Sunday, August 4, 2013

Shop Local Tuesday

Supporting local businesses has always been something that is important to me. As I watched my parents business grow through the years, I observed the relationships they had built and the loyalty many customers had to the brand. My heart has always been in small business and always will be. I am almost to the year and a half mark since I bought my business, Urban Decanter, and I am ready to roll up my sleeves a little bit more and rock my business.

One of the things I am making a priority with Urban Decanter is networking. Networking is such a valuable tool for a small business. It is how many small businesses thrive and grow. It is how new relationships can be built and a way to find new customers. I have been networking since I took ownership of my business with local wineries, friends, family and customer base. Once I hit the one year mark of ownership I felt like I was ready to add to my networking circle by getting more involved with groups, events and reach out to new people wherever I can. I currently have a small business networking group that meets at Urban Decanter once a month, which is a wonderful group, but I wanted to reach out to all the local small businesses and find a way for us to network.

Talking with a few other Forest Grove Business owners, Kristen at A Framer's Touch and local artist Helvi Smith, I suggested that maybe we can host a shop local event once a week to encourage guests to shop at local businesses. At first I looked at it from a stance of wanting to extend a discount to small business owners and their employees and then we evolved the idea into including everyone. 

This is where Shop Local Tuesday was created.

Shop Local Tuesday is a group of participating businesses in the Forest Grove, Oregon area who are going to offer shopping incentives to their customers for shopping every Tuesday. This will be a way for businesses to offer a little something extra for spending money locally. It will also be a way for businesses to network with each other, and hopefully see some new customers.

Honestly, I love this idea but I am secretly freaking out a little bit. Things that run through my head are: What if this fails? What if someone shoots the idea down? What if it does not take off at all? What if it gets huge and businesses all over want to join?

Well- What do we have to lose? No one ever got anywhere by not giving it a try.

So here I am, along with fellow local businesses, giving it a shot. So far everyone things the idea is a great idea and are happy to participate. So far I have about 7 businesses that are going to start on Tuesday, August 6th. 

If you are interested in following along with our Shop Local Tuesday event, check out our Facebook page here.

Have any ideas? Please suggest away!    

What types of networking do you participate in? What has worked for you? What has not worked for you?