Small Business Saturday

November 30, 2013

When most people think of “buying local”, they think of their local bakery, market, or speciality gift shop…and rightly so. Today is Small Business Saturday, a day set aside since 2010 between Black Friday and Cyber Monday to encourage shoppers to spend their holiday money at local mom-and-pop stores on clothing, jewelry, toys, accessories and other merchandise. By “buying local” consumers are able to support their local community and help keep the money in their town or region. And research shows it works:

“More than 9 in 10 small-business owners nationally give back to their communities in some way, be it working with nonprofits, coaching youth sports teams or holding public office” – Ron Aldridge, Director of the nonprofit nonpartisan National Federation of Independent Business.

At MichiganLabs, we’d like to propose a slight twist on the idea of “buying local” and propose “developing local”. You read it right…developing local. What does that mean? Developing local means hiring those in your community or state to do your software development. It means rather than subbing your project out to India or Russia, to consider having it developed right here: in the U.S.A., in Michigan, in West Michigan. Keeping your project local helps you in at least three ways:

  1. Face To Face – working with a local team allows you the ability to meet with a real person in a real local office. It is much more effective than an email, phone call, or even a WebEx/Skype call. Being able to sit down with someone or drop-by is a key benefit to *developing local; *especially as projects become increasingly more complex.
  2. Local Gives Back – as quoted above, local business-people know how to give back to their community. Whether it is donating to local non-profits, serving on a committee, or hiring local talent…you can rest assured knowing part of your money is staying within your community. According to a recent study, “Non-profit organizations receive an average 250% more support from smaller business owners than they do from large businesses.”
  3. Greater Accountability – developing local adds another element of accountability into the business relationship. Since local business-people are often well-connected with other local business-people, you know that you will have the support of your network to help see a project through to completion.

As competition in the global marketplace continues to increase, we hope you’re able to see the many benefits in keeping your software development project local. By keeping your project local, you are really helping yourself…and putting your project on a path to success. Get in contact with Michigan Software Labs in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Mark Johnson
Mark Johnson
Co-founder & Managing Partner

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