This weekend, on the 5th December, is Small Business Saturday in the UK and we felt this would be a perfect time to share with you one of our ethics in business. We’ve always been proud to ‘buy local’ and by this we don’t just mean products, we also mean services.
As a business our customers are ‘local’ we rely on our local community to sustain and support our business and this year that’s been more vital than ever.
However in honour of that we give back to our own community by investing in buying local where it’s possible.
Could you consider this as a purpose for your business in 2021? To look local first? Even when local is a tad more expensive, it will more than pay for itself in loyalty over time.
What is Small Business Saturday?
It is a non-commercial campaign to highlight the success of small businesses, and encourages consumers to ‘shop local’ therefore supporting small business in their communities. It was originally set up to encourage people to buy from local retail shops – again extremely important this year.
However over the years it has grown into something far bigger. It’s a campaign which highlights local talent across all sectors, making small and micro businesses a little more visible and showing that the service or product you need is probably on your own doorstep.
Support is needed for small businesses now at a critical time for survival. Some micro businesses have had very little or no financial support or grants during lockdown. Some have had to take out loans (albeit interest free for a time) just to keep going.
In October, it was reported that an estimated 6m small businesses in the UK were in financially precarious positions as a result of the pandemic. Nearly two-thirds of entrepreneurs thought their business might not survive the pressures of Covid-19.
As we move into December, with Christmas on the horizon, followed by Brexit, things may not get that much easier for some time.
I want to share how RPA is now realising how valuable this ethic of ‘buying local’ has always been and is today and tomorrow. Swindon in particular is the most economically active urban area in the South West outside of Bristol. It means that any recession will impact this town and every little ounce of support that the local economy can get, will help and will be valued. Even if it’s by one person. That person is worth it.
Why work with local businesses?
As a small business owner, I set up on my own and understand how hard it can be and I always wanted to spend hard-earned money, supporting other small businesses like mine.
As Revolution Performing Arts has grown, I have begun to outsource to give me time to concentrate on the core of my business, and working on the things I have the skills to do well.
Running a business on your own is stressful enough, without trying to tackle everything yourself!
I like working with businesses that share a similar ethos to me. My customers are important to me, and all of the companies I work with, also have good customer service. I know that they care about my business, rather than purely seeing me as a ‘cheque’.
People are always telling me that there are cheaper places to buy from online, but I want to have quality, for good value, and work with people who I know are committed to providing me a good service. That’s exactly what I get.
For me, business collaborations and connections are about building relationships with people.
It is about trusting that when you give part of your business to someone local, more often than not they are going to look after that part of you with the same care they would if it belonged to them.
My local small business team includes these wonderful businesses:
Your Logo Ltd – Cheney Manor Industrial Estate, a business working in the textile manufacturing industry. They provide the logos on our uniforms, hoodies and masks: http://yourlogo-schools.co.uk/
ABC Sign and Designs on the Westmead Industrial Estate – a sign and printing service. They have produced: programmes, fliers, vehicle graphics for my car and banners. In other words all of my printed marketing materials: https://www.abcsignsanddesigns.co.uk/
My book keeping and accounts are taken care of by Silver Lining Book Keeping Services – North Swindon and Woodward Hale Accountants of Cirencester – thank goodness as I hate all of this stuff.
Holmes Music of Faringdon Road, Swindon – this well known local brand supports me with all of my microphone stands, microphones, leads and cables: https://holmesmusic.co.uk/
Scott Media based in Gypsy Lane, Swindon – who through story-telling and intelligent PR helps to keep my brand and business visible in the precious local media and through working with local social media influencers: https://scottmedia.uk/
Slinky Hair – Victoria Road, Swindon and The Hidden Gem – Shaw, Swindon help to keep me looking presentable and professional – Even though I am not an ‘image’ person, sometimes having that little bit more polished presentation to make that good first impression: https://www.facebook.com/slinkyhair/
Without the support of all of these amazing small businesses, Revolution Performing Arts would not run so smoothly, or be as professional. I would be far more stressed, trying to juggle aspects of business where I am less skilled or which I really don’t enjoy.
If you are new to business, or are finding it hard to do everything, then when you start looking for other businesses to support you, please, BUY LOCAL!