**The posts I write might contain affiliate links or be written in collaboration with businesses or brands. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.**
As the holidays approach, the giant Asian factories are kicking into high gear to provide Americans with monstrous piles of cheaply produced goods –merchandise that has been produced at the expense of American labor. This year will be different. This year Americans will give the gift of genuine concern for other Americans. There is no longer an excuse that, at gift-giving time, nothing can be found that is produced by American hands. Yes, there is!
Locally-owned detail shops and car washes would love to sell you a gift certificate or a book of gift certificates.
Are you one of those extravagant givers who think nothing of plunking down the Benjamin’s on a Chinese made flat-screen? Perhaps that grateful gift receiver would like his driveway sealed, or lawn mowed for the summer, or driveway plowed all winter, or games at the local golf courses.
There are owner-run restaurants in your area – all offering gift certificates. And, if your intended isn’t the fancy eatery sort, what about a half dozen breakfasts at the local breakfast cafe.
How many people couldn’t use an oil change for their car, truck, or motorcycle, done at a shop run by a local working guy?
(Or books? Do you know how many amazing local authors we have in North Central Minnesota? TONS!)
My computer could use a tune-up, and I KNOW I can find some business person who is struggling to get or keep his/her repair business up and running.
OK, you were looking for something more personal. Local craftspeople spin their own wool and knit them into scarves. They make jewelry, soaps, salves, teas, pottery, and beautiful wooden boxes.
Plan your holiday outings at locally owned and operated restaurants and leave your server a nice tip. And, how about going out to see a newly released movie at our hometown theatre. Musicians need love too, so find a venue showcasing local bands.
Honestly, people, do you REALLY need to buy another ten thousand Chinese lights for the house? When you buy a five dollar string of lights, about fifty cents stays in the community. If you have those kinds of bucks to burn, leave the mailman, trash guy, or babysitter a nice BIG tip.
An Additional Thought from Me
I love the concept and mindset of, “I help you, you help me-together we are AWESOME” …and I want to take it a step further.
Need to buy a gift? Think about your customer network and be creative. Think “I will do business with those who do business with ME.”
You could purchase a product, schedule a service, or even get a gift card from the same customers who have been good to you this past year. This is a great way to show support for your customers and build better personal connections.
Plus, it’s the right thing to do, ya know?
When we focus on our customers, the relationship develops. What a great way to show loyalty and appreciation for your clients! I know how much I appreciate it when a business I buy from turns around and does business with me in return. It’s a good feeling.
Take a hard look at your customer/client base today. Are there holiday gifts you can buy from them?