>On Friday, about twenty GoLocal business members met for breakfast.
The GoLocal campaign is all about promoting the benefits of purchasing local products and services, and of course we all want local consumers to patronize our businesses. We also need to examine our businesses’ buying behaviors, and maximize our own opportunities to Shop Local.
We first did a quick inventory of all the types of businesses represented in the room, which were recorded on a 4′ by 8′ foot drawing of a stylized commercial street. We also brainstormed the types of products and services we purchase in the regular course of doing business and added these to the chart. We used two colors of sticky dots to indicate which services and products we typically purchase from a locally-owned company and which ones we do not.
Viewing the final chart, it was easy to see that some kinds of services readily lend themselves to Going Local: haircuts, auto repair, catering. For others, there are significant barriers such as cost, availability, limited selection, and convenience. In many cases we just don’t know about a local option. The group brainstormed ways to overcome these barriers and make it easier for us all to Go Local. Solutions include starting small; building relationships; cross-promoting with other local businesses; using the Go Local brand and local; and simply asking local vendors to carry or order what you need.