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I love that it has become somewhat popular to support small business in the last few years. If you have NEVER owned a business of your own, you might not understand how hard (and how personal) it can all be.
Can you imagine building something from the ground up only to have friends and family buy the same thing elsewhere? Believe me when I say, I have been there. But we have to give friends and family and really the general population a little credit in that, they truly just don't understand. If you've never lived, breathed, and counted on providing for your family with something you have built, then you simply don't see that perspective.
It is important to really PUSH shopping local and supporting small business, because we all need a reminder. We are often in easy habit mode and just used to buying everything from a few large chain stores. All it takes is a little extra effort to realize you can buy similar (or better) items from other sources.
Did you know?? 48% of money spent at small businesses actually stays within the local community. While only 14% of money spent at big chains and big box stores actually stays in your own community. (from Importance of Buying Local for a Faster Economic Recovery)
Don't get me wrong, I love a good chain store retail therapy every once in awhile. But when I'm shopping for special unique gifts or interesting home decor, I love to look local and shop small, even online.
I cannot tell you how many adorable and amazingly unique (and customized) gifts I have found on Etsy.com
Did you know?? Small business products account for more than 50% of all units sold on Amazon.
You can even find small businesses who share your core values or community mission. Amazon is even making it easy to shop for carbon neutral products.
The point really is that small businesses are thriving contributors to each and every one of our communities. By supporting them, you are supporting your local schools, parks, libraries, etc. Even if you shop SMALL online, you are still supporting other local communities that also need it.
Here are 4 really EASY ways everyone can support small businesses. All but one option require you to spend ZERO dollars.
Engage with their posts
1. We are all on social media, all day everyday. It takes no time to like a post of your friend's home business. Leave a quick emoji comment when a small business posts something cool. Or even share their post to your feed. All of your engagement helps the algorithms show small business posts to more people.
Purchase their products
2. This one does require you to put some skin in the game. But let's be honest, you are going to spend your money somewhere, why not invest in a small business... and make their day! If you are planning to buy teacher gifts, graduation gifts, birthday gifts, think about supporting your local boutique shops or checking out some small women-owned shops online.
Write a positive review
3. If you had a great experience with a small business, leave a review. You can do this on google or on Facebook, both of which help their SEO. Whether you loved a neighborhood handyman or bought something from a small shop on Amazon, give them the full stars and say something you loved about your purchase.
As a word of caution, PLEASE be very careful when writing a bad review. If you feel the need to bash a business online, FIRST try to do everything in your power to talk with a manager or owner. Try to resolve the issue calmly and away from the public eye. It is so easy to be anonymously mean when you have no idea what that business owner is going through and what may have caused the issue. You have no idea the impact one bad review can have on future sales or future google searches for that business.
Recommend their services
4. If you loved what you bought at a small shop, snap a pic and share it online with a link to that business. If someone is asking if anyone knows a good lawyer or photographer, don't hesitate to shout out your small business faves and tag them in the comments.
Print these out to remind yourself (and others) how
to consistently support small business. Share the image on social media to show your support as well!
It's really easy to support OTHER small businesses (especially if you are a small business owner). I always say there is plenty of room in the market for everyone to succeed. Why not support each other, cross promote each other, and grow together. Help your local businesses, because they help your local communities more than you will ever know.
Are you a small business and could use some peace of mind with your marketing? Schedule a one on one strategy session to get your business (and life) back on track.
Comment below with your favorite ways to support local or small business. Share this post with someone who could use a little small business support!