Small-business owners are the perfect people to rally a community behind a cause. As owner of Lolo Boutique, an independent clothing and gift shop in Fullerton, California, I've collaborated with my fellow entrepreneurs to develop a following around a few key events in our community: an art walk that happens during the first Friday of every month (we have incredible artists living right here; why not show them off?) and Small Business Saturday®, which takes place the Saturday after Thanksgiving.
Do you want to rally your community around exciting causes? Here are a few of my tips for how to do it.
Don't be afraid to reach out.
If you have an idea for something that would help your community, go out and spearhead the project. In the case of Small Business Saturday, we go through the list of our 100 best customers and call 10 each day. We tell them that we will be participating in Small Business Saturday and inform them of the events for the day and the discounts we're offering. This effort helps to build excitement and momentum in advance.
Collaborate with other small-business owners.
Instead of thinking of nearby shops as competitors, consider them friends. Work together to make a cause even more impactful for your community. For holidays like Small Business Saturday, offer group discounts across multiple retail stores or refer customers to each other. For other parts of the year, think about doing a progressive dinner where customers would come in to one shop for an appetizer, another shop for a taste of wine and so on. Get creative and collaborate.
Read more about Lolo Boutique.
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