While big brands can have a big influence in our lives, it’s small businesses that form the free market we all rely on. The more small businesses there are, the more options consumers have. Supporting small businesses is important for building a strong and connected local community full of opportunities for everyone. But how can we support the businesses around us?
Coming up is Small Business Saturday, a holiday after Thanksgiving where we help support the small businesses that make the backbone of our communities. To celebrate, we want to help you learn how to support a small business that you love. Whether you’re a consumer or another business yourself, there is a lot that all of us can do!
No business can run without the customers that support them. However, sometimes a business, especially a small business, needs a little extra help. If you’re a consumer (hint: everyone is a consumer) who loves a struggling small business in your community, here are some great ways you can help them through the highs and lows of the year.
In a perfect world, all a company would need for advertising is to put their all into satisfying their customers. However, for that perfect world to exist, customers need to start telling everyone how much they love their favorite companies. When you love a business, refer friends and family whenever you can. You can also leave positive reviews on Yelp, Google Reviews, and other review sites so people looking online will know that this business is the bee’s knees. Sharing the love not only helps others find their new favorite restaurant or spa, it helps that company get the exposure they need to thrive.
If you love a place, go often! If your favorite small business is a seasonal place like a petting zoo or a river tour, make it your family tradition to visit every year. If it’s a restaurant or a game center, make that place your new go-to location to celebrate birthdays, holidays, and career successes. Many shops also offer subscriptions and membership cards, and signing up for those can be a great way to show your support and get deals for yourself at the same time. Buying gift cards during off seasons can also help them keep ahead of expenses and allow you to use that money later at your convenience.
You don’t have to be a millionaire to be a patron of a business. Many small businesses, especially artists and craftsmen, will have a Patreon account or similar website set up. On these sites, you can subscribe for additional content and deals or even just make donations to help them keep going during slow seasons. You can also keep an eye out online and onsite for fundraisers that will give you the chance to donate. This year, help support Small Business Saturday by finding ways to donate to your favorite local business.
Not every business is competition, and sometimes it pays to help others. If your business has grown and you’re interested in helping others get where you are, there’s a lot of ways you can help pull other small businesses up by their bootstraps and get through the hard times. Learn how to support Small Business Saturday with these tips for helping businesses stand by businesses.
Coordinating with other businesses in your area is a great way to build a strong and interconnected community and improve business for everyone. Connect with others in your industry (and even outside it) to create special deals that bring customers to everyone. For example, a sports store can give discounts to a local spa, and a restaurant can offer coupons for a local winery with every order. You can also coordinate to set up community events such as seasonal fairs and picnics in the park where everyone can show off their businesses.
If there are new businesses starting in your community, reach out to give advice and encouragement. As you know, starting a small business can be very scary at the beginning while you wait to see if your company kicks off, and a little encouragement from a fellow entrepreneur can go a long way. You can also help them find the best vendors in the area and set up contacts with other businesses in the area. This is also a great time to offer the chance to coordinate with coupons, offers, and advertisements with one another to benefit both of your businesses.
Sometimes it can be hard to ask for help, especially as a business. Many feel they will be showing weakness as a company by asking for help, but in reality, any small business relies on its community. When you reach out for help and receive it, your connection to your community grows. Here are two of the best ways you can ask for and get help as a small business.
If your profits are taking a hit, don’t despair. Most small companies don’t even make a profit in the first two or three years, no matter how amazing their products or services are. That doesn’t mean you have to just sit with your finances in the red, either. There are lots of ways to fundraise online and in-store. Online, you can start a Patreon and offer subscriptions to customers for exclusive offers, products, and services. You can offer promotional products to your subscribers such as custom totes and bags, promotional pens, and drinkware with your logo.
If you’re looking for a mentor or just a little advice and don’t know how to ask for help, entrepreneur groups are the perfect place to go. Groups like this in your community is built entirely of people looking to give and get advice and support to other entrepreneurs like you. If there isn’t already one in your area, you can start one! As we’ve said before, the more you connect as a community, the stronger your businesses will be for it.
Forget the rat race, working together is what’s good for business. When everyone comes together to help a small business thrive, everyone benefits. Our tips for how to support a small business give you the jumpstart you need to get involved in the businesses of your community. Whether you’re a consumer or a business, there’s plenty of ways we can all help fill our communities with thriving small businesses that bring opportunities and growth for everyone.
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