How many customers do you send to other local businesses?
With the Dream Big Grow Here small business grant contest now in full swing, I’m reading many of the comments left on the various dream entry pages with interest. One of these comments happened to catch my eye (screenshot below). It was left from Jenny Ellis, a DJ in the same community as the dreamer applicant. The comment read, “When people ask me for something at my business and I don’t have it I always send them to the Pudgy Pumpkin Patch!”
This got me thinking, how much do business owners refer customers back to one another? In our rural Iowa communities like Red Oak - a Wal-Mart Supercenter can be (and it actually is, in this case) only 20 miles away. Keeping money in our communities and shopping local is of top importance to maintaining vibrancy and economic stability- especially in our small towns (e.g. fight against the ‘Wal-Mart’ effect).
I imagine that having local business owners meet and do business with one another was likely one of the primary reasons behind the forming of local chambers of commerce, trade associations, and other business networking groups. By facilitating connections between local owners, these types of groups can help small communities remain strong.
Do you belong to a business group of any kind? Is it more important for small businesses in rural areas to be engaged with organizations like their local chamber? Have you committed to referring business to other area owners? We’d love to hear your thoughts in our comments section below.
Content contributed by Rob Williams, IASourceLink. IASourceLink is a proud affiliate of U.S. SourceLink, America's largest resource network for entrepreneurs.