This is the time of year when the airwaves, newspaper and internet are full of hype for that wonderful event, Black Friday. All the big boys are busy promoting, advertising and hoping for huge crowds and record setting sales. For years, us little guys sat in the background hoping to pick up a few scraps and knowing we did not have the ad budget to go up against the big retailers.
But over the course of the last few years, a second, albeit smaller, event has cropped up–Small Business Saturday.
It’s kind of funny, in a way. You see, as a smaller (one might even say tiny) retailer, I know that a lot of small retailers hold a bit of distaste for American Express, mostly because AMEX has the highest processing rates, at least for small business. So it is a little ironic that AMEX is the brains behind starting and promoting Small Business Saturday.
At any rate, I love the attention Small Business Saturday is bringing to us little guys. You see, we don’t have much of an advertising budget. What little budget we had, well, the economic conditions of the past 4,5,6 years have taken care of that! We really rely upon a good location, recommendations from past clients, friends, family and a tiny bit of money spent on a website and social media to bring in new clients. So we will take any help we can get.
I’m in my 19th year Christmas season as a retail picture framer. It’s stressful and busy. But it’s fun to take “nothing” (a cheap piece of tourist art, for example) and turn it into “something” (a really nice framed gift for your wife). It’s fun to see the look on the face of a client at pick up–someone who could not visualize what he or she picked out but trusted you to do a good job and is thrilled with the end product. Once in awhile we get a difficult or even unreasonable client, sure. But we can usually turn that around and create a happy customer.
We love what we do here at Frame Minnesota Eagan and we are darn good at it. We are in a small industry with a niche product—studies show something like 15% of Americans have ever had a custom frame made for their home. It isn’t an easy way to make a living and we could always use your business. In case you are wondering, yes there still is an economic pinch going on. But if you are in the market, our prices are competitive and our service excellent.
During those 19 years, I’ve met 100’s, probably 1000’s of small business owners. The vast majority of them really, really care about what they do and do an excellent job at it. They tend to support other small businesses. They tend to be charitable and involved in their community. They tend to give back. Treat them with respect and they’ll probably do back flips trying to please you. We are supporting families, buying houses and cars, and putting kids through school, just like you.
So as you put together those holiday shopping lists this year, please try and include at least a few small businesses along the way. If you need some good recommendations, I can wholeheartedly recommend many of the businesses right here at Cliff Lake Center in Eagan.
So, please support your locally owned retailers this Saturday, Small Business Saturday, November 30. And don’t forget about us the rest of the year, too.
P.S. We have a small supply of tote bags to give away on Saturday while supplies last.
P.S.S. In the interest of full disclosure, Frame Minnesota Eagan is a franchisee of Frame Minnesota USA. We are a Minnesota corporation wholly owned and operated by Tami Phillippi. Because of our franchise affiliation, we do not qualify for the AMEX statement credit and cannot register on the AMEX website. But we are small…just two employees.