You get what you measure. That is, anything you actually go to the trouble to keep records on, you will pay more attention to and likely improve. If you make yourself write down everything you eat, you’ll find yourself feeling accountable. You’ll actually eat less or eat better things so you won’t be embarrassed to write them down.
If you actually wrote down on your calendar the dollar amount of every purchase you made locally, you’d start to find excuses to buy local, just so you could write it on the calendar. You’d find yourself trying to increase your weekly or monthly totals, if you tracked them.
So why not get everyone in town doing that? Start a campaign to get people to write on their calendars every local purchase.
Help me brainstorm more ways to make something of this:
- Encourage them to report in weekly on your Facebook page.
- Print up an info sheet and put it in with the free advertising calendars that the bank and co-op give away.
- Work with the bank and co-op to get custom calendars for next year that provide a special place for weekly and monthly totals.
- Work with merchants to get every retail clerk to remind everyone every time they make a purchase, “Don’t forget to write this on your Buy Local calendar.”
When we brainstormed this over on Google +, more good ideas came out:
John Blue suggested:
“Hand out local badges to customers, like badges of honor, showing support of local purchase.”
You could extend this to be stickers. Then clerks could hand customers a sticker to put on their calendar.
Justin McCullough suggested:
“Could do a local map like a monopoly board game, with local merchants in the squares for park place, board walk etc, and shopping there, the merchant signs you off for their location. Get signatures in all locations and get prizes and special raffles and be on the buy local hall of fame at the chamber of commerce or something.”
Vikki Baptiste suggested:
“I was also envisioning some kind of a punch card system, more like a “calendar punch” – but then it would have to be more of a pocket calendar than a wall calendar. Could you maybe offer rewards for Most Consistent Local Shopper, something like a FourSquare perk? Have a “Local Shopper of the Month” award, with prizes donated by local businesses?”
There are a lot more shop local ideas in our Shop Local Campaigns for Small Towns ebook.
PS – Invite Becky to speak
If you have an event in the works that calls for an expert speaker (an expert is someone from at least 50 miles away, right?), I have openings on my calendar and I am at least 50 miles from most of you. I can’t solve your problems for you, but I can help pass along some of what we talk about here. Communities have had me come in to keynote annual meetings, tourism conferences, and economic development events. Sometimes, a group of communities has banded together to bring me in. I only do one of these trips per month, so if you’re interested, stop by my rural speaking page.
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Becky started Small Biz Survival in 2006 to share rural business and community building stories and ideas with other small town business people. She and her husband have a small cattle ranch and are lifelong entrepreneurs. Becky is an international speaker on small business and rural topics.