The Small Business Movement (The Plan)

Before I tell you the plan, let me take a few sentences to describe the purpose of the GALT app. The app is designed to incentivize users to choose a small business whenever possible. The app has an optional built in loyalty program where many businesses offer instant savings of 10%. Also, each time you shop a business on the app and upload your receipt or invoice, you earn points towards giveaways. These aren’t crap giveaways. They’re items that will make users want to earn more points and thereby do more business with small businesses.

While the system has been tested and proven effective, it’s not enough. The challenge is now to bring small businesses together as never before. This is the real work. For clarity on what we have to do to accomplish our mission, I’ve listed our top line plan below:

1. Increase the number of people using our app.

2. Increase the number of businesses listed on our app.

3. Secure products for giveaways.

4. Raise capital.

Each segment has a detailed plan. We’ll start with increasing the number of users on the app. The first question I had to ask myself was, “Who cares and why?” The conclusion was that our audience consisted of two types of people. One type was those who understand the importance of necessity for small business success and would choose a small business over a big business whenever possible. Second, was the people who are motivated by rewards. 

Therefore, to increase our users, we had to call out to small business supporters and people who love giveaways. We developed messages for both. There’s not a lot of marketing capital, so we have to implement gorilla marketing strategies, something to which Teresa and I are very familiar. We’d built several businesses in the past with only two pennies to rub together. Now we have two nickels, so we’re dangerous, lol.  

Teresa, who’s an interior designer, is also exceptional at creating marketing materials. She’s extremely busy with her interior design business, so I’m careful not to ask too much. That said, I’m extremely grateful that she takes the time to create materials when I need them. This saves GALT quite a bit of money because of how often marketing materials are needed. I’d do it myself, but it would be trash, I assure you. I stay in my lane whenever possible and let the professionals do what the professionals do. That said, I did have to get out of my lane a bit with video creation. It’s not my strong suit, but I can do well enough to get the message out. We do the best we can with what we have. When we have better, we do better! 

We started with one video that was roughly 23 seconds in length with a few individuals saying why they use the app. The quality isn’t great, but good enough. Teresa created the promo for our first giveaway, which was a fabulous handbag by Dylari Boutique. This was the first method we deployed to gain the attention of our ideal audience. The more users we have choosing small businesses, the better business will be for them, which in turn looks good for our mission. 

Our greatest challenge would be getting businesses to get on the app. Small business owners are often overworked and the last thing they want to hear is another pitch from someone claiming to resolve their customer/client acquisition problems. It’s perfectly understandable. Oftentimes, the presented solutions are relatively expensive and don’t work. Besides, most small businesses have very limited capital to deploy towards advertising. That said, ours system has been tested and proven to work. However, they don’t know that, so their answer is often no before we get through the door. Not an impossible feat, but a known problem for which we have to find a solution.

How do we solve this problem? I’m not certain if it will work yet, but I like our chances. Our goal is to partner with influencers. Influencers, meaning people or organizations that have a business following. The thinking is that the influencers can get business owners to get out of their own way and trust this process. These influencers will range from the heads of chambers, leads and networking groups as well as social media influencers. We may just have to become influencers ourselves.

We will incentivize the influencers through our affiliate marketing plan. This plan will give an affiliate a monthly 20% residual kickback for each new business they bring to GALT, for as long as they maintain their membership. 

Mainstream media can also be very influential in getting people to take action. Therefore, we will work towards creating enough hype around what we’re doing and hopefully they’ll take notice. That said, if you know someone in mainstream media, who can get us in the door, hook a brother up!

Getting products for giveaways, I don’t perceive to be a huge challenge as we learned while running our magazine. Generally, if you can bring significant attention to a product, especially products that aren’t well known, they’re usually willing to give you a product in exchange for promotion. 

Our cross promotion tool is mutually beneficial. We promote the producer’s product as giveaways to attract and maintain app users. The product is typically worth far less than the promotion is worth, but are usually worth more than most individuals would spend on themselves. Therefore, we have a win/win situation. 

Would you be offended if I said, “Sh*t!” Well, sh*t! That’s the first words that come to mind any time I think of raising capital. It’s so necessary, but the process seems like an exercise in futility. Rejection, after rejection, after rejection! It doesn’t matter how good your plan is, unless you’ve achieved major traction or discovered the means for time travel, you can almost forget about VC funding. Angel investors aren’t easy to come by either and friends and family are a last resort. Last resort meaning, I’ve exhausted all of my means and I do mean all.

The easier funding to get is often usurious. Usury is 36% interest or more. From my understanding, it’s illegal in most states, yet some small business lenders have apparently found loop holes to get around it. Such predatory lending can be a trap that’s difficult to escape. That’s another issue that we plan to provide a solution for in the near future, but we’ll save that for another time. I’ll just leave you with, “Be Careful!” All money isn’t good money.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ll reach out to raise a little capital as needed, but I’m big on designing my plans so that I need very little of it. Capital is basically a runway. If you run out of runway prior to taking flight, you may have to turn around. It’s a setback, but it doesn’t mean you can’t come back.

Post covid businesses are eligible for some grants, but Galt Business Solutions is fresh out of the incubator, so that’s not an option. One can waste too much time trying to find capital, so my plan is to do the best I can with what I have. If a good financial opportunity presents itself, I’ll pursue it.  

Now that you know what we’ve done and what we plan to do, we hope you’ll continue to follow The Small Business Movement. Stay tuned for Week 1.

p.s. the app is available on Android and iOS. If you want to add your business to the app, you can easily do so by visiting JoinGalt.com. Otherwise, we hope you’ll use the app to support other small businesses.