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We showed up at 5:30 a.m. to catch the sunrise at Angkor Wat, and it was already packed with tourists. Normally this would be annoying – after all, with thousands of people crowding the grounds, swinging selfie sticks and shouting across the pond, it felt more like Disneyland or Glastonbury than a thousand-year-old religious site. But then I figured I may as well use them – after all, this is the real Angkor Wat.
Some people can imagine a photo before it happens and then set up their camera to capture it when it happens. I…well, it’s difficult for me to see light, and frames, and lines, and then realize that it might make a good photo.
But here, I was walking through this chamber, felt the sun on my face, and saw the monk coming toward me from the other side, and knew exactly what I was going to do.
By Matt Bateman
Franklin, NC is a small town in western North Carolina, with a population of approximately 3,500 citizens. Within Franklin lies a solid core of concerned individuals that want to help support locally owned & operated businesses, as well as the overall well-being of our community. We call our movement “Venture Local Franklin (VLF).” VLF is an effort that was started to move Franklin forward and to help us lead within our region. We are both action-based and outcome-focused when it comes to getting things done. We have several goals and initiatives in motion at any given time. However, one in particular has been both dynamic & gratifying for the entire community to witness. We call it, “Ca$h Mob Franklin!”
Ca$h Mob Franklin! has hosted 8 very successful cash mobs throughout our small, locally owned business community. From gift shops, lunch counters, and outdoor outfitters, to hardware, electronic, and health food stores, Ca$h Mob Franklin! is making the rounds.
How we do it:
Nomination of Ca$h Mobs
After our very first cash mob, we had all participants nominate a local business by writing business names down onto a piece of paper. We then tossed all of the nominations into a bucket. We have the owner of the current business that is being mobbed pull (blindly) from the nomination bucket. Poof! We have our next cash mob victim. This has worked really well, but tweaks are being made to get an equal ratio of nominations to mobsters. Some of our mobsters get caught up in meeting new folks and exploring the business, while forgetting to nominate.
Promotion of Ca$h Mobs
We utilize Facebook, Twitter, email and our website to push the our message out into our local community and beyond. Staying in front of our audience has been the leading force in our success. We create active FB event pages for each cash mob and post on them frequently. A few of our nominated businesses have truly embraced this movement and created promotion of their own in the form of flyers, word of mouth, and their own social media outlets. This works really well and elevates the Cash Mob within the community.
Pay it forward
As part of our Cash Mob initiative, we require that each business pay it forward by selecting a local non-profit or charity to donate to. It can be a percentage of the cash mob sales or donation of time/resources. We really leave this up to the business owner to decide. Several non-profits have benefited from this portion of our Cash Mobs, and it’s something that we’re very proud of.
The calm before the storm
We meet up 15 minutes before each scheduled mob. We meet at a central location that’s closest to the business we’re about to mob. For example, with our downtown businesses, we’ve been meeting at our cool and historic, Franklin Clock Tower. This works well for us for so many reasons. First, we’re a large group standing together and that immediately draws attention. Grabbing passerby’s attention is always a good thing. Second, I always pass around a clipboard asking folks to “sign in” to let us know they were there. I also ask for email addresses to add to our growing lists for our e-news. This ensures that we’re always promoting to a growing audience for each new Cash Mob. Next, I make announcements and go over the “rules.” Like I mentioned before, VLF is involved in other initiatives, so I take a few minutes to talk about what’s new. Then I go over our rules:
1. Commit to spend at least $20 cash.
2. Meet at least 3 new people.
3. Have a blast!
I always add a 4th rule, which is, “Talk about Ca$h Mob Franklin!” Finally, we take a group picture, and head towards the business with our $20 cash in hand (hooting and hollering, of course).
A few highlights I would like to share with you…
– We are averaging just under 30 mobsters per cash mob. Incredible.
– We have attracted over 225 people to our cash mobs.
– Upwards of 85% of our mobsters are spending well over the $20 commitment
– We have had a nice mixture of locals AND visitors join in on the cash mob (tourism development)
– 30% of our mobsters have been to every cash mob
– 20% of our mobsters are first time participants
With the success of Ca$h Mob Franklin!, many in the community are starting to pay attention, and rightfully so. We are making this movement happen 100% organically, and it is grassroots driven. We don’t have a budget or funding to help with promotion, etc. We don’t have a board or committee to answer to (whew, thank goodness!). Ca$h Mob Franklin! is a testament to what can happen when a core of motivated and passionate citizens come together for the common good of their community.
Connect with us
I invite you to keep up with our progress as we move Franklin NC forward in a positive direction! Here is how you can do that.
Note: You can register via social media or create an account via our website that will allow you to interact with us. Please do!
Note: VLF has multiple initiatives going on at any given moment. Like our page to see what we’re up to.
Note: Tweet tweet! Follow us for up-to-date info about VLF
Happy Monday everyone!
With National Cash Mob Day 2013 behind us, it’s time to start looking forward to the future to other Cash Mob opportunities we can join efforts on a national or international scale!
Summer is near and it’s the perfect opportunity to come up with new and creative ways to keep support going for mom-and-pop businesses.
Have a couple of ideas that can help create a fresh approach to the cash mob movement.
Dish mob: Dish Mobs have been springing up since late last summer when Restaurant.com teamed up with cash mob organizer Andrew Samtoy. Like a cash mob, a dish mob is designed to get people to eat out mom-and-pop restaurants. We’ve had several dish mobs in Kansas City since November, and is one of the things that a community could use to fuel the shop local movement. You could take the dish mop concept a little further by choosing food things every month with your mob. For example, you could mob a food truck one month and maybe Bob a steak restaurant another month. Possibilities of combinations are endless.
Farmers market mob: I know there have been a few farmers market mobs, but farmers market week is August 4-10. Most farmers markets do pretty well, but in our quest to keep things local I think it would be a great idea to form a mob to go to a farmers market on a Saturday and help our local farmers. I would definitely like to see a national push during this week to create a frenzy with mobbing farmers markets.
Outdoor events Mobs: There are many mom-and-pop outdoor event places but I could use business. I like it would be great for a little creativity during the summer too. Mob at some of these locations such as family-owned swimming pools, Rec centers or sporting areas.
Those are just some of the ideas that I have. I’m curious to know what ideas you have as far as creative cash mobs. Leave your comments below!
Happy national cash mob day!
Today won’t be as big of an event as last year, but we want to start the tradition of hosting an annual cash my bank to encourage people to shop mom-and-pop businesses and to bring communities together to organize cash mobs in order to bring awareness about the importance of shopping local.
A tough economy for retail businesses over the past few years has taken its toll on mom-and-pop businesses. Mom-and-Pop stores all over our nation are shutting down, unable to compete with the large chain stores and struggling economy.
It takes a community to keep a store in business and more than ever we need to pull together as a community to ensure that future generations of people will be able to realize their entrepreneurial dreams.
At the heart of every mom and pop business is a person with a dream, and few things are sadder than realizing your life will fall short of your dreams. Each of us can make a big difference to a mom and pop business and help an entrepreneur’s dream come true.
If you’re hosting a mob today, please post your comments and let us know how your event was. If you’re documenting the event with photos or videos, please share those as well
I hope everyone has it successful mob today!
National Cash Mob Day is only a few days away! We are curious to know how many cities are planning to join us on this special day.
We realize that we may not have gotten the announcement out to members of the cash mob community, but we at least wanted to lay the groundwork for making this an annual event.
Many of you are aware of the challenges mom-and-pop businesses are facing in our current economy. Many are struggling in a few businesses close their doors. We want to keep the cash mob movement strong because these events allow Encourage people to get out and support these businesses in a way that will keep them around for many years to come.
Leave your responses below, we are looking forward to hearing from you.
National Cash Mob Day is this Saturday, April 27, 2013. Most of you have already picked out the business to be ‘mobbed’ and have your events schedule, but there are some additional things you can do to make it a big success.
1. Spread the word to your local media. Contact newspaper and television stations in your area to share this event. One of the things that has helped us at the Kansas City Metro Area Cash Mob was to connect with news personalities on Facebook and LinkedIn. For several Cash Mob related events, the media contacted us rather than us reaching out to them.
2. Get the ‘target’ of the Cash Mob to share the event with their friends and fans and make sure they are promoting it too. These are the people who will form the foundation of your ‘mob’ Customers and fans of the business are already in love with the brand and want to see the brand succeed. They will be your most important ‘voice’ in spread the word about this event. If you get a viral reach with the people who are in love with the business, you are almost guaranteed a successful mob.
3. Get people to volunteer to document the event. Taking photos and video are essential to a Cash Mob because it helps promote the event and gives the mom and pop business much needed exposure. Turn to companies that specialize in photography and video and let them ‘watermark’ any photos or videos that they take for your event.
Let’s make this event a big success!
For information about the KC Cash Mob, visit our Facebook page by searching “Kansas City Metro Area Cash Mob”, following us on Twitter at @cmkansascity or contact one of our volunteers below:
Burton Kelso: email@example.com or (888) 256-0829
Kelly Dobyns Ziegler: firstname.lastname@example.org or 913.209.9967