It seems like every day the week after Thanksgiving is a “day”…Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday…but my favorite would have to be Small Business Saturday. It was founded by American Express in 2010 to encourage shoppers to shop small, patronizing brick and mortar businesses in their local communities. The best part is, you don’t have to do this once a year on the Saturday between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. There are so many ways to Shop Small in Collin County every day! Here are just a few:
North Dallas Shopping Extravaganza – https://www.facebook.com/events/140544776557510/
2017 Richardson Jingle Bell Bazaar – https://www.jinglebellbazaar.com/
Animal Crackers – www.animalcrackers.com/
Campisis – http://www.campisis.us
Uncle Gino’s – http://myuncleginos.com
Legend’s Popcorn – https://legendspopcorn.com
Check the Shop Small map from American Express here. Additionally, here are some unconventional ways to support a small business in Collin County you may not immediately think about:
Etsy – This website has absolutely changed the way I give gifts. Did you know that you can even filter to shop by location? A quick search on Etsy for a “personal gift” in Plano yielded over 6,000 results. That is 6,000 ways for me to support my community. This is my favorite way to shop on Etsy, because I know that I am supporting a LOCAL small business. Etsy also has a section here where you can search for local events and stores to purchase products from Etsy vendors.
Direct Sales and Facebook Parties – I don’t know why exactly, but I used to have the same annoyed reaction every time I saw a Facebook friend post about a new product they were selling. Over the past year, however, my attitude changed. My friends are just trying to better their lives by putting their time, energy, and money behind a product they believe in. They are running their own small business! And if you’re already buying those products, why not help out a friend? Need a manicure? Jamberry. Taking a bath? Try Posh! Hungry? Wildtree and Tastefully Simple are both delicious. When you purchase a product from your network of friends and family, you’re supporting a small business in a BIG way.
Affiliate Programs and Bloggers – There is no doubt that blogging is a business, and it can be a big one at that. However, most bloggers know that they aren’t going to be the next Pioneer Woman. Ultimately, their blog is a small business of its own. Bloggers typically participate in affiliate programs, where they make a little bit of money off of the products they talk about on their blog. There are ways you can support them without much effort! Affiliate marketing won’t make a blogger rich, but your support by simply clicking a link to purchase a product is extremely supportive. So, when you read a product review on a blog and decide you want to try that product, click the link provided in the blog post!
Thumbtack, Task Rabbit – Need something done, but don’t want to do it? There are a few apps out there that can help you find a local professional (read: local small business owner) to get the job done. Piano lessons, counseling, furniture assembly, personal training, accounting, catering, housecleaning, interior design, moving and packing…the list is long. With these apps, you select what you need to be done and a few local professionals will then reach out to you to help. You can evaluate your options, pick your pro, and get to work.
Bonus Tip! Support a Small Business for Free – Did you know you can support your favorite local small businesses without spending a dime? Engage with them on social media. Facebook loves to promote content that it thinks people are interested in. If your favorite photographer posts an adorable picture, like it! If your favorite boutique posts a video of a few new outfits for sale, tag your friend who you think would like to try one on! Write reviews and comments, share the content they share, etc. You never know how your interaction with a small business’s Facebook page can really help them in the long run. When you have a positive experience with a small business, tell people about it! Make recommendations—word of mouth is really the lifeblood of any local small business. And, it’s free!!
As a small business owner myself, I want to stress the fact that our customers are our shareholders; they are the ones we strive to make happy. So take the time to support small businesses and continue to make Collin County so wonderful!
Happy Shopping Small!