Small businesses can often have a hard time when butting up against multinationals. It can be challenging to be as competitively priced, they don’t carry as much stock, but the plus sides are so important. Care and attention to detail, a friendly face and personal interaction make them so valuable. It is also fair to say that small businesses have a positive impact on the local economy and offer uniqueness in a sea of mass production. So how can we support them and make sure they can keep trading?
1) Be a Customer
Ok, so this is the easy one, but it is actually more overlooked than you might think. You pop to the supermarket and while there, remember a present you forgot to grab, and with so much on offer, you can easily buy something. But, what about your friend who makes jewellery, or soap, a hundred and one other things? The same applies to small businesses who are service providers, can you use a local web designer instead of some faceless corporation?
2) Promote Them
Small businesses have a bit of a juggling act on their hands; not only do they have to keep their goods or services flowing; they also have to publicise themselves. So, when you see a post on Facebook, take the time to get involved. A comment and a share mean the world and really helps. You never know who on your own friend’s list might be looking for precisely what they offer, and even if they aren’t right now, it helps keep their profile high.
3) Share the Praise
If you have interacted with a small business and loved the experience, speak up! Leave a review on their Facebook page, and remember to share it back to your own Facebook. Word of mouth really helps small businesses, so if you can tell other people about your experience being so positive, you will be doing them a massive favour. Give them permission to quote you on their website or write on Trustpilot or similar.
4) Champion Small Business Saturday
When the world loses its head, as it does every year, and starts raving about Black Friday and other such events, combat this with a shout out and reminder that Small Business Saturday can happen every week. Technically SMS happens in November but why not push for supporting and shopping locally all year round. You are helping people directly rather than indirectly, pay their mortgages, buy food, and basically stay alive. It is a great way to share the love.
5) Say Hello
It can be dreadfully lonely running a small business, but thousands of people do it, for many different reasons. It is nice to feel part of a community. When there is no-one to share coffee in the staffroom with, because there isn’t a staffroom, it can get a little isolating. Send a message and let them know you are a supporter, and you appreciate what they do! You really will make their day.