Think Big | Shop Small | Shop Early
This year, many small businesses were deemed “non-essential” by no fault of their own. This essentially included the entire music industry.
We all know how to support our local stores, but how do you support them online?
[And if you know anyone that needs a guitar strap, we’d love for you to shop with us 😊!)
We are grateful to have great customers that are fun to work with here at Revo. I have also owned a business outside the musician space where customer service was a bit more tedious, so some of the comments (especially the late shipment comments) are more from that experience.
Here are some thoughts directly from a small business on what helps us the most:
2020 has put a huge strain on the shipping capacity in the U.S. as more people continue to order more items online.
Have you ever done that thing where you wrap a picture of the gift your spouse or kids are GOING to receive because it didn’t arrive yet? Let’s try to avoid that awkward exchange!
Shipping companies are already preemptively warning customers that they may have the latest shipments ever this holiday season.
In our experience, it is almost always the business (small or large) that gets blamed for late shipments.
In reality, all we control is 1) how fast we pack the order, 2) paying the correct amount to the carrier, and 3) then we hope that the carrier makes it arrive on time.
The easy solution that most people won’t do...
Shop early and don’t procrastinate 😊 – but if you do procrastinate, please take it out on the carriers and not the small business owners 😊
Shop Early Reason #2
Stocking up on inventory is common practice before the holidays for small businesses. However, it's also a stressor for many small business owners because it ties up cash and many were tighter on cash than normal.
Make too much and you're profit rich, but cash poor. Make too little and you still might be cash poor.
This year, many companies stretched to their limits, so they may have limited inventory. If you order early, they can gain confidence to produce more.
In our case, we have a plan to try and make more straps if we hit a certain goal by early December. If we don't hit that goal, we may sell out, but at least we will still have cash to invest in new products and not inventory.
This is why you sometimes see us require pre-orders on straps... because money does indeed "talk."
Order Direct (instead of on Amazon)
A large number of customers browse our website, but then order on Amazon. It makes sense. We have a sense of “trust” in Amazon because of the fast shipping and easy returns.
However, many small businesses in 2020 have the same capabilities and offer a more personalized experience.
In our case, Amazon takes about 10 to 15% per strap above and beyond the cost of shipping and we have no way of connecting with the customer after the sale. It also takes nearly a week to receive any proceeds from the sale. This is in addition to the monthly flat fee and various storage fees they charge.
In contrast, our website payment system charges about 3% and we receive the funds the next day. We can also stay in touch with our customers with any new straps or deals.
Note: You could change out Amazon for Etsy, eBay, Reverb, etc.
Share, Comment, or Like their Social Media Posts
We have over 11,500 Facebook Page Likes for Revo Guitar Straps.
A few years ago, Facebook (and Instagram) changed their functionality/algorithms for business communication.
When we share on social media, it now is only shown to about 5% of our fans.
It can get up to about 10% if the first 5% Like, Comment, or Share it enough to please Facebook’s algorithm.
So that’s an easy, free way to support your favorite small businesses.
It is much easier for large companies to offer huge discounts like 40% or more. They can afford to take a loss on your initial purchase if it means gaining you as a customer in the future.
In addition, many larger companies have more sophisticated backend software. They can simply increase the prices of certain goods so that you are paying the same price you would have paid before, but you think you are getting a 40% discount.
Most small business owners would feel slimy using the same practices as the big retailers.
In addition, small businesses don’t carry as much inventory because it takes a ton of cash. We have a limited supply of guitar straps to sell in the next month, and when we sell out, we sell out.
We would be out of business if we offered 40% off on an entire month’s worth of straps.
And we do offer some discounts, but they are more strategic to acquire a new customer, to generate cash, or to invest in a new strap. We just can't do it on the same scale in order to pay our bills.
We have some more, but send us a message at RevoNation@RevoGuitarStraps.com for your reasons to shop small.
And with that being said... here's a plug for us :)
Shop now and save 15% by using SAVE15 at checkout?
Our 15% = 40% for most retailers :)
Cheers, and thanks for the continued support!