So, I’ve been doing what I do (web design, social media & e-mail marketing for small business) full time for two years. I didn’t get here without tons of support from my community (not to mention my clients!). So, I wanted to show my appreciation by throwing a party. To celebrate my one-year anniversary, I did a small little something out of my home and only my clients were invited. This year, I wanted to go BIGGER. I wanted to celebrate my community and THEIR accomplishments. I wanted to support other small businesses. And I wanted to give back. And so, Journey to Success: Two Years in the Making, a charity-networking-storytelling event, was born!
It was a nearly sold-out shindig (not too shabby for my first bash at this type of…bash…if I may say so myself!) and I had a great response when I put out the call for storytellers who wanted to share their entrepreneurial tales at my live event. It wasn’t easy, but from the dozen or so submissions I received, I selected three to share their personal Journeys to Success live. (For those of you who missed it or are not local, the three live storytellers’ narratives will be published here over the next several weeks, along with some of the other submissions.)
How I Supported Other Small Businesses and How You Can, Too!
In addition to putting some of my fellow small business owners in the spotlight as storytellers and giving others the opportunity to network, I tried to find a variety of ways of supporting other small businesses in the process. Here’s what I came up with:
- Venue: Instead of renting a room at a big chain hotel, I chose a little corner café just the right size for my soirée – Journey Café in Audubon, NJ.
- Food: Rather than purchasing packaged foods from national brands at the grocery store, I opted to have Chef Kim’s Kitchen cater, which uses mostly locally sourced ingredients and Cupcakes by Ruth! provided little baked pieces of heaven for me and my guests.
- Beverages: All my selections (♫ bottles of white…bottles of red…perhaps some bottles of rosé instead ♫) came from local wineries (Wagonhouse and Heritage Vineyards).
- Event Planner: In addition to saving my sanity, I supported small biz by hiring local event planner Stacy L. McGuigan (who was bleepin’ amazing, by the way)
- Sponsors: I had a great mix of local, small business sponsors supporting the event – I made sure to shout from the social media rooftops about how wonderful I thought they were!
I firmly believe that by supporting one another, small businesses and entrepreneurs are able to compete more effectively with our larger counterparts. Now more than ever, it’s essential that we work together!
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How do you, in ways large or small, support other small businesses in your community?
Please share in the comments below!