By Sandy Sponaugle
Posted on November 12, 2019
Filed under: Business Development

How to tell your local business’ stories

Small Business Saturday is coming up on Saturday, November 30th. Consumers everywhere are encouraged to shop at their local brick and mortar small businesses – versus Black Friday, which focuses more on the big-box stores.

We should support and promote small businesses all year long, and this is one special day out of the year that they deserve some extra attention. So how can you help your local businesses to make the most of this holiday?

A great way to support small businesses is by telling their stories. 

By sharing their stories on your website, newsletter, or on social media, you’re giving businesses the spotlight and an endorsement. 

This is a win-win promotion for your organization, as their stories also provide authentic social proof of the benefits of running a business in your community. It also builds goodwill with your local businesses, showing them how valued and important they are. 

Recently, we helped one of our clients with this by going door to door to businesses and interviewing business owners right then and there.

(My new earrings and gifts for my daughter are proof of my weakness for supporting local businesses!)

The business owners all responded enthusiastically, excited to tell me their stories and have them shared.

In this case, an organization hired us to help gather their stories. It’s also something you can do yourself. Here are a few questions you can ask local business owners in order to collect some of these important stories:

  • Tell me about your business. (Open-ended questions can be very helpful as conversation starters.) 
  • What made you decide to start a business here?
  • What’s your favorite thing about doing business in (your community)?
  • What are some of your best experiences you’ve had as a business owner here?
  • What are some of your business struggles? (This won’t be something you’ll want to publish or share with others, but it can help gain insight in areas you might be able to help with.)

You can record the interviews on your phone and later transcribe and edit them into blogs or interviews to be shared on your website, in newsletters, or on social media. Or, you could film them and share their stories as videos. 

Making your business owners feel valued, seen, and heard is one of your most powerful business retention tools. And one simple way to do that is through knocking on their doors and speaking with them.

How have you supported small businesses for Small Business Saturday? Share your experience in the comments below!

‘Til next time,
Sandy

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