Local heroes: Make It Cheaper CEO and founder Jonathan Elliott explains how and why he's backing Small Business Saturday
Small Business Saturday is happening on 7th December and it's all about giving local businesses a shot in the arm. That's something that I and my company Make It Cheaper want to fully get behind. We're a small business ourselves so we know how difficult it is out there.
For retailers especially, it must sometimes seem like the odds are stacked against them. There are all sorts of reasons why the number of shoppers is dwindling, but what consumers need to know is that it's worth the effort to get out there on their high street.
Local stores can often offer a superior product to a bigger competitor, they often have expert knowledge and give you that personal touch - and they're often much more competitive on price than we're led to believe. Perhaps most importantly the money consumers spend in smaller shops stays in the area, boosting the local economy -theirlocal economy.
Retailers need to make the very most of this opportunity - if you can make your costs cheaper, your sales are more meaningful because more of what you take at the till finds its way to profit
There are so many compelling reasons for people to buy locally, and hopefully this is the nudge in the right direction they need.
This has clearly worked in America and has had a sustained effect, so there's no reason whatsoever why it can't be replicated here. There's quite a lot of time before 7th December, so my message to shop owners is to start taking measures that mean you make the very most of this opportunity.
If all goes to plan, there will be lots of people spending lots of money on Small Business Saturday - and that's great - but retailers will be missing a trick if they don't make every penny count.
And I mean this in a very practical sense - find out what you're paying for things like electricity, gas, chip and pin fees, telecoms bills, insurance. Our philosophy as a company that champions small business is that if you can make those things cheaper, your sales are more meaningful because more of what you take at the till finds its way to profit. Your indirect costsdoaffect your margins - and why give money to a supplier unnecessarily when you can keep it in your business?
All that's left to say is good luck to all local retailers on Small Business Saturday. I think as a nation that cares about our high streets and our communities we all have a duty to get behind it - and that means not only going shopping locally on 7th December, but telling everyone we know - friends, family and colleagues - to do the same.
Jonathan Elliott is Make It Cheaper's CEO and founder. He recognises that small businesses are the lifeblood of the British economy, and is passionate about making it easy for them to save time and money, boost their profits and improve prospects for growth. As a vocal campaigner for fair treatment of SMEs by utility companies, Jonathan collected ‘SME Consumer Champion’ & ‘Most Trusted’ at the 2013 Energy Live Consultancy Awards.
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