Helping small businesses is really synonymous with helping your own community grow. Major corporations that operate within your community obviously employ and sometimes contribute locally, but it’s irrefutable that their profits are shipped out elsewhere. Helping local businesses is investing in the businesses that are invested in our community. It’s giving business to your neighbors and friends. It’s helping a community partner that will likely be in the position to return the favor. It’s choosing to be able to work with someone that you will run into on the ball field or grocery store aisles. Helping small businesses is good business.
Some may ask “how can I help small businesses?” We’re glad you asked!
- Patronize small businesses. This might be obvious, but where you choose to “vote with your dollars” makes a big difference. Even if it’s just a burger, I’m sure Trish at Neon Pig appreciates it a lot more than Ronald McDonald ever will.
- Online Reviews. This might seem like a small thing, but leaving an online review for a business really, really helps them. When people search online for a new place to try, reviews often make or break that decision. Also, there are a lot of Negative Nellies out there for which water will never be wet enough and your positive review can help raise their rating. Finally, ratings are important in SEO. Google uses reviews as one of the factors to help decide which businesses to put on the coveted first page positions. Your review can help new customers find them – bonus points if you specifically mention the product or service you utilized from them!
- Word of Mouth. They say to choose a circle of friends that mention your name in a room of opportunity – but for business owners, this is critical. When you’re asked for a recommendation, there is no better recommendation than a local business owner that you know will move mountains to make them happy.
- Praise publicly and correct in private. (directly to the business owner/manager so they have the opportunity to improve.) Taking to social media to let everyone know of a single poor experience just isn’t fair – give them the opportunity to make it right. Most small business owners would love the opportunity to “WOW!” you.
- Social Media Love. When you like, comment, and share posts, it not only is encouraging to the business owner, it not only goes to your friends that you shared it to, but it also goes into the “algorithms” and tells them that it’s a post that people like, so they’re willing to share it with more of their followers. Social media channels are a lot more restrictive with businesses than personal profiles. I could share a picture of a cute pair of shoes on my personal profile today and probably get 100 likes, but if I shared a well crafted business post, it’s much, much harder. Take a moment to give a little love – the business owner will appreciate it more than you know.