The Small Business Movement: Why it’s Necessary
You’ve heard of Small Business Saturday and maybe even Small Business Week, but what is the Small Business Movement? The Small Business Movement is geared towards getting consumers to think small business every day. After all, small business is not some sort of charity case to be given a special day or week out of the year to be recognized. Small business is an economic necessity.
The freedom and ability to see a need, to fill it and to earn a decent living doing so is one of the things that make our country desirable, but why are the odds of failure 9 out or 10. Some say that it is due to lack of knowledge. While this is true in some cases, I strongly believe it’s often the lack of viable resources that causes a business to struggle. Without adequate resources, even the best business models can fail.
One of the greatest challenges for a small business is the ability to build a strong brand and to get people to know about it. Often times, we are left to depend on the notion that, “if we build it, they will come.” Problem with this is that after we build it, no one knows we’re there because we don’t have the necessary funding to get the word out about what we’re doing. If we have a strong enough sphere, our chances of survival is better, but usually our sphere isn’t enough to sustain our business.
To make matters worse, most advertising avenues available to small businesses start around three hundred dollars per month, which most can’t afford. This is usually the cost of being in a community magazine which most people throw in the trash upon receipt unless it’s giving them coupons to save big. Needless to say, big savings for consumers usually mean big losses for the business. This loss is only magnified by the amount already invested to advertise the coupons.
This is where big business has a huge advantage. While we can barely afford a three hundred dollar a month ad budget, they have budgets that range into the millions. Which means they will be in front of the consumer hundreds of thousands more times than a small business will. When the consumer is ready to make a purchase, they will pass you to get to the place that enticed them during the super bowl game. This is not a matter of whining; it is an economic and psychological reality.
What can we do about it? That is a very pertinent question. I believe that there is power in numbers. While separately we small business owners lack a strong voice, united we have a voice stronger voice than any large business ever could. While big business can get in front of millions of consumers at once, we have the advantage of actually being friends with the consumers. We know them on a personal level. If the majority of us could come together and leverage that power, we’d have something remarkable. Small business owners that are adamant about supporting each other can also influence the friends of small business owners to follow suit.
“How do we get started?” you ask. Well don’t fret; The Small Business Movement has already begun. Small businesses have already begun to connect at The Link. What is The Link? The Link was established to connect small businesses to lifetime customers. It was built for small business owners, by small business owners. You can list your business in the sites directory as well as post events and coupons. You also have the opportunity to participate in a cross industry loyalty program. All of these are resources available at The Link. They are all geared towards making things better for small business.
Is there a cost involved? While we are not a charity organization, we are as close to being free as you can possibly imagine. Access to all of the programs that we offer is only $9.99 per month with no contract, no sign up fee or cancellation fee. Why so little? We believe free negates involvement and we want you to be involved. The small fee also allows us to further promote businesses listed with us. By the same token, we don’t want any business to not easily be able to recognize a profit from their investment in the movement. That is why the investment is minimal, yet required.
We believe that the strength of small businesses lay in the hands of every small business. We want to bring back a sense of community, teamwork and power back to the people rather than corporations. We complain about the rich getting richer and the middle class being squeezed. We want to approach the government to change it, not realizing we ourselves have the power to create this change. Start now by joining The Link. www.TheLink.biz. We are The Small Business Movement.
Eric L. Lipsey