In 2015, a record number of Neighborhood Champions across the country rallied their communities for Small Business Saturday®. This Nov 26, join the celebration and keep this country going by shopping small businesses in your neighborhoods.
Neil Kent, the owner of Experimac in Sandy Springs, a small business where you buy, sell, trade and repair Apple® Macintosh® computers, iPhone® and iPad®, and other Apple devices thinks every small business owner has a story and in keeping with #ShopSmall theme leading up to Nov. 26, he wanted to share why this day is so important and why it feels good to #ShopSmall.
“Every great thing that ever happened in my life was somehow tied to Apple,” explains Kent. “My mom was very sick and home-ridden for most of her adult life. She had a PC but never really knew how to use it, so my brother and I gave her a Mac and her whole life changed.”
“Instead of laying on a couch watching soap operas, she was researching her disabilities and finding communities of people that suffered the same as she did. Through these communities she developed friendships with people (many lasting more than 20 years) and her entire life changed. She had a reason to wake up in the morning- to keep doing her research and visit with her new friends in chat rooms. Her entire perspective on life changed due to Macs, and that made me extremely happy.”
Enter his store in Sandy Springs, and you will see that Kent employs a team of technicians, but as with most small businesses, you get Kent and his expertise and passion. It’s a passion that he has turned into a successful business that serves his community.
“For myself, thanks to Apple computers I went from being a janitor to going to a white collar job. And then working at Apple I met my wife and step-son, bought a home in Northern California, bought my first brand new car, etc etc. I even met my girlfriend (of four years now!) because she overheard me talking about Apple products and started asking me questions about which one would be right for her.”
While Experimac in Sandy Springs has been busy leading into the fall, November 26 and Small Business Saturday serves as sort of an unofficial kickoff to the holiday shopping season.
Kent says one of the special dynamics he gets to witness as a small business owner is the relationship between the small business and its customers.
“Before owning my own small business, I never really gave shopping at independent stores a second thought. I always assumed they would be more expensive than big box retailers. Owning an Experimac has changed my perspective immensely. When customers shop in my store I am immensely appreciative of their business. It really matters to me that they shop here, have an amazing experience which they are excited to go tell their friends and about. About 30- 35% of my business is from referrals. In return I shop and eat locally as much as I can. I have my car repaired at locally owned mechanics near my home. I eat at great independent restaurants (not chain restaurants).”
Small Businesses are the heart of this country and you may be surprised to know that businesses with less than 20 workers made up 89.6 percent of for-profit businesses in this country.
For Kent and many other entrepreneurs and small business operators, this is a celebration.
Mark your calendars for Nov 26, the Saturday after Thanksgiving, and get ready to #ShopSmall.And please don’t forget to promote the day and share your favorite Small Business Saturday moments on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram with #ShopSmall.
Kent welcomes new and regular customers to come in and experience the small business difference. He is always looking to connect with people to let them know about future sales, special events and new products or services.
“My girlfriend and I love shopping at the little independent stores around Roswell and Marietta. In this way, the money that is spent in my store stays in the local economy which is so important to having great neighborhoods around North Metro Atlanta!”
#ShopSmall on Small Business Saturday and all through the holidays.