7 Simple Ways to Support Small Businesses!
Ch-ch-ch—changes! Change seems to be the word of the year at this point. Everything around us is changing. Social norms are no longer normal. A simple trip to the grocery store has become an event. Not many families have been immune to having to make some change as our world has been hit with this pandemic. Change can be scary. However, I'm trying to focus on the positive elements that it brings…and what I can do in the midst of it.
Change means many business owners are being forced to make intentional decisions and taking a second look at what we do and how we do it. Even my little business has been affected by the financial hit that this pandemic has brought to the world. It’s made me so aware of the little things that we can all do to support small businesses everywhere. Even as stores start to re-open, they will not be going back to business as usual.
These simple things–most of which are FREE for you–can make a BIG impact on so many!
How to Support Small Businesses You Love
1. Purchase directly from them.
There are so many stores and businesses that are really struggling right now. It’s sad to think about how many companies won’t survive this pandemic. Most people have switched their buying habits to purchase from stores that have been able to stay open right now. That's great for those companies, but there are ways we can still help those whose doors have had to stay closed. Lots of companies are offering online shopping, take out or delivery services, and gift certificates. I know my hair salon is offering DIY hair coloring kits. So, take a little time to see what other businesses you can purchase from during this time.
2. Follow them on social media.
Larger social media following can help businesses in so many ways, you’d really be surprised. Future customers, publishing houses, sponsors, and so many other income-generating sources look at our social media numbers. It may seem like a trivial thing, but a simple click to follow or subscribe to social media accounts can make a big difference. Believe it or not, hitting 10K followers on Instagram and Facebook is a big deal! On Instagram, it allows you to have new features on your account that help with business opportunities. Again, little thing to you, but a BIG deal for those of us trying to make it in this economy. (Personally, I’m only 1K away from hitting this goal on Instagram! So close, it’s killing me!)
3. Leave them reviews.
Whether it’s your favorite book, podcast, or brick and mortar store. Find them online and leave a review. I know it’s always such a blessing to read through reviews that I get for my M.O.M.=Master Organizer of Mayhem book on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, as well as reviews for my podcast. I will say this. If you don’t LOVE the product or company, don’t leave a review. Save bad or mediocre reviews for another day. Right now we all just need encouragement. I have several friends who had to launch their books in the midst of all this craziness. They had to cancel book tours and press engagements. After months of planning, that makes it hard. (Which is one reason I've loved having several of them on my YouTube channel to talk about their books.)
- Ready for Anything by Kathi Lipp: Book and YouTube interview
- Jesus Over Everything by Lisa Whittle: Book and (older) podcast interview
- Fear is Not the Boss of You by Jennifer Allwood: Book and podcast interview
- Your Blue Flame by Jennifer Fulwiler: Book and YouTube interview
- Love Without Borders by Angela Braniff: Book and YouTube interview
4. “Market” for them.
Tell your friends about the products you love and people you enjoy following on social media. Share about them on your own social media and tag them in the post. This is such a huge blessing since marketing and advertising opportunities are down right now. Simply talking to friends about products, books, stores, authors, podcasts, YouTube channels, and services you are love is so great. You don't have to have a podcast or be a social media influencer to make a difference. Word of mouth is still the best way to spread the word.
5. Purchase through their links.
It may be Amazon affiliate links, product or event affiliate links, bundles, online classes, or all kinds of other links. Affiliate marketing doesn’t cost the consumer a thing. It does, however, give the promoter a small commission (sometimes big, depending on the item). Believe it or not, some entrepreneurs sustain their entire business through affiliate links. So, if you have a purchase to make, make it through a link on someone's site. Many bloggers have resource pages or “tool” pages that keep all categories of their affiliate links in one organized spot.
6. Tip well.
Whether it's a delivery person dropping off food, you're picking up your food yourself, or maybe you're simply driving through to grab your meal, tip generously. It doesn't have to be extravagant, though that's always a welcome blessing.
7. Be patient and show some extra kindness.
I joked with someone in Costco recently–through a mask–about the fact that we all have to learn to put on our “patient hats”. Anytime we are faced with a situation when there is a wait involved, I tell my kids to put on their “patient hats”. It's a simple way to remind ourselves that we just have to take a deep breath and extend a little extra kindness and patience to those around us. Especially as businesses begin to open under new rules and regulations, be patient as lines will probably be longer and things will be moving a bit slower.
These are crazy times we live in these days. Hang in there! Change often hurts. It forces us to grow in ways we may not have desired. However, we may come out the other side of this COVID 19 era changed for the better. There are so many simple ways that we can all be supporting those around us. Instead of focusing on all the negativity we see all around us these days, focus on being the change and a blessing to those in your community and beyond.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. – James 1:2-4