July is Independent Retailer Month. Of course, our support for independent retailers goes throughout the year, but this is a good time to stop and reflect why your local shop is so important to your community and the economy.
I’ve grown up around people that owned their own businesses. Relatives have owned their own retail stores. My best friend owns a very successful business in our hometown. Over 10 years ago I had my own small business, selling low carb food via an online site and eventually through retail stores. I’ve seen small businesses run successfully and unfortunately, not so successfully.
But the common thread for every small business owner is the passion they have about their business and the products they sell, and the reason is simple: owning a business is one of the hardest things that someone can do.
To do it successfully, the motivation can’t be just about financial gain, but rather because you truly love what you do. Nobody will be as passionate about your business as you are.
As we go into Independent Retailer Month in the UK, it’s important that all of us support the local, independent shops that make all of our communities so unique and give each their own, unique flavour.
It will surprise some people just how important independent businesses are to the economy. Consider these facts*:
- There are an estimated 4.8 million businesses in the UK which employ 23.9 million people, and have a combined turnover of £3,100 billion
- Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) account for 99.9 percent of all private sector businesses in the UK, 59.1 per cent of private sector employment and 48.8 per cent of private sector turnover
- SMEs employ 14.1 million people and has a combined turnover of £1,500 billion
- Small businesses alone accounted for 47 per cent of private sector employment and 34.4 per cent of turnover
Although the big chains play an important part of our economy, Small and Medium sized businesses are the backbone of our economy. However, without big advertising budgets, these businesses rely on local trade, reputation, word of mouth and repeat customer business to survive and hopefully thrive.
So go out and support your local businesses. They are the backbone of our economy, and rely on people like you (yes, you!) to thrive. As we go through July and indeed, every month, we will be working with businesses all over the UK to help them acquire and retain valuable customers. As we like to call it, our “marketing solution in a box”, called Click!, is a way for every business to create their own unique, personalized customer loyalty programme. It’s a great way to grow sales, reward and retain loyal customers, and attract some new customers too.
*Federation of Small Business, 2012 (fsb.org.uk)
Matt Mongoven is a co-founder and creator of Click! With Click!, every business can have their own customer loyalty programme. For more information on Click!, visit www.getmyclick.com.