Imagine the opposite of a Groupon event happening to your business- a horde of people coming in with the intention of spending money at full price and because they want to support you instead of coming in to take advantage of an unsustainable discount they think you are crazy for giving out and knowing they will never come back.
That is the idea behind the cash mob events, which use social media to get the word out to people who want to support local small businesses and agree to spend at least $20 each when they all show up at one time to make their purchases.
Sounds like a great deal for small business owners and hopefully it generates an ongoing interest in the businesses visited as well as the idea in general of supporting local owners. It sounds like it could also generate a fair bit of extra work for the San Diego bookkeeper at those businesses, but we certainly aren’t complaining! 🙂
Last night San Diego Cash Mobs held its first event in South Park.
Bundled up on a chilly night, Lauren Way addressed the crowd gathering on the corner of Juniper and 30th in South Park: “Welcome Cash Mobbers, I’m so excited that you are all here. Thank you so much for coming to Cash Mob and being a part of this and supporting local business and making a real difference.”
Last night Lauren Way found herself leading a group of more than two dozen people and three TV news crews to mob a South Park business. The exact business was kept secret until the mob gathered at 6:30.
“I’m sure you all want to know where we’re going to go and spend money,” Way said to the crowd, “So the business that we are going to is called Make Good, and what Make Good does is they have tons of stuff and they are all made by local artists so we are supporting a local business that supports local artists.”
Way, whom I’ve known for a decade, never imagined herself as a leader. Her friend and former El Cajon resident Andrew Samtoy introduced her to the idea of Cash Mobs, which use social media to organize people to “mob” a small business with the intent of spending $20 each. She heard Samtoy talking on Marketplace about the Cash Mobs he was organizing in Cleveland. When the reporter said there was going to be one in San Diego, Way called Samtoy to ask who the organizer was. He said it was her. So she set up Twitter and Facebook accounts and began promoting last night’s event. Standing on the South Park street corner, Way was thrilled by the turnout.
“It’s overwhelming,” says Way, “It’s amazing, it’s crazy. There are people and they are starting to show up, which is very exciting and that relieves some of my nerves and I’m getting really excited and I’m having fun and there’s buzz.”
Buzz that caused her Twitter and Facebook accounts to more than double their followers. The cold and difficulty parking may have kept some from coming out to show their support but those who came were excited.
“It’s a fantastic thing to do at this time of year when so much gets given to the big corporations because of the Christmas holiday shopping season that at this time we take a minute and pay attention to the small businesses because I feel they are the backbone of our country and the backbone of our economy,” says Cash Mobber Marshal Ouimett.