Smaller companies can struggle to keep up with larger businesses and, as a consumer, there’s a lot you can do to support small businesses in your area.
You might not realize it, but buying from a small business helps your local economy far more than buying from a national chain. When you buy from a local shop, three times more money stays in your area than when you purchase elsewhere. That translates into better jobs and income for you, your family, and your neighbors.
What steps can you take to support small businesses in your community? Let’s take a look!
Shop Local First, Not Last
Many people would like to shop locally, but it doesn’t occur to them until most of their shopping is done. As a result, they’ve already spent most of their budget and can only buy a little from local small businesses.
You can shift your mindset to shop small businesses first rather than last. Make a plan to hit small shops and local retailers right away during the holiday rush. Focus your budget and your gift-giving on smaller businesses first.
Then, if you need anything else that you weren’t able to find, you can use the tail end of your budget in larger national stores. Best of all, your gifts will be more unique, delighting the recipients!
Encourage Others to Shop Small Businesses
You can also get others to join you in your mission to shop small during holidays – and all year. Talk to your friends, family, and coworkers. Post about it on social media. Share your awesome small business finds with everyone!
The truth is that it doesn’t take a huge shift in consumer behavior to make a big difference to the small companies in your community. Just 20% more small business shopping can be a massive deal to a local retailer. So don’t assume you can’t make a difference!
When you encourage others to join the “shop small” mission, you don’t just reach those individuals. Their friends, family and anyone else they speak to can be impacted. It’s truly a ripple effect.
Buy Gift Cards from Local Businesses
Not sure what to get someone? No problem, get them a gift card from a small business. This can be especially fun if the store carries some quirky and unusual things. Then your recipient can take a look and choose the perfect gift for themselves.
Small business gift cards bring money into the community right away, and they have the chance to create new fans of the company when your friends or family use their gift cards in the future. Perhaps someone you know wouldn’t normally think of going to a small business, but with a gift card, they will.
You’ll open some eyes to the fun of shopping small and support your community at the same time. It’s a definite win-win.
Talk to Small Companies Online
When you engage with small businesses on social media, you help them in many ways all at once. Not only will your friends and family see your posts and become curious about the business, but the engagement draws others to the social media page, as well.
In addition, many social media platforms prioritize posts and pages that have a lot of engagement. By simply posting on social media and having a conversation with a small company, you can help them improve their visibility and gain new customers.
Helping a small business build an online community and improve its digital presence is a great way to help out, and it doesn’t cost anything.
Find Other Ways to Save Money
One of the reasons that people don’t shop at small businesses is that they find the goods are more expensive. This is often because they are unique or of higher quality. The company may use suppliers that support fair trade and avoid unethical labor practices.
Instead of skipping small businesses due to your budget, find other ways to save. Shop around and compare star ratings for your monthly bills, such as car and home insurance. For example, Freeway Insurance reviews consistently have a high star rating. You can call them to get a free quote for auto and home insurance rates. You can also ask your cell phone provider for a lower rate or review your television and streaming services.
Getting rid of unused subscriptions, getting lower costs on monthly bills, and even cooking at home instead of eating out are great ways to save money. As a result, you’ll have the budget to get great gifts from small businesses in your area.
Leave Great Reviews for Small Businesses
When you shop at a small business and have a great experience, don’t keep it to yourself. Instead, leave a positive review on every platform they use. Google is often the most important, followed by Facebook and Yelp. Talk about what you loved about shopping there so that readers will feel confident about visiting the company.
Most consumers trust reviews as much as they would a personal recommendation from a friend or family member, so these posts have a huge impact. It doesn’t cost anything at all to let the world know about your amazing experience with a small business. Spread the word!
Meet Friends at a Local Restaurant or Coffee Shop
Getting together with a group of friends? Instead of picking a chain restaurant, why not pick a small business that operates locally? You can have a great time, enjoy delicious food, and support local businesses at the same time.
A small local restaurant will often have a unique menu, better quality food, and a wonderful atmosphere. A local coffee shop may have specialty offerings that chain stores can’t match. Even if it’s similar, you’ll feel good knowing that you’re supporting your community and making a difference to a small business.
Go Small During the Holidays – and All Year!
Small businesses need your help during holiday shopping – and all year round. When you follow these tips, you’ll prioritize shopping at local businesses and end up supporting your community. In fact, your impact may have ripple effects you’ll never see that will make a big difference.
What small business will you support ?