Shop Local. Stay Loyal.
Small businesses just don’t have it good right now. Their numbers are dwindling at faster rates, and they’ve had to lay off employees and cut back on hours. The government has passed no substantive legislation that benefits them. Where were the bailouts for 99% of American Business?
Small businesses (think mom and pop stores and all your main street hang outs) are facing their hardest challenges in this tough economy. When everybody hurts, everybody hurts. People no longer have homes, jobs, and income. We are all just scrapping by waiting for that magical post-Depression moment when the economy becomes “good” again. In the meantime we do everything we can survive, which means stretching every dollar we have. Unfortunately that means making purchasing decisions at large box stores, corporations, and franchises; often times sacrificing quality.
Who is going to go to their local grocer and buy some quality, hand cut ham, when they can go to a Wal-Mart and purchase a can of over processed “mystery meat” ? I don’t blame those who do, because we all have to do what we have to do to get by.
Decisions like these most definitely hurt the cash flow streams of local businesses, and when they have less cash, they tend to cut back on expenses, most notably marketing and promoting. I’ve written an article “It’s Hard out here for a Small Business” that details more on why small businesses shouldn’t completely gut away their marketing budget, and what cost effective steps they can to improve business during tough times. The point is tough times lead to a negative feedback loop for small businesses, in that they see decreased sales, cut back on spending, and then reinforce the trend of decreased sales.
To put it succinctly, life is tough, but we got to keep on keeping on.
And that’s where we, at Luvn’ Local, are here for. We’re not claiming to be the panacea for all you woes (we wish we could be) but we’re offering something that can help you during these tough times, at what eventually will be a low price. Not to mention, our platform is sustainable (read: not Groupon) and as it grows, so do you.
The best way to think of us is like this. We’re the airmiles for local shopping. We reward consumers with credits every time they shop locally. After all if they’re contributing back to their local economy, why shouldn’t they be rewarded? Like air miles, our credits are cross-redeemable at any other participating merchant on our platform for promotions, discounts, and other goodies.
For merchants, this translates into higher foot traffic into the store, which turns into higher sales and loyalty from consumers. Best of all, merchants have 100% discretion over their promotions. We also collect useful data and present into valuable insight for the merchants so they know what their consumers are up to, and how to better target them.
We’re not promising 1000 new consumers in a week. That’s what daily deals are for. What we’re promising is a sustainable marketing platform that won’t ruin your reputation, inundate you with uncontrollable customer volume, and require heavy percentage cuts.
Initially, our first network will cover Cambridge, MA but we’re looking to distribute out our platform across the nation as soon as we can. Call us naïve, but we envision a future where our community model has taken root in local economies across the country; sustainable and organically growing. The more money that Luvn’ Local can help keep in your community, the better for everyone.
Stick with us and we’ll help navigate you out of these dark times and hopefully back into prosperity.
Follow Luvn' Local on Twitter: @luvnlocal
Opinions and statements expressed by guest bloggers are theirs alone, not opinions of The Startup America Partnership.