Small businesses are such an important part of our local communities. Not only do they provide services we love, and products we adore; but are vital across the board. According to entrepreneur, best selling author and “Giuliana & Bill” star, Bill Rancic, local small businesses are crucial and are “the ones that are revitalizing main street.” Bill was kind enough to join me recently to share marketing and gift giving tips for small businesses, and discuss Small Business Saturday and how you can contribute!
Candace Rose: How important are local independent businesses to communities?
Bill Rancic: “They’re vital. Small businesses are really the ones that are revitalizing main street. They’re hiring people who live in the community. They’re sponsoring the local soccer and baseball and football teams. It’s important that this holiday season we recognize them and we celebrate them and we’re really conscious of where we’re spending our dollars.”
Candace Rose: Do you have any marketing tips for small businesses this holiday season?
Bill Rancic: “Absolutely. I’ve partnered with AT&T and we’re trying to give small businesses some good advice, and I’ve got three quick tips for everybody!
1) If you’re a small business, embrace that notion. You’re able to do things that the big business can’t, and provide customer service like no one else. You can establish ties in the community, you can work with the local TV and radio stations to help promote your business. Use that as a positive rather than a negative.
2) Secondly, embrace technology. By doing that, you have to go social. I have a father-in-law, he’s 75 and he just opened up a men’s clothing store in D.C., he’s on Twitter, he’s on Facebook. He’s on LinkedIn. He’s connecting with his customers in ways he never thought was possible.
3) Thirdly, you’ve got to go mobile. This holiday season, we are going to spend more money online for holiday gifts than we’ve ever spent before. So if you’re a small business owner, make sure your website is mobile friendly. Make sure you can take payments easily. You want to make it as easy as possible for customers to utilize your services and buy your products.”
Candace Rose: Do you have any suggestions when it comes to gift giving?
Bill Rancic: “Well, you’ve got to be creative, and that’s the great thing about about a small business. Typically, they’re going to offer you products that you can’t find at the big box store. They’re able to source out locally owned- whether it’s toys or crafts or food items that you can get. Talk to the business owner. Just because it’s not on the shelf, doesn’t mean they can’t do it. As a small business owner, we’re very agile and we want to make our customers are happy, and we’re able to do things that the big stores won’t do.”
Candace Rose: Can you tell us about the annual Small Business Saturday initiative?
Bill Rancic: “This is something that’s been going on for a handful of years now. It’s really the Saturday to recognize small businesses to encourage people to spend their money at that small business. It’s something that’s done very well. Small businesses have done well, but more importantly we’ve been able to educate consumers and let them know the value of a small business owner. Knowledge is power, and when they realize how valuable those dollars are to that small business and to their community, they’re more likely to continue to visit that small business owner.”
Candace Rose: Well, thank you so much, Bill…we appreciate it. Where can we go for more information?
Bill Rancic: “You can go to Facebook.com/ATTSmallBiz.”