Independents Week is coming July 1-7, and it provides an opportunity to get your community engaged with your local businesses. Created by the American Independent Business Alliance (AMIBA), the national campaign is celebrated at the local level by small business alliances and associations across the country. Independents Week puts buyers in touch with local businesses to build relationships and awareness, as well as shift spending behavior. The AMIBA offers free tips, suggestions and promotional templates to help independent retailers start campaigns.
If you are part of a local business association, that is a good place to start. If not, you may want to organize a steering committee to spread tasks and generate ideas, rather than shouldering the organizing duties yourself. If you have been considering launching an Independent Business Alliance or Buy Local Campaign in your community, Independents Week is a great vehicle for testing the idea.
Local association or not, you need to sign up for Independents Week and start using the marketing collateral provided by AMIBA. The next step is to reach out to your fellow local business owners and encourage them to use the marketing materials and perhaps agree on a community wide deal. Then, start advising your customers of the upcoming event, and put together an email with a list of participating stores and dates.
One of the best ways a small business can use social media, not only for this campaign but year round, is by sharing product images with fans. Post images to Facebook regularly, before and during Independents Week. Documenting your experiences during Independents Week will encourage people to come out and show their support. Ask shoppers if you can take their pictures, and photograph your employees in action. Make sure your store atmosphere is fun and inviting. Offer light refreshments and a daily raffle or contest for free items.
Organizing Independents Week in your community is simplified with AMIBA’s how-to guide, free templates for media outreach, promotional materials and more. The association also provides a handy planning guide to help you get ready. In addition, AMIBA invites business owners with questions about the campaign to call them at 406-582-1255. Click here to get started planning your Independents Week, and help your community celebrate its independents.