patterns is the mentality of every small business owner across America. Though you may be defined as a small business, you shouldn’t confine yourself to small thinking.  Besides, the term “small business” is a bit of a misnomer.  By government (U.S. Small Business Administration) definition, a “small business” can
be a micro-company with less than 10 employees or a business worth more than $35 million employing 500 people.  Moving beyond surviving to thriving requires a new way of thinking, a new level of focus, a numbers driven definition of success and more small business collaboration.

We should all take the opportunity to use Small Business Saturday on November 26 as a starting point for actively and purposely identifying two or three areas in which we can improve the state of small business in America. As consumers, we can commit to shifting
some of our shopping to small businesses as on a regular basis. I buy meals, accessories and design services, or something else, from small businesses every month.  What can you buy from a small business?

If you’re a small business owner, take stock and get in position to make a great connection with new shoppers who may be coming in or reaching out to you as a result of Small Business Saturday.

  • Make sure you capture every person’s contact information.
  • Call or e-mail to find out if they enjoyed their experience.
  • Keep a record of what they bought and let them know about similar products or services that you have available in the future.
  • Really find a way to create value for each and every customer.

Your revenues and profits are in direct proportion to the amount of value people perceive you to be providing.  When you delight a customer you create five to 10 more because they tell others about their experience.  Owners often push to do bigger and better things in business when sometimes simply revisiting the basics will make a substantial difference.

Whether as a consumer or small business owner, we are all empowered to have a meaningful economic impact on Small Business Saturday and every day—when we open for business or when we open our purses and wallets. Use your power wisely.

Felicia Joy is a nationally recognized entrepreneur who created $50 million in value for the various organizations and companies she served in corporate America before launching her business enterprise. She is the author of Hybrid Entrepreneurship: How the Middle Class Can Beat the Slow Economy, Earn Extra Income and Reclaim the American Dream and a regular contributor on CNN. Follow her @feliciajoy.