A lot of businesses are struggling right now. But certainly, big businesses are not necessarily experiencing the same issues as small ones. Financial success can be difficult for small businesses to attain when they’re up against a pandemic. It’s important for you and your family to think about what you can do to support small businesses because small businesses are essentially the backbone of most communities. With that being said, below are eight ways that you and your family can come together to support small businesses in your area.
Hire and Purchase from Small Businesses When You Can
There is more of an opportunity for most of us to support small businesses locally than we realize. Unfortunately, a lot of people miss out on recognizing how to support local small businesses because they mindlessly shop at big grocery stores, or choose to work with big names rather than shopping small. While a lot of people do this automatically, some do consciously choose to avoid shopping from small businesses. While this may seem odd at first, this is in part because there are some negative misconceptions regarding small businesses. Lots of people think that small businesses are automatically more expensive than big businesses, which often is not the case; many of them are actually more affordable, if not comparable to big businesses. Additionally, some feel that big businesses are more reliable. In reality, many big businesses offer cheaper services because the services and materials they offer are of lower quality than those offered by small businesses.
There are many opportunities if you’re exploring how to support local small businesses. Look into the types of potential contractor jobs that you can have done at your home. For one thing, you may want to have a fence installation done. While there are small businesses that can potentially execute this for you, it’s often a better idea to seek out a small business that can execute the job. You can often get more creative with small businesses, as they tend to be more flexible in their practices.
Think about what you need to be done in turns of home repairs and maintenance as you explore how to support local small businesses. For example, you may need AC maintenance done. Why not seek out a small business? While you can certainly Google around for small businesses, you may also want to visit community message boards and Facebook groups. This way, you can get recommendations from local people who have experience with the businesses that you’re considering.
Follow, Like, and Comment on Social Media Pages
Speaking of Facebook, chances are that your favorite small businesses will have social media pages. There are several benefits to small businesses hiring social media pages. For one thing, every business should have a social media presence in this day and age. Social media is something that we all turn to when we want to connect with a business, and with good reason. It comes off as more personal and is often a direct line to those working at and running the small business. A wide variety of different small businesses can benefit from social media pages, whether they focus on home renovation or food service. Another benefit of social media pages is that the vast majority of them are free, at least at their most basic levels. Websites, on the other hand, are not free. Small business owners often appreciate having a form of advertising that they can rely upon without paying for it. But if you’re considering how to support local small businesses, you may be wondering about what you can do regarding their social media pages.
The answer is actually quite simple. If you want to know how to support local small businesses, you should consider liking, commenting, following, and generally engaging with their social media pages. The more engagement a social media page has, the more it is considered relevant. Quite often, social media pages that are more recommended are promoted through algorithms more for potential users. This means that if you want to really support a small business in an organic way, follow their social media page. Give a post a like. Comment on a post that is relevant to you. Don’t force your interaction, but certainly interact if you can.
Share Your Own Experience Through Positive Reviews
One of the main reasons why big businesses get chosen over small businesses is that big businesses often have more name recognition. People know what they’re getting when they work with big businesses, or at least they think they do. They turn to these businesses because they trust them, and often overlook how important it is to support small businesses. Generally speaking, the more reviews a small business receives, the easier it will be for that small business to be viewed as trustworthy. For that reason, many small business owners pursue as many good reviews as they possibly can, but it’s often difficult for them to encourage people to review their businesses. This is why it’s not uncommon for small business owners to solicit reviews from customers and clients. They won’t necessarily ask for positive reviews, though some do, but rather simply a review in the first place, which can be difficult to come by. In exchange for a review, small business owners often offer discount codes or other perks to consumers. If you’re looking into how to support local small businesses like interior painting contractors, it doesn’t get much easier than leaving a review.
You’ll want your review to count. It’s not always a good idea to leave reviews spamming the social media pages and review pages of small businesses; this can look artificial and coerced. Instead, you should leave a review on a prominent review page, like Yelp or Google Reviews. You want your review to stand out, and you should think about how your experience can help someone else making their purchasing decision. Think about the advantages that you experienced when using this particular small business, and mention that in your review. For example, if the business in question offers a guaranteed service refund, you should mention that in your review. These types of extras can make a business much more appealing to potential consumers.
Purchase Gift Cards
It’s a lot easier to take the leap and purchase from a small business when you aren’t spending your own money and are instead buying with a gift card. A lot of small businesses provide gift cards or gift certificates in order to encourage buying. If you’re interested in learning how to support local small businesses, you should look around and see which ones offer these types of options. You don’t have to spend much to encourage people around you to support a small business, and you’ll be directly supporting the small business in question yourself.
When the time comes, if someone you love has a birthday coming up, or if the holidays are right around the corner, why not buy a gift card? For a lot of people, this is hugely beneficial. Furthermore, a lot of people tend to make repeat purchases if they like a business, whether it’s a digital printing business or a restaurant. Therefore, your single gift card or certificate purchase could turn into multiple purchases quite quickly.
Order From Local Restaurants Rather Than Chains
One of the best ways for people to explore how to support local small businesses is to explore buying from local restaurants. These restaurants are often known as mom-and-pop restaurants — and with good reason. They’re run by families or small proprietors most often, and there are actually a lot of benefits to utilizing them directly. These restaurants are often able to offer food and service that you wouldn’t necessarily see at typical big chains. A lot of international restaurants are family restaurants, and these types of restaurants often are passed over in favor of fast food.
If you’re worried about the COVID-19 pandemic, you should still give these types of restaurants a try. In this day and age, delivery is much easier for small family restaurants to obtain. You in turn can use these services, like DoorDash, Uber Eats, and much more. Not only will this allow you to support these small restaurants, but it will also help you keep them afloat during a time that is especially challenging for all of them. Right now, it’s incredibly difficult for small businesses, in general, to stay afloat amidst the pandemic. Ordering delivery or takeout from a local restaurant from time to time can make a big difference.
Tip Workers More
In the same sense, you need to think about what the workers are doing on the ground. A lot of small businesses employ workers that are not only giving their time and energy but also their emotional labor to these businesses. Many workers don’t necessarily find it worth it to do so unless they are able to collect tips on top of what are often small salaries. Small businesses often have limited budgets and can only pay their employees so much, which is why tipping is so crucial.
There is a reason why these businesses incorporate the type of technology that encourages tipping; they want people to recognize the extra effort that their employees are putting in and are trying to encourage tipping. If you’re exploring how to support local small businesses, you need to support the employees as well. Don’t reserve tips for wait staff at restaurants. Many businesses will offer you the option to tip those at the front register as well, and you may want to think about doing so. Offer tips to artisans that are putting their personal touches into your work. Think about how much a little bit extra could help people, and consider tipping when you feel they’ve earned it.
Attend Events Held By Local Businesses
A lot of local businesses hold events in order to promote themselves. Often, these events have a charitable angle, which means that you can both support a small business that you believe in and support a cause or charity that is important to you. Small businesses may also hold fundraisers like silent auctions or dinners. These are great opportunities to show your support, and can come with benefits for you as well.
This because these types of events are generally seen as great networking opportunities for both individuals and businesses. Your favorite small businesses may be there, and if you’re interested in starting your own business or simply making connections with business owners in your area, you should consider attending these types of events. Furthermore, there is often quite a bit of swag given away at such events. Why not pick up one of many custom printed tshirts and wear it around in order to show your support for local small businesses?
Offer Your Own Expertise
When considering how to support local small businesses, you also need to think about the way you can offer helpful services yourself. This doesn’t necessarily mean joining their team but rather offering the services in which you specialize as much as possible. Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to offer your own, especially in the midst of a pandemic that can be difficult to live within on an economic level. However, it does mean that you may want to reach out and offer your services as a consultant. Some small businesses may not necessarily be able to employ consultants, even temporary consultants, due to limited budgets. However, they may offer unpaid internships or volunteer positions that you can take advantage of if you’re comfortable with it. All of this is very much up to you.
The more specialized and relevant to the individual small business your skills, the more important they will be and the more you should consider reaching out directly. For example, if you’re an expert in sign design and you’ve noticed that a small business lacks effective marketing, you may want to reach out directly and offer your expertise.
There are so many things to consider as you explore how to support local small businesses. You can support a small business as a consumer or patron, or potentially as an employee or volunteer. Right now, it can be difficult for small businesses to succeed, but it’s not impossible. Do some thinking about how you and your family can support small businesses around you.