You’ve probably heard me say this one before:
The best way to save your town is to start your own small business.
I have four reasons that back that up:
- You’ll decide what values to put first
- More small businesses means more jobs*
- Locally-owned businesses are the key to local prosperity*
- You’ll return more of what you earn to the local economy*
*Research-backed conclusions. Read more here: Want to help save your small town? Start your own business.
Now I have a fifth reason, and it’s a bit deeper.
Buying and selling requires us to talk to each other.
Community happens when people talk to each other. We’re rebuilding social capital while we’re chatting over a purchase. I see value in building bonds like this.
And there’s a deeper level.
Selling something requires us to think about other people.
We have to think about what other people will like, what they will buy. That is thinking about another person’s perspective. That’s a valuable skill. I’ve been considering lately how many large challenges we face as a society that come down to not thinking from other people’s perspectives. Our communities could use more empathy.
So you’ll be hearing me say this one now:
Local commerce rebuilds community.
I got started thinking about this aspect of selling because we’re working on our January webinar: The Future of Retail for small towns. It’s open if you want to sign up now.
Keep shaping the future of your town,
PS – If you follow me on Twitter (@BeckyMcCray) you might have caught my tweets from #OKRD17 – my local Oklahoma Rural Economic Development conference. Jordyn Frazier wrote up a great summary of the conference here. Lots of good take-aways whether or not you’re in Oklahoma and whether or not you’re on Twitter.