Since COVID-19 hit, pretty much all small businesses were greatly impacted. Some went out of business, some are struggling to stay afloat. With reduced hours, reduced staff, small businesses are having a hard time keeping their doors open. Some businesses in the event industry, such as ours, can’t even hold public events anymore. These are scary times for small businesses. Times are tough so it’s hard for people without jobs or limited hours to purchase products, food, etc. Below is a list of how to support a small business for free. All it takes is the smallest amount of your time… which we all have an abundance of these days. Am I right?
1. Follow/Like Their Social Media Accounts
Maybe you haven’t gotten around to following or liking one of your favorite places to go on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. Every follow or like makes a difference. Tip: Most businesses keep all their social media accounts on their website, which makes the process much faster.
2. Comment, Share, or Like a Post on Social Media
This one is a given but a lot of customers might not understand how engagement works on social media platforms. The more likes or comments a post gets the better the chances of that post showing up in someone’s feed, which leads to more people seeing that post. Easy right? All you have to do is tap that like. Boom. It’s that easy. If you wanna get some brownie points you can even tag a friend you might like the post or even share it on your page for a different audience to see too. Sharing is caring!
3. Post Your Pics and Tag the Business
If you took a photo when you were out at a restaurant or event, etc don’t be afraid to tag the business as well. Small businesses love seeing pictures of you having a good time at their establishment. They may even share it on their page too. Brownie points for using their hashtag. (Which is normally just the name of the business. For example: #ThePaintSesh.)
4. Leave a Review
Small businesses thrive on getting reviews from previous customers. The more reviews they have the more credible their business looks so others feel more comfortable choosing that business to go to. You can leave a review on Google, Yelp, or Facebook. Some businesses even have a review page on their Website to leave a review.
* If you had a bad experience please be mindful. Small businesses have A LOT more on their plate so one negative review can strongly hurt a small business. Most small businesses want to try to make it right. Before you spread any negativity, reach out to that business. 9/10 times they will try and make up for any negative experience you might have had.
5. Subscribe to Their Newsletter
Email marketing through newsletters is a great wat to let their customers know whats going on. When subscribing to a newsletter you’ll typically get sent different deals, promos, special announcements, upcoming events, and more. All you have to do is put in your name and email to get the scoop. I mean who doesn’t like getting deals?
*Tip: Be sure that your email accepts emails from that particular business. You don’t want your coupons ending up in the junk folder. 😉 Sometimes Gmail accounts will even separate certain sender’s into the promotions folder.
6. Share Your Experience with Friends and Family
Did you have a good time at the event you went to? Did you enjoy the food at the restaurant? Was the staff super friendly? Share your experience with friends and family. A lot of small businesses are based on word of mouth. If you let your loved ones know how awesome the customer service or whatever it might have been, they will most likely check it out for themselves too. Once again sharing is caring. 🙂
$ – Other Ways to Show Your Support – $
Okay, okay I know this article was how to support a small business without spending a dime but I wanted to include a couple of things you do with spending a little bit if you have the budget to do so. As well as some useful tips about third-party companies such as Groupon, etc.
GROUPONS = BAD!
Most customers don’t understand how Groupon works, in the perspective of the business. I know we all want to save that money but buying Groupons DOES NOT HELP SMALL BUSINESSES. Businesses on Groupon have listings for the fraction of the price. From that discounted price Groupon takes about 50%, give or take. (Plus additional discounts on top of that which can equal to 70-80% of that sale.) Small businesses are lucky to break even selling something on Groupon. Instead, purchase directly through the business. Sometime if you mention the deal you have seen they will give you the same promo. Without having to give away a hefty percentage.
Purchase a Gift Card
Some small businesses have gift cards that you can purchase to use at a later date. Maybe, that business is temporarily closed due to the epidemic. Just get a gift card instead, and use it later. Every little bit helps.
Merch and Other Goodies
There are a few small businesses that take pride in their branding so they create various products such as T-shirts, tote bags, enamel pins, stickers, and more. If you loved spending your time with certain businesses show your love by rocking that tee.
Tips and Donations are Much Appreciated!
Tips or donations are always encouraged for small business but never necessary. If you felt like you received a little extra love and attention than leave an extra little tip. That’s the circle of life, keep spreading the good vibes. Some businesses will even include places to leave virtual tips.
Don’t forget to come back. Return customers are a successful sign of a successful small business. I speak on behalf of all small business owners:
“I LOVE seeing all my regular customers. It makes the day a little better, a little brighter.”
Support Small Businesses
Let’s continue to give the small guys and gals a chance. Small businesses need our help, and it starts with just liking their page. They do what they do with nothing but heart. Every little bit helps make a difference. Who knows your one review, might help keep a small business open.
Some of us don’t know any better or not thinking about how to support small businesses. All we need is a little guidance or some words of wisdom. I hope this helped. When you support a small business, you are supporting a dream.