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How to Attract the ‘Mindful Purchaser’ to Your Small Business

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How to Attract the ‘Mindful Purchaser’ to Your Small Business

What gives your business the edge over your competitors?

When potential customers have a host of suppliers to choose from, what draws them to you? Even consumers who are faced with obligatory purchases or essential expenditure are becoming savvy with their choices.

In an article called Green Generation the following trends in a 2015 survey by Nielsen are noted:

  • Almost 3 out of 4 participants were prepared to pay extra for sustainable products.
  • Generation Z will pay more for products and services from “Companies committed to positive social and environmental impact.”
  • Millennials support brands who display positive environmental stewardship.
  • Even the number of Baby Boomers prepared to spend more for the right reasons has increased by 7% in 12 months.

I always form the view that if I have to spend money, I want to get as much bang for my buck as possible. That doesn’t mean I look for the cheapest price, but I try to spend money in a way that allows it to have the greatest impact. Like a growing number of mindful purchasers, I also want my financial transaction to impact positively on people, the environment or my community. And I don’t mind paying a little extra for that privilege.

So, what does a ‘Mindful Purchaser’ look for? I’m glad you asked.

Two for one.

These programs usually mean that for every item you purchase another item is donated or subsidised. This might be the same product, eg. Backpack Beds or something entirely different. In either case, it is a way of giving more than just once. It might be the brainchild of the store owner or achieved with the help of an affiliate like, Buy 1 Give 1 (B1G1). Through a membership program, B1G1 allows businesses to align certain purchases with donations to one of the 800 plus causes they support.

Shop local.

It may not always be convenient to go to a separate shop for your meat or vegetables, but the effort is often rewarded by the quality of the products. Whether it is a local bakery, artisan or roadside florist, I take the opportunity to support small local businesses. If you work in an industry where your competitors are large multinationals or have off-shore customer service centres, consider highlighting the benefits of your locality and accessibility to potential clients.

Go green.

Many customers choose businesses who use renewable materials and make an effort to reduce their environmental impact. If this is something you already do, promote it. And if it’s not, do a green assessment of your business and think about what changes you could make.

Fairtrade.

Given the opportunity, I would select businesses who use ethically sourced ingredients and play a part in reducing instances of exploitation around the world. If your business actively seeks out fair trade arrangements, let your customers know.

Invest in others.

As business owners, there are lots of charities and good causes you could assist, but also consider supporting someone who is just starting out. Nothing says, “I believe in you” more clearly than being prepared to part with your hard-earned cash. In return, new ventures are usually grateful for the help and tell their tribe. You may find you strike an altruistic chord in the hearts of potential customers, who, in turn, choose to do business with you.

These are just a few ways your business could stand out from the crowd and appeal to a new category of customers. If you’ve already adopted these practices, let people know. You could provide information in a brochure, on a chalkboard or posters at your point of sale. Or via your website and social media accounts. A simple statement could also be included on your letterheads, invoices and emails to highlight the values or initiatives your business supports.

As always, I’m interested in hearing of your experience. Let me know what changes you implement and any positive results you notice.

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“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"



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  • drew browne
    Reply

    Hi Georgia. Your comments ‘ but I try to spend money in a way that allows it to have the greatest impact.’ really resonate with me and I see the general rise in the conscious consumer and also a business owner (and ultimately the business buyer). I think, like good established processes and safeguards in a busienss, internal procedures, a healthy and robust business with a purpose is more likely to be one with a deeper appreciating of their customers and the new customer-centric world we’re part of.

  • Kelly Myers
    Reply

    I love this as a vegan business owner, conscious purchasing is something i encourage in myself and others.

    Some great tips on hw to cover these bases! I’ll definitely read the Green Generation article too. Thanks!

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