So our inboxes, social media feeds and adverts are full of hype about Black Friday - the promise of massive discounts, one-off deals, and great savings. Well as a tiny local business we simply can't compete both on pricing, and for the attention of customers as we don't have the cash to do so. But what we can do is offer you a carefully curated collection of unique products made right here in Scotland, something that you won't find in mainstream shops!
At the Braw Wee Emporium, we work with over 70 other small businesses, providing them with a platform to sell their products to our customers that visit us here in the Barras and through our online shop. We try to shop as locally as we can for our materials and supplies, so this probably involves at least another 20 local suppliers that we spend the money we earn on.
A couple of years ago I did some rough calculations on what the impact would be if each of our Facebooks likes spent just £10 at the Emporium this month, and it was quite an eye-opener on how much of an impact that could have! So I've decided to do a similar exercise this year, as our audience as almost trebled since then!
Facebook Likes - 3109 @ £10 per head would give us a turnover of £31,090. Impressive number, eh! On average around 60% of our income goes back to the makers, artists, musicians, suppliers a total of £18,654, which would mean approx. £265 per supplier - which could cover the cost of their rent, studio, bills for a month.
The remaining £12,436 would allow us to pay our overhead costs (rent, bills, insurances etc) for a whole year, leaving us with roughly £4K to invest in new stock or employ someone on Living Wage for about 14 weeks.
While all these numbers are fantastic, the impact is so much more than that! By shopping locally there are many more benefits - here are just a few of them!
- It keeps our communities unique: Supporting local businesses means that you have more choice on your doorstep. The unique businesses and individuals that run them are an integral part of the distinctive character of a place – the Barras is the perfect example of this, but we need customers to spend money to keep going.
- Buy Local – Support yourself: Several studies have shown that when you buy from an independent, locally owned business, rather than nationally owned businesses, significantly more of your money is used to make purchases from other local businesses and service providers that help to strengthen the economic base of the community. For example, We get our DIY bits and bobs from Bills Tools or Pearsons, our breakfast rolls from the Rumbling Tum, our material from Fabric Bazaar, our sugary fixes from Glickman’s Confectionery and our after work pints from A' Challtainn, St Luke's or the Hielan Jessie.
- Buy what you want, not what someone wants you to buy: A small business will select its products based on the needs of their local customers and their interests rather than on a national sales plan. A marketplace for small businesses can help ensure innovation and low prices over the long-term, and a much broader range of product choices. We can also respond to requests from customers – just ask!
- Reduce environmental impact: We make more local purchases which require less transportation (one of our suppliers makes deliveries on her bike).
So why not chose to support your local independent this Black Friday, don't have them breaking the bank trying to compete with those big faceless companies.
Looking for a few things you can spend your tenners on?