So today, November 27th is Small Business Saturday, put on by your friends at American Express (the same folks that cut small business credit lines, and canceled accounts last year when we needed it the most). According to their Facebook page, "first there was Black Friday, then Cyber Monday. This year, November 27th is the first ever Small Business Saturday, a day to support the local businesses that create jobs, boost the economy and preserve neighborhoods around the country. Small Business Saturday is a national movement to drive shoppers to local merchants across the U.S. More than a dozen advocacy, public and private organizations have already joined American Express OPEN, the companyâ€™s small business unit, in declaring the Saturday after Thanksgiving as Small Business Saturday." Let me see, people are suppose to come into my store and buy, not because we have what they want, but because we are a small business.Â This is going to "drive shoppers to local merchants." So now we have Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, followed by Cyber Monday. How exciting! Special day's to tell us where to shop. Big stores for Black Friday, small stores for Small Biz Saturday, and online merchants Monday.Â Thank you Santa!
Today Seth Godin had a post that dovetails with this. The post is titled, "Your noise is still noise". Seth say's, "I was talking to a colleague about all the noise out there in the world, all the messages, ads, announcements, pitches and friend requests. 'And you're sending even more every day into that maelstrom.' 'No we're not,' she said. 'Ours isn't noise.' Yes it is."
The bottom line is this. People will shop with you if you have what they want, at a price they like, inÂ a location they are willing to visit. Having someone tell me I should shop somewhere that's inconvenient to get to, get an item that's not quite what I wanted, at prices higher than I want to pay is good for the neighborhood, turns me off. And I'm a small business!
We are entering a whole new era of noise. Got to have a web page, Facebook page, Twitter account, blog, local newspaper ad, television ad, radio ad, yellow pages ad, IPhone apps., IPad apps., cars with ads printed all over them, tattoo's of company logos, wacky inflatable arm waving guy's, etc., etc.,etc......
How do you get attention in this environment? Maybe the answer is less noise? Maybe less noise will now be what starts to get the attention we are all striving for. What would happen if less advertising brought us more business? Is it possible? What if reduced hours, and times of operation not only brought more business but kept the sanity of the small business owner intact. What if we didn't have to yell so loud to be noticed? What if we sold stuff that compelled people to come to our stores and shop, not just because we're "small"? What if less really equaled more?