In Wealth of Nations, the 1776 book that essentially launched modern economics, Adam Smith introduced a concept he called the “invisible hand.” Please, allow me to put Smith’s 18th century Scottish words into 21st century context: When a business owner works on her business, with the single-minded purpose of only benefiting herself and no one else, that very free market activity actually benefits society, as if by an invisible hand, even when no such benefit was intended.
So, if Smith’s idea about business activity is correct, and I think it is, wouldn’t it be a good thing to make more of that “invisible hand” stuff happen? Of course, but how do we do that?
Well, duh!! Just do more business with a small business. And if you agree with me that many little invisible hands will benefit society more than a few great big invisible hands, compare this invisible hand leverage opportunity: Big companies in the U.S. are identified as the Fortune 1000, but there are approx. 26 MILLION small businesses in America. Pardon me, but, again - duh!!!
So, next time you have the option of doing business with a small firm, of course, make them earn your business; but add into your consideration the invisible hand effect which proposes that the more local small businesses are successful, the more the local community will be successful. And, as I’ve always said, what’s good for small business is good for the world.
Recently, Cinda Baxter joined me on my radio program, The Small Business Advocate Show, to update us on a great program that promotes business locally, The 3/50 Project. A member of my Brain Trust, Cinda founded the 3/50 Project in 2009 to help strengthen independent brick and mortar small businesses, and it’s saving Main Street one small business at a time. Cinda is a former retail store owner turned retail consultant and coach at Always Upward. Take a few minutes to listen to our conversation and, as always, leave your thoughts. Listen Live! Download, Too!