When most people think of the month of February, they think of Valentine’s Day. A month for celebrating romance and all things pink and lovey-dovey. What if we celebrate all kinds of love in February!? Like, loving your local small business and showering them with appreciation! Show love to the business owners around you and make them feel seen and special!
The beginning of a new year can be a difficult quarter for any business. Post-holiday spending is lighter. People and companies are finalizing budgets for the new year and making plans, but not probably not taking much action. And that Small Business Saturday in November is kind of a long way away…
Put a little love into your favorite small businesses with these 5 easy and supportive ideas:
5 Ways to Say I love Small Businesses
Spread the Love
A simple and effective way to support small business owners is to simply spread the word of why you enjoy shopping there. Consumers are distrustful these days. Hearing something positive and sharing the fact that a company is locally owned will go a long way to building trust and encouraging trial. People tend to gravitate to familiar brands because they know what to expect. When asked if people like to shop local, most people will say that they prefer to support local business owners. By sharing your information about local businesses with friends and family, you are inspiring them to check it out!
You don’t need diamonds to get engaged with small businesses. Similar to using word of mouth to support a business, use social media to share, like or broadcast local business offers and products. Think of it as exponential exposure – you share a post from a small business and it gets seen by many more people. Your friends share, they like, they visit! It’s a social media snowball effect. You can like or share company posts and pages, create hashtags on your own social media channels or recommend a local business when someone is looking for recommendations.
Be Starry Eyed
Writing genuine, positive reviews for small businesses is a great way to provide recognition and increase online exposure. Social media sites like Yelp offer reviews not just for restaurants, but pretty much every type of business or service. The more reviews a business gets, the better ranking or display their business will get in local listings. Google and Facebook also have areas to review a business. In an age where everyone looks to the internet for validation, knowledge and information, more 4 and 5-star reviews can really boost a business. Reviews don’t need to be long – just a simple statement of why you enjoyed your visit, or what makes that business stand out are short and sweet ways to show your support.
Chances are your local small business owner is out in the community all the time. They’re looking for ways to find new customers, showing the community what they have to offer and trying to keep their name top of mind. Things like 5K’s, vendor pop-ups, farmers markets, school events or fundraisers or club events like Lion’s Club or Kiwanis Club are all great places for small business owners to showcase their services or products. If you can attend these events, you are not only supporting the community, but the local businesses involved as well. Similarly, if you know any events that would be ideal for a small business to participate in, share those as well!
Keep the Love Light Burning
Probably the most impactful way to help small, local businesses stay afloat is to keep buying from them! The money you spend in their business helps to keep people employed, helps the local economy and keeps the business going. Buy gift cards or gift certificates and give them as presents, share the products you purchase with others or enlist the owner’s services when needed. Need some ideas on how to do more? You can help local owners by saving some of your monthly spending budget specifically for small businesses. Map out your weekend errands along routes of known local shop owners, clip coupons from local publications to use around your town or plan events like happy hours or birthday parties using local companies.
Owning and running a company is no small feat. Whatever ways you can show your love to local businesses, they will certainly appreciate them! Knowing you have the support from the local community can make a huge impact on success. So, get out there and share the love!