November 30th is Small Business Saturday, when people are encouraged to seek out and support the small, locally owned and operated businesses in their community. Some of us do this on a regular basis, but it is not always a priority with us as consumers. What we need to remind ourselves of is the fact that these small businesses are run and owned by our friends and neighbors, and they cannot succeed without the support of others in their community. In this world of competitive marketing, it can be difficult for the small businesses to survive, and, in the words of Keith Haynes, “we have to keep small businesses healthy in order to keep our economy strong”!
In an effort to do just this, two local female entrepreneurs decided to team up to assist these small businesses, and, in 2011, they set about to create an innovative community model of support and recommendations for small, local businesses. Their endeavor began on the North Shore of Oahu, but in just three years their efforts have been so successful that they are now expanding to encompass the rest of the island of Oahu! Small businesses needed a way to reach out to the visitor industry, but the high costs of traditional advertising were a major barrier. Kirsten Garrabrant and Demery Mezin conceived and developed a plan which promotes local business, using multi-media marketing strategies, and Seek Spot by Be Our Guest Directory was the result. Featuring diverse business listings, editorials, coupons, maps, weekly blogs, an events calendar, and monthly newsletters, as well as a facebook page and other social media outlets, this directory provides visitors, businesses, and the community in general, with a single, easy to access resource!
Unlike similar island restaurant and activities books, this resource has an additional goal which is to make sure the businesses listed are trustworthy, quality businesses, locally owned and operated, and worthy of recommendation. Seek Spot by Be Our Guest Directory considers it important that businesses allowed to list with them meet high-quality, inclusion criteria. All the listings in their directory are considered as highly regarded, personal recommendations! The printed directory is distributed to IVP’s and hotels around the island, and the information can also be accessed via their website. Additional, up-to-the-minute information is available on their facebook page and other social media platforms.
The outcome of Kirsten and Demery’s efforts is a quality product that promotes small businesses without high overhead advertising costs, offering them a collective way to reach out to the visitor industry and the island community, and supporting each other in the process. Seek Spot by Be Our Guest Directory is a success story whose focus remains on the preservation of one of Hawaii’s precious commodities….locally owned and operated, small businesses! We encourage you, during this holiday season, to support your community and to “Shop Small” on Saturday, November 30th, and all during the year!
Please follow and like us: