Small and local businesses truly shined at this breakfast featuring Susan Madore of South Portland Buy Local and Becky McCray, author of Small Town Rules. Susan started us off with an informative presentation highlighting how an organization like South Portland Buy Local can use social media to promote members and grow camaraderie within the community. Of note was the distinction between different social networks and their unique applications. For instance, Madore finds that Twitter is better for promoting local member events and partner outreach, while Facebook is a tool best used for member outreach and community building.
Author Becky McCray (who – in addition to many other things – runs a liquor store in a small town with a population of about 30) shared her small town business point of view and the inspiration she gains from rural entrepreneurs. She connected the 7 small town rules from her book to examples of how these rules have worked for big brands and small businesses just the same. Of note were her closing points: the economy is changing, technology is shifting, society is changing – and local is big. (Quite fitting that she won the South Portland Buy Local shopping tote.)
- Plan for zero – take a long term perspective
- Spend brainpower before dollars
- Multiply your lines of income
- Work anywhere and any-when
- Learn customer-driven communication
- Be proud of being small
- Be local
This month’s sponsors were: Mainely SEO, Hall Internet Marketing, gr8 Portland Maine, South Portland Buy Local, The Cohen-Tracy Team, GWI, Others! Fair Trade Coffee, The Internet Educator and The Portland Harbor Hotel.