Contrary to what the mega-corporations would have you believe, small businesses are the backbone of any economy. They are run by the people of your community who are invested in seeing it grow and thrive. So it’s crucial to support these people who are trying to spread the benefits of social procurement, run environmentally friendly brands, and create positive company cultures.
While you can generally always find what you need online, your dollars will do far more good if you support your local community in the following ways:
Understand and Go After the Benefits of Social Procurement
Social procurement is a practice that many small businesses engage in, purchasing their inventory, supplies, and ingredients from socially-driven entities rather than opting for the cheapest mass-produced products. Social procurement has a positive impact on the store, the environment, the consumers, the community, and the employees.
As a small business owner, you could buy local ingredients or supplies. Tradespeople can use energy-efficient equipment. Businesses with fleets can choose low-impact travel options. By engaging in such practices or supporting businesses that do, you’re playing a vital role in the movement toward fiscally and environmentally responsible practices.
Leave Positive Reviews Online
Large corporations can often shrug off bad reviews as they get drowned out by positive feedback and flashy marketing campaigns. However, small businesses generally don’t have the marketing budget to match larger competitors, so a negative review can be catastrophic.
When you appreciate the extra effort or attention that went into the product or service you received, communicate this on a public platform. Do a bit of research, find out what platform has the fewest reviews, and make a significant impact on their company perception by leaving glowing feedback.
Spread the Word
Word of mouth is one of the strongest referral channels available, and it’s been working its magic far longer than social media or smartphones. When you purchase a product or service from a small business and are pleased with the results, tell as many people as possible.
Share on social media. Phone a friend. Post a review. Tag the location when you return. Talk about why you loved it and how it’s made a positive impact on your life. You can even use social media scheduling tools to help you automate your word-of-mouth machine.
Go Beyond Shopping
We all know that humans are generally creatures of habit. While shopping with small enterprises is the number one way to show your support, there are other ways you can engage with them that are helpful.
When your favorite shops and service providers diversify their offerings, inquire about them and learn as much as you can. Be open to trying new things or new processes. If they host events, show up or spread the word if you can’t. If they create an app, download it. If they host an online event, register for it and participate.
Offer Tangible Support
If you’re a fellow business owner, offer your services and collaborate with other small businesses. If you’ve noticed where they may need additional support in the operation of their enterprise, lend a helping hand with practical feedback or hands-on help. Create a collaborative partnership with your small business community, and learn to rely on one another.
Small businesses are a lifeline for communities, families, and the economy. It’s important that they can rely on their market, their neighbors, their families, and their friends to support their endeavors. How will you support a small business this week?