Does your community promote “Shop Local”?

A “Shop Local” campaign is quite common in smaller communities. Especially those near large metropolitan areas. The purpose of these campaigns is to encourage people to support local businesses by shopping in their hometown.

The city of Cornwall Ontario where I’m from is 1 hour from Ottawa Ontario, Canada’s capital, and 1 hour from Montreal Quebec, one of the largest cities in North America.

With both of these metropolises so close, Cornwall is constantly encouraging its citizens to “Shop Local”. Their marketing campaigns explain things like:

  • The convenience shopping locally offers.
  • Getting to know the people you deal with on a first name basis.
  • Developing a sense of pride in supporting your community.

Sure, these “Shop Local” campaigns are more geared towards retail stores, encouraging people to buy their groceries, clothing, and household items nearby.

But these same principles are also adopted by many local businesses.

It’s inevitable that as a designer, whether you do print design, web design or any other type of design, you will be approached by local people wanting to hire you because they want to shop locally.

This creates a great opportunity for you if you live in a small community where you don’t have a lot of competition. You can become the go-to person for anything design related.

However, there is a problem when a client takes the whole shop local thing a bit too far. That's when they want you to deal locally as well.

That’s what I really wanted to talk about today. When “Shop Local” tethers your ability to do your job. I’m talking about clients that insist any help you get or any products you source are acquired locally.

Maybe you offer print brokering as part of your business. In my business, I have a few local printers available to me. However, I get much better prices from printers that are not in my local area. The same goes for things like T-Shirts. Sure I can get them printed locally but at almost double the cost of my non-local supplier.

So what can you do when your client insists you shop locally?

You have two options. Use the local talent and charge your clients accordingly. Or, you can explain to your clients that they have nothing to worry about because by dealing with you, they are shopping locally.

Just like a local caterer is not required to source their food locally, you shouldn't be required to source your products locally either. Where the people on your team are located or where you get your supplies from shouldn’t matter to your client.

Simply by dealing with you, they are shopping locally and reinvesting in their community. After all, your business is part of their community.

If you explain it to your clients this way and show them how you can possibly save them money along the way, you should be able to convince them that hiring your local business is in their best interest.

Have you ever had issues with clients wanting you to shop locally?

Let me know how it worked out for you by leaving a comment for this episode.

Questions of the Week

Submit your question to be featured in a future episode of the podcast by visiting the feedback page.

This week’s question comes from Elly

I've been having some problems with meeting new design clients in a neutral location. If we've only spoken on the phone or by email, they don't recognise me and walk right past! I often intercept clients speaking to other people in a café asking if they're me, and it's embarassing, let alone not creating a proffessional first impression to the client. I'm young and prehaps I don't look like the clients' idea of a graphic designer. How can I get clients to recognise me when I'm meeting them?

To find out what I told Elly you’ll have to listen to the podcast.

Resource of the week WhatTheFont Mobile App

The new WhatTheFont Mobile App version 2.0 is a game changer in font identification. Made by myfonts.com and available on both IOS and Android, this new version of the app makes identifying fonts as easy as point and click. To know more about this new App you can read the article I wrote about it.

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I want to help you.

Running a graphic design or web design business all by yourself isn't easy. If there are any struggles you face running your design business please reach out to me. I'll do my best to help you by addressing your issues in a future blog post or podcast episode here at Resourceful Designer. You can reach me at feedback@resourcefuldesigner.com

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