We’re a small company. Our story might be similar to yours, or perhaps drastically different (you can read it here).
What we do know is that, as a small business owner or employee, you wear many hats, each and every day, and we know what it’s like. It’s exhilarating and frustrating at the same time, right?
Thing is, you’re not alone. There are a lot of small business owners out there; as of the 2012 census, there were roughly 27.9 million small businesses in the US, ranging from 1 employee to 500 employees1. A majority are nonemployers2 or sole proprietors. Others have hundreds of employees.
It’s awesome to see that there are so many motivated Americans running small businesses; they are an integral part in building our economy.
All this being said, why should you, a small business owner or employee, do business with these other small businesses instead of large corporations?
The answers to that question are simple, personal, and relatable.
You get lots of networking opportunities.
Whether you’re working with a small business owner two blocks down or two hundred miles away, completing a business transaction creates a fantastic networking opportunity. Both parties learn more about the other’s business. If a peer needs a similar service, both small business owners will be more likely to recommend someone they’ve done business with before looking around online.
Not sure where to start when networking? Join your chamber of commerce (as an added bonus, being a member of the chamber of commerce gives customers an added level of trust in your business). Or perhaps there is a local, industry-based organization you can join. And, of course, there are always industry trade shows, conferences, and conventions.
We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention online networking. LinkedIn is the most generic professional networking site available. Connect with those you’ve done business with, join some groups, and seek out business owners nearby. And although Facebook is not necessarily a professional platform, there are industry-specific professional groups for you to join.
You’ll get empathy from your peers.
Even if you’re working with someone in a different professional field, it’s quite likely you’ve found yourself in similar situations. Like managing business finances and HR issues, or the stress of tax season and audits. We’ve all been there, so we understand what it takes to deal with these situations.
And it’s not only empathy for the hard times, it’s also celebrating the excitement of business growth, the pride of receiving awards and recognition, and commemorating business milestones. It’s laughing over how (or where) your business started, or perhaps an embarrassing mishap with a client.
While empathy from other business owners and employees won’t necessarily increase the bottom line, sometimes it’s nice to be reminded that others are facing the same struggles and triumphs that we face every day.
You can help support the local economy.
With nearly every business having their own website, it’s easy to do business with companies across the US—or even globally. However, sometimes you want to do business with a marketing company near you. You don’t have to understand much beyond Economics 101 to know that when you do business with local companies, you’re putting your money back in the pockets of people in your community, from the business owners to their employees.
You’ll get increased referrals from a trusted source.
Granted, this applies to small or large businesses, but sometimes you’ll get increased referrals from fellow small business owners because they empathize with you, you’ve networked with them, and you’ve supported their business efforts. Referrals like this can often mean more to consumers because a lot of people like supporting small businesses over large-scale corporations.
Don’t believe us?
It’s estimated that on Small Business Saturday in 2015, more than 95 million people shopped at small businesses3. Yes, this is a special occasion, a “shopping holiday,” if you will. But those numbers don’t lie. Americans like supporting small businesses. Sometimes they just need a little encouragement, like referrals from you and your professional peers.
We love doing business with small businesses.
Our customers range from sole proprietors to global corporations. We welcome inquiries from any and all business or organizations. As a small business, though, we get where our fellow small business owners and employees are coming from. While we can’t offer discounts because of your business size or professional affiliation, we can offer honest customer service, professional knowledge, and empathy if you need it.
We’re On The Ball Promotions, and we’re promotional products experts. Our personalized promotional items advertise your business in a practical way. Find the best giveaways for your business at OnTheBallPromotions.com.
1 U.S. Small Business Administration, 2012 census numbers
2 A nonemployer refers to a business owner who has no paid employees.