Monday, November 18, 2013

Let's Support Small Businesses

As authors, we are aware that many independent bookstores and other small businesses have had a difficult time during the current economic climate. It is to our advantage to support these businesses as they provide additional sales opportunities for our books. Small Business Day is on November 30, and we have an opportunity to acknowledge the important part they play in promoting and selling our creations.

Many of us have self-published or rely on small publishing houses. This means that the big box stories do not normally carry our books. It is the “mom and pop”, little guy who are often willing to take a chance, especially if they are local stores. Whenever I need a toy for my grandchildren, a birthday gift  or a book for a gift or to read myself, I check out my local, independent store first to see what is available. In a recent newspaper article, one small businessman was quoted as saying that if we increase our purchases by only ten percent, that would allow him to stay afloat. For me, it makes sense to divert this small percentage of my purchases from the big box stores and chains to local, independent shops. 

There is an added advantage; these small stores are often in downtown areas of a town or city. Supporting them keeps our downtown areas viable and enjoyable.  Walking down Main Street and seeing shops closed or going out of business is disturbing when I realize that the local people flock to shopping malls and chains in search of elusive bargains and ignore these smaller businesses. 


So on Small Business Day and in fact, every day, let’s remember to support the little guy. We all win!

Beryl Reichenberg
Children's Picture Book Author
and Illustrator
New Oak Tree Press Books: 
Butterfly Girls and When 
Caterpillars Dream

5 comments:

Amy Bennett said...

I'm in a quandary... I work at both a major retailer AND at a small business!

I love to shop small businesses for gifts because I know there's a good chance I'll be getting something unique as well as helping a small business. But I have to rely on "big business" to pay my salary. I love my small business job because my boss knows me personally and even though he can't provide me with insurance, paid holidays, or vacation time, he gives me great discount and shows his appreciation of his employees in lots of ways that matter (free wine, anyone?)

I do support small businesses and hope that they continue to hold on in these uncertain times. I applaud our indie bookstore, Books, Etc., for being the only indie for a 100-mile radius and having an extraordinary shop... and for supporting the indie authors and publishing houses!

Beryl Reichenberg said...

Good for you Amy for supporting the small businesses. I'm not saying we shouldn't shop at the big chains, I do that too. But I do try to find what I need at small businesses whenever I can. You are right, we often receive better service at a small shop. Often the chains are so concerned about the bottom line, they fail to train personnel properly or to hire enough staff to provide adequate customer service. I have lived in a small town for many years. Keeping a viable downtown has been a high priority. Thanks for your thoughtful comment, Beryl

Billie Johnson said...

Thanks, Beryl, for this very timely post. On my way home today from an eWomen Network luncheon, I started thinking, should OTP offer a SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY special?

First question always: how will our authors react to this? And it seems I have a couple of answers here.

Anyone else? Suggestions welcome!!

Billie

Billie Johnson said...

Thanks, Beryl, for this very timely post. On my way home today from an eWomen Network luncheon, I started thinking, should OTP offer a SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY special?

First question always: how will our authors react to this? And it seems I have a couple of answers here.

Anyone else? Suggestions welcome!!

Billie

Beryl Reichenberg said...

Thanks Billie. I'm not sure how the Small Business Saturday special would work, but anything that supports independent stores is good for us. Having spent time with small business owners, I can say they appreciate our help and in turn are willing to support our sales efforts as authors. Beryl