Shopping Small

Small businesses rule the economy

Irene Warner, Features Editor

Many people are quick to shop at Amazon and other big company sites for endless products and exceptional prices. Shopping at these companies may be an easy option; however, shopping small is a better choice. Not only are people receiving better quality products, they are directly supporting small business owners.

There are many different places to purchase items from small business owners. They can be found at farmers’ markets, small shops downtown or online. Etsy is an excellent example of this, having millions of sellers with a wide range of products.

Even though Amazon is a big corporation, many small businesses sell their products there. This creates more opportunities for these owners to sell products.

“More than half of everything sold [on] Amazon comes from small and medium-sized businesses,” according to the company’s website.

Selling online has become many people’s only way of income. They work long hours in their homes or workshops to produce quality products. It takes months and even years to get enough money to support themselves without any other income. The lack of income can lead to many owners shutting down their online accounts and having small shops sell their stores.

LendingTree is an “online lending marketplace headquartered in Charlotte, N.C.,” according to its website. “The business platform allows potential borrowers to connect with multiple loan operators to find optimal terms for loans, credit cards, deposit accounts, insurance, etc.” They discuss how nearly 20 percent of businesses fail.

“Nearly one in five U.S. businesses fail within the first year, according to the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS),” the May 2 article stated. “With 32.5 million small businesses across the nation, some are undoubtedly bound to fail, whether small or large.”

It is hard to last as a small business owner in this day and age. There are many larger companies everywhere, so there is always competition. Competition with lower prices from other stores makes it hard to attract customers. People don’t always understand why prices at small local shops are so high. The price of these items depends on the expenses for supplies, the time it takes to make them, and how popular that product is. On top of that, no big factories are making the product for them. They will usually make it themselves with supplies they own. Promoting a business can become difficult. Promoting can be done through signs, social media, word of mouth as well as various other ways. Even though small companies have started using social media and big flashy signs, it doesn’t mean they will immediately gain customers. Products, aesthetics, prices and convenience all play a big part in this.

Once businesses gain more publicity, their popularity will slowly increase. There will be many one-time customers, but around 30 percent of consumers will shop again. Having loyal customers is an incredible feeling for business owners. As regulars shop and buy gifts, the person receiving the gift would be more inclined to shop at the small business. When they receive and like the gift, they will most likely become another loyal customer.

During the holiday season, many small business owners get many more customers eager to buy from them. Days like Small Business Saturday and Black Friday are just a few examples. Shops will start to have Christmas sales and many Christmas products. Holidays like these are one of the busiest times for these small business owners.

Across-the-board shopping small is such a great option for anyone, anywhere. Some will shop small online while others may shop small in person. In the end, both dramatically help support business owners online and in communities.