Who are you? What do you actually do?
What do you care about?
Do you do anything to ‘do good’?
How are you connected to your local community?
What are your values and ethics?
How are you making your business more sustainable?
As money becomes tighter, visitors think more about how they spend their precious income.
Some visitors will turn to chain businesses because they think they’re trustworthy, and offer a standardised product.
Many others are turning their back on faceless chains, away from corporate giants, and businesses that might not really care.
They could turn to your business.
There's a real trend toward supporting 'purpose-driven' businesses - those with a strong ethical focus or aligned to the same values as their clients.
I saw some recent research that suggested 64% of consumers will buy or boycott a brand depending on a social or political issue. Other research suggested that consumers are 4 times more likely to purchase from a business with a strong sense of purpose - beyond simply making money.
What does this mean for you?
Most of the tourism and hospitality clients I work with are independent small businesses. They're all run by people who (mostly) enjoy what they do, don't want to rip people off, care about their local area, and want their customers to have a good time. This might sound simple and obvious. But consider for a moment - do all businesses think like that? They don't.
You are probably doing something that not everyone does. If you can answer some of the questions at the beginning of this blog, there is a good chance that you can easily differentiate your business from others, stand above others and help make visitors feel good about spending their money with you.
Some visitors are starting to feel uneasy about spending money when they know that their friends are unable to do so. They still want to spend but need to feel comfortable about doing so. They're more likely to do this when they know they are supporting a small business that cares, a business that also supports a local community, a cause or helps to protect the environment.
Many small business owners don't want to talk about their community work, the small actions they take to be more sustainable, or even their hobbies and interests. They either think they're not doing anything remarkable, or they think they're not doing enough. But even small things make a difference, both to your local area and to visitors. They help make connections.
What can you do?
Think about your responses to some of the questions at the beginning of this blog. Could you write about them somewhere on your website? Could you perhaps add a blog or explain more on your 'about' page? Could you mention some of them in social media posts?
By doing so, you're not just telling people about your business, and what makes you tick. You'll help visitors feel better about spending money with you, and in turn encourage them to support local communities and other small businesses.