How we can use our purses & voices to vote for the new beginning we really want.
Supporting and working with small micro businesses over the last few months has been a privilege and inspiration. Facing some of the worst financial and emotional days of their lives, they have been phenomenally positive, proactive & brave.
As I read somewhere this week, there are silver linings for those who choose to look for them.
After weeks of crisis management, shock & awe there is now a move towards new beginnings. This is a critical moment to get operations, marketing & communication right. There is hope, fear & opportunity all around.
What has been significant during lockdown has been the impact of small, micro business on people’s lives and communities. Time and again, we have read and seen stories about how micro business owners have given back, given away, supported and gone out of their way to ensure that their businesses are at the centre of food distribution, mental health & wellbeing support, uplifting entertainment & gifts, PPE production and more.
It’s at this moment that we can ask the crucial question – what sort of new beginning do we want?
So many have said that they don’t want to go back to their previous lives fully but to adapt and change to maintain some of the joy and rest that they have discovered. Doesn’t that include the way we buy, use and connect with small, micro business?
Given that these businesses have been so inspiring and generous and made such a huge difference to so many lives & communities, it seems clear that we start to consistently vote with our purses and voices.
Small, micro business in Britain isn’t just a groups of lifestyle business that we might buy from at a Farmer’s Market or for a special gift. Micro business number well over 5 million in the UK (recent government support has left over a 3rd of them to fall through the net) and make up 96% of all private business and are integral in our economy.
They offer a long list of advantages that go far beyond a simple transaction:
- They provide a valuable contribution to local economies
- They often use short, ethical supply chains
- They put people first from exceptional customer service to paying the living wage
- They tend to take a planet first approach from reducing waste to avoiding single use plastic
- They’re often the most innovative businesses out there, providing new, exciting and nimble services.
- They give back to their communities consistently
- They build giving back into their business operations – being at the forefront of pay it forward schemes & charity donations
- They make up our most valuable & precious High Street experiences
- Their priority is service, quality and dedication, not profit & mass production
- They provide sustainable, balanced employment for many
- They contribute to the wellbeing of those they work with and sell to
- They are at the forefront of mental health support at work
- The list goes on…
So as you plan your new beginning, think about the new beginnings around you and how your purse, your feet, voice & your keyboard clicks are a vote for the new beginning we all want.