March 29 is National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day, so we thought we’d shed a little light onto how this day got started, why it matters, and how to celebrate. w00t!
There are several “official” events each year to celebrate American small business owners, including National Small Business Week and Small Business Saturday. (Bonus: check out our State of Local Retail report to learn how local retailers do on Small Business Saturday vs. Black Friday, and more.)
So, what is National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day, and how can you celebrate it? We’ve got answers.
How National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day got started
Some holidays are merely a marketing stunt, and others actually have an interesting story behind them. The history is pretty simple: Rick and Margie Segel, founded National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day to honor people like his parents, who opened a boutique hat shop in the 1930s and grew it into a 10,000-square-foot retail shop grossing $2 million.
That’s the American dream, right? The promise of gambling a good idea into the marketplace and seeing it pay off is the foundation of U.S. commerce, and it’s a big reason why the nation’s 30 million small businesses account for half of U.S. employment and economic output, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Here’s how to celebrate National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day
You could throw a party, we suppose, but there are plenty of other days for that. And we all know that small business is a lifestyle, so why not celebrate by finding some easy ways to improve your lifestyle?
At Womply, we serve hundreds of thousands of small businesses with a focus on helping them create more valuable customer relationships. So, here are 3 ways you can build better customer relationships to improve your business and lifestyle.
1. Take control of your business’s online reputation
Ever thought about how people decide where to spend money locally? In years past, it was all about word of mouth and traditional advertising in TV, radio, newspapers, billboards, etc. Word of mouth still rules, but it’s moved online.
These days, people use their smartphones to decide where they’ll spend money before they ever set foot in a physical business. So, if you want your business to thrive, take some time on National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day to take control of your “online presence.”
Every small, local business has a presence on sites like Google, Yelp, and more, even if you haven’t created listings. This is because consumers increasingly expect to be able to do a simple “near me” internet search and find what they want.
The good news is that local businesses have never had a better way to attract customers at precisely the time when they’re looking to buy. But, surprisingly, many business owners and operators don’t even claim their free listings (do it today), let alone join the conversations people are already having about their business.
If it seems overwhelming to manage your reputation on a bunch of sites, let Womply help. Our reputation management software (get a free demo) lets you take control of all your reviews in one place with a single internet login. And Womply businesses see a half-star rating increase and make 20% more money on average. That’s something to celebrate!
2. Stop guessing about your customers’ impact on your business
Running a mom and pop business is hard. Most business owners wear many hats and spend most of their time interacting with customers. Despite spending so much time with customers, we’re surprised by how little business owners really know about their customers.
Do you know who your top customers are by how much they spend with you? Do you know how often they visit, and how valuable they are to your bottom line?
Your business is too important to leave to guessing. Thankfully, it’s the digital age and you don’t have to rely on gut instinct anymore. For decades, big companies have been using Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software and business analytics to manage every interaction with customers and see how their business is performing.
Unfortunately, small businesses haven’t had realistic ways to use CRM software because it’s been built for Fortune 500 companies. The good news is that many software companies have started building CRM software for small businesses.
Womply’s CRM software (get a free demo) builds a customer list for you, adds contact info and transaction history, and does it all with minimal or little effort required by the business owner/operator (we know you’re busy).
3. Keep your customers loyal and spending with you
There’s so much competition for customers locally these days, and it’s hard to get new customers. So, once you have a paying customer, you need a way to keep them coming back again and again.
There are lots of ways to do this, including loyalty programs and email marketing. The most successful businesses use a combination of these tactics to stay top of mind after customers leave and give them incentives to come back. No matter how to do it, it’s critical to stay connected with customers post-sale so you don’t lose their business to someone else.
That’s easier said than done. It’s hard enough to keep track of your customers, let alone get their contact info and sign them up for loyalty programs. These are unique problems facing mom-and-pop shops — big companies and internet businesses have easier methods for keeping customers engaged after the sale.
Recognizing these challenges, we built our software to enable post-sale email marketing without asking for an email address or signing customers up for a program. Businesses that use our automated email marketing system (get a free demo) see 22% more repeat visits because you just set it and forget it — no emails to collect, no programs to promote. You can customize offers but we provide the templates and send the emails for you.
At Womply, we respect and salute the owners and operators at American mom-and-pop shops. You do amazing work and are the foundation of the economy. On March 29, take a moment to reflect on your success and take some small steps to protect and improve your livelihood.