For this Merchant, Growth and Giving Go Hand in Hand
Giving back to local communities is a staple of small businesses. In fact, 55 percent of all charitable donations in the United States come from family-run companies.
But did you also know that at least half of consumers are willing to pay more to buy from a company that gives back in some way?
Maybe that explains the success of Apothecary Off Main and The Man Shop – a multi-site business with locations in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Vista, California – run by Traci Lawson.
As a first-time entrepreneur, Traci has grown from one site to three in just three years…and she’s done it while always finding ways to support her local community.
Lucky for us, she is sharing the wealth for Small Business Saturday. Here’s her blueprint for how she continues to expand while giving back.
Use these tips to spread goodwill in your city this holiday season, and even attract more customers in the process.
Host #ShopSmall parties
How does an oasis of only the best American-made products sound?
If you could bring together enough local businesses with your same business values, you could donate proceeds and have a party with everyone’s customers.
Traci says, “I have friends here that will do house parties and pull together local vendors.”
Each of Traci’s locations has offerings like high-quality personal items, plant-based cleaning products, essential oils, scented `candles, incense, and even natural remedies for pain.
“It’s honest. I wouldn’t sell anything that I wouldn’t use myself,” she says.
Sponsor holiday-themed events
Could your store function as a pop up? If it’s powered by NCR Silver like Traci’s, it can.
“We try to participate in any big, local charity events that are happening, like ‘Beneath the Wreath’ in Grand Rapids,” she says. “We get to have a mini pop up shop and fifteen percent of proceeds go back to the special community projects that they were doing.”
Traci brings along NCR Silver so she can be fully mobile. “NCR Silver has been helpful, because when you do charity events, you have to have a receipt for every single transaction.”
So thanks to NCR Silver, she’s able to connect her iPad bundle anywhere the same way she would in her shops.
Join local associations
Care to have your voice heard on important issues that affect your business community?
Traci is a member of the Business Association Board for the city of Vista, and she says one of the other many reasons you could benefit from being active is by way of the opportunities.
“I sponsor any type of event they have. That’s why we when we say giving back, we mean putting money into the community.”
Support local growers
Two for one gourmet spices anyone?
Traci says, “I like to partner with local growers to support community agriculture. They’ll drop off produce at my store, and customers will shop here.”
To boost her own sales, she runs promotions during each special shopping event.
“When I am featuring another vendor, I’ll run specials where they get 20 percent off of all of my spices.”
Buy All American For Small Business Saturday
If you’re going to be in Grand Rapids or Vista today, don’t forget to #ShopSmall at Apothecary Off Main and The Man Shop. They’re open from 11AM-6PM.
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