This is why you should support your local businesses..

Six Reasons to Shop Local

“A small business is part of the heartbeat of the larger community” – Ellen Thrasher, associate administrator for the Department of Entrepreneurship at the Washington, D.C.-based U.S. Small Business Administration.

1. Strengthen Your Local Economy

Each dollar you spend at independent businesses is likely to return 3 times more money to your local economy than one spent at a chain (Amiba). When you shop at local small businesses, tax money is staying in your town. Additionally, with each small local business comes an opportunity for growth and advancement for a bigger business. Think about corporations like Nike or Ben and Jerry’s, they each started with one locally owned store which eventually turned into a bigger economic development. Small businesses that grow into large businesses often remain in the community in which the business was first established. (smallbusiness.chron.com).

2. Job Availability

Not only do independent businesses employ more people directly per dollar of revenue, they also are the customers of local printers, accountants, wholesalers, farms, attorneys, etc., expanding opportunities for local entrepreneurs. Also as previously mentioned, having a large corporation headquartered in a community can further help provide employment and stimulate the local economy. Think about it – when you spend money at a local store, it is likely going into the paycheck of your friends, families or neighbors. Thereafter, they will also shop in their community stores causing a “chain-reaction” of local success.

3. Community Well-Being

Supporting local business not only helps economic development, but also helps establish social relationships among community members. Many local businesses are not only owned, but also operated first-hand by the owner who most likely is invested in building relationships with community members. And as the customer, you’ll feel a sense of satisfaction when you walk into a small business and the owner calls you by name. These days, shopping is as much about the product that you are buying as it is about the relationships and transaction at the shop.

4. Environmental Sustainability

Local stores help to sustain vibrant, compact, walkable town centers-which in turn are essential to reducing sprawl, automobile use, habitat loss, and air and water pollution (ISLR.org). They are people-sized and consume less land and resources in order to function. Another point to be made is that with the local businesses, usually the owners also live in that community. Therefore, they will be more likely to follow an environmentally conscious business model in order to keep their own neighborhood safe.

5. Local Support

Local businesses are more likely to participate in fundraisers held by community members, or even sponsor events and sports teams. For example, if the local soccer team is in need of a sponsor for an upcoming tournament, they are more likely to go to a local business versus a large corporation like Walmart. Therefore, by shopping at local, small businesses, you are indirectly helping those organizations.

Additionally, a thriving local business will generate high levels of revenue, which means that the business will pay higher taxes, including local taxes. This money is then used for local police and fire departments as well as schools (smallbusiness.chron.com).

6. Product Diversity

Leading the way for local entrepreneurs to get their ideas on the market, small local businesses are more likely to offer that “one-of-a-kind” product that you might not be able to find at a bigger wholesale store. A multitude of small businesses, each selecting products based, not on a national sales plan, but on their own interests and the needs of their local customers, guarantees a much broader range of product choice (ISLR.org). Having that originality in small-town, local business also gives your community it’s own style or flair. Tourists from other areas will appreciate the uniqueness that these types of stores have to offer.

Top Benefits of Social Media Marketing

“Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the stories you tell.”

-Seth Godin

 

1. Increased Brand Awareness

Traditional techniques for increasing brand awareness are known to draw your company wallet quite quickly. With the readily available tool known as social media, you can create an awareness campaign for your brand at little or NO cost. In addition, according to a report published by Texas Tech University, brands who engage on social media channels enjoy higher loyalty from their customers. Another study published by Convince&Convert found that 53% of Americans who follow brands in social are more loyal to those brands (Forbes).

2. Distribute Content

Readily available status updates, tweets, Instagram posts are all awaiting your use. Get you content out there quickly and easily to your followers! Announce your upcoming specials, a new product launch, or simply post a funny article you read the other day to get your customers talking. For a more pin-pointed approach, utilize features such as Facebook Ads to to have your posts seen by more users on the network.

3. Learn About Your Audience

Which brings me to my next point – TARGETING YOUR AUDIENCE… It’s never been easier with today’s technology. With the previously mentioned Facebook ads, you can boost from your page and target the boost to reach a particular demographic of location, age, gender, or interest. Use the engagement statistics on Facebook to help you understand who is viewing your posts, when they are viewing it, and at what type of post most attracts them to your page. Additionally, strike up conversation with your viewers. You’ll be surprise how much your followers, engagement level, and clickthrough rate will increase when you start mentioning others and directing the spotless elsewhere every once in a while.

4. Increase Sales

Every post you make on social media platform is an opportunity for customers to convert. Every blog post, image, video, tweet, comment you share is a chance for someone to notice you, which could lead to a site visit and eventually a conversion (Forbes). Not only does social media help you direct people to your website, but the more social media shares you receive, the higher your search ranking will be (Hootsuite).

5. Improve Customer Service

Social media for business gives you instant access to positive or negative feedback, which provides you with valuable insights on the customer perspective (Cisnero). If you have a new product launching and you post in on social media, with the responses of your followers you have instant feedback which helps you in the long run. Another way social media helps with your customer service is that it allows you as a business to create meaningful relationship with customers. You are able to build a sense of rapport with them through actively engaging in conversations. As previously mentioned, utilize the engagement statistics on your social media platform to understand your audience and best serve them.

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Here is why font choice is important for your website!

 

 

It’s called typography. The art and technique of arranging type to make written language readable and appealing. Dated back to the early 17th century it has been used in many countries by many languages for many reasons. You see it everywhere you look; magazines, billboards, books, on your cell phone, in your mail, on your box of cereal, stitched into your favorite jacket, on a website.

Typography and the font-faces we choose have a huge impact on multiple aspects of our website including readability, mood, perceived article length, user experience and much, much more. In order to properly portray the vision and mood of the website, it is essential that website designers know and understand the different principles (source: webinsation).

So… let’s talk about first impression. First impressions are lasting impressions. Whether we are talking about shaking someones hand, greeting them on a phone call, or an individual visiting your website. Something you may not realize is that typography helps to create an experience on a website before the visitors ever even click a button or read a word. The treatment of type creates an atmosphere and elicits a response much the same way as tone of voice does (source: smashing magazine). In saying that, typography can be said to establish the personality of the website.

Take the example of a resume. If you were an employer, which candidate would you be more likely to pass on for an interview?

Candidate A:

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OR

Candidate B:

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Based on the look and feel of even the very first sentence of their resume you are most likely going to go with candidate B. The clean and clear font looks professional and conveys a distinguished mood helping you to feel the credibility behind their voice.

Let’s take an example of a logo. Imagine you find yourself unfortunately in need of a lawyer. Would you rather…

Candidate A:

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OR

Candidate B:

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Most likely if you’re seeking someone to represent you in a court of law you’re going to want someone who looks like they know what their doing. Something as simple as the typeface of a logo can be the deciding factor between two potential candidates.

Alright, so we based on the two above examples we know that typography is very influential, but let’s talk again about your website. When potential clients first lay eyes on your page, you want to give the best first impression possible by setting the tone. Check out this College Humor video on how fonts give personality:

 

 

Anyways, one thing to keep in mind when choosing a font is legibility. And with the evolution of multiple device viewing, you’re going to want your webpage to look the same across all tablets, PCs, Macs, iPhones, etc. In other words, you’re going to want the fonts on your website to be responsive no matter which device it is being viewed on.

Traditionally, below is a list of fonts that are widely known as “web safe” because you can use them without embedding a font code in CSS.

Serif Fonts  

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Sans-Serif Fonts

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Monospace Fonts
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In conclusion, when picking out a font for you website it can be quite overwhelming. You want something interesting and detailed that gives you credibility while still being edgy and hip. Be on the lookout for the things mentioned in this post (legible, responsive, etc), and remember the list of traditional fonts above as a safe zone when you’re not exactly sure what may or may not work for you.

Check out this article for more information: Web Font Typography