Doing business locally
At La Di Da Interiors we run a number of workshops, I was recently questioned as why I serve fish and chips during our full day workshops, and criticised for not "going to Waitrose for some nice sandwiches." Apart from the fact that our workshops are pretty physical and therefore I like to make sure that people have more than a sandwich to eat, it made me realise just how passionate I am in supporting other local businesses.
I buy the fish and chips from Seamaster on Bridge Street, they serve delicious hot, fresh food, with a smile. The chap that owns it, like me is paying his mortgage or rent by working for himself. It may not seem a lot but by spending £30ish a month with him I know that I'm increasing the odds that he will still be there next month.
As a local business owner I am always seeking ways to encourage people to visit and shop in Andover rather than always using purely internet based companies that don't contribute much back to the local area. Many internet memes state that if you spend XYZ locally you're putting more money back into the community and the economy, and as cheesy as they are, they're right! Every penny spent in a local independent business makes a massive difference.
The Federation Of Small Businesses says for every pound spent in an independent business, about 70p stays in the local economy – be it via wages for a local person or rates paid to the local council, it makes Andover better off.
We support other businesses in Andover as much as possible, we have a pinterest board dedicated to them, do pop over and have a look. And if you're a local business owner and want to be included, please do let me know.
Our loyalty cards are printed by MBE in George Yard, Nigel and his team are friendly, efficient and provide exceptional service. They also recently made a banner for us too. Our accountant is in Andover, we buy the boards for our workshops from Gerry's Timber, we recently went on a social media course at Hero in Stockbridge, our new shop sign (going up next week!) is made by a fabulously talented local sign writer Phil Wait. In short, we are trying really hard to practice what I'm talking about.
I often see posts on social media about people being concerned that high rents in Andover town centre mean that shops close, I have a slightly different viewpoint. There are many different factors but it's not the rent, that is set before you even write your business plan, it's the footfall that makes the biggest difference. Put simply, the customer decides who stays and who goes by spending (or not) in those shops.
I would like to take this opportunity to say a massive thank you to all of my customers for supporting my shop and my little team, for choosing La Di Da Interiors and enabling us to continue in business. You really do make a difference.
Could you spend £5 in a shop locally? Click here to see how much of a difference that could make to Andover.