Small businesses are the backbone of the United States economy. They account for more than half of all private sector jobs and create more than two-thirds of new jobs each year. So how can you support a small business without purchasing anything?
There are plenty of things you can do to help a small business owner out, and most of them won’t cost you a dime.
Small businesses are the backbone of the economy – show your support by patronizing them.
The best way to support a small business is to spend money there.
However, we understand that not everyone has the disposable income to do this (especially with the current economy).
When people spend their money at small businesses, that money not only circulates back into the local economy but also supports a local family trying to get by. This helps create and sustain jobs and keeps money in the community.
When you purchase goods or services from a small business, you also support the entrepreneur who owns that business. They might not make tons of profit on each sale, but they are working hard to grow their company and support their family.
Another way t to look at it is like this. Let’s say you buy from Walmart. The CEO of Walmart makes millions of dollars a year. He lives in a different state than where the store is located. The headquarters is in Arkansas, and the money made at the store where you live stays in Arkansas.
Now let’s say you buy from Joe’s Hardware store. Joe is the owner, and he lives in your town. He has a family to support, and when you spend your money at his store, that money circulates back into your community because Joe is going to spend it there too. He might buy his kids lunch at the local deli, buy gas from the corner station, or get his hair cut at the barber down the street.
The bottom line is that when you spend your money at a small business, that money supports your community in ways that spending your money at a large corporation cannot.
Use your social media platforms to promote small businesses.
From time to time, share something about the business on your personal Facebook page, Twitter, or Instagram. This could be something as simple as a photo of you at the company or a post about how much you enjoyed your experience.
Another way to support a small business on social media is by liking their posts and sharing them with your friends. This helps to increase the reach of their posts and gets their name out there to people who might not have heard of them before. Encourage your friends to like and share their posts as well.
This costs you nothing, but it means a lot to the business owner. When you share their content on various social media platforms, it’s like free advertising for them, and it helps to get their name out there to potential customers.
The best part, all of your friends will see that you support a small business (without even purchasing anything!) in your community, and they might be more likely to do the same!
Volunteer your time or services to help a small business.
Running a business is hard work, and sometimes business owners can use an extra hand. If you have a particular skill or talent that you think could benefit a small business, offer to help out! This could be anything from design work to accounting assistance.
Of course, they can hire these services, but they can be expensive. By offering to help for free or at a reduced rate, you are truly supporting the business. And, who knows – you might even make some valuable connections in the process.
Even unskilled work goes a long way. Say you have some friends opening a business, and they’re remodeling the space themselves to save money. Offer to help them paint or put together furniture. It will take some of the burdens off of them, and they will appreciate it.
Small tasks can make a big difference to a small business owner, so don’t hesitate to offer your time.
Shop local to help keep small businesses in your community alive.
When you’re doing your shopping, you can buy online, from a major retailer, or from a small, local business. Consider spending your money at the local level to help support these businesses. After all, you were going to buy the product anyway – why not buy it from a small business?
Of course, it’s convenient (and sometimes cheaper) to buy from large retailers or online, but when you support small businesses, you are also supporting your community. Local businesses often give back to the community through donations, sponsorships, and volunteer work. Big corporations have other overhead expenses that they have to pay for, so they are less likely to give back to the community in the same way.
So next time you need to buy a gift, pick up some groceries, or get your car serviced, think about patronizing a local business instead of a big chain store. Your community will thank you for it!
Write positive reviews to help small businesses attract more customers.
This one is huge. Whenever you get the chance, write positive reviews for small businesses – and include as many details as possible.
With the internet, people are more likely to read reviews before making a purchase. If you had a great experience at a small business, let others know! This will help attract new customers.
It’s critical that you provide details and keywords that potential customers might be searching for.
For example, if you had a great experience with the customer service at a clothing store, you might write something like this:
“I had such a great experience shopping at Julie’s Boutique! The staff was super friendly and helpful, and they went out of their way to ensure I found what I was looking for. I almost gave up hope trying to find the perfect sandals to go with my summer dress, but they were able to put something together for me. I would definitely recommend Julie’s Boutique to anyone looking for great customer service and value.”
By writing a review like this, you are not only promoting the business but also helping them out by providing valuable keywords that potential customers might be searching for. This helps with their search engine optimization (SEO) and ultimately drives more business.
So, next time you have a great experience at a small business, be sure to spread the word! A few positive reviews can go a long way and show your support for a small business without purchasing anything.
Recommend a small business to your friends and family.
This is right up there with social media and online reviews.
If you had a great experience at a small business, tell your friends and family about it! Recommendations from people we trust are often some of the most powerful marketing tools a company can have.
Think about how often you’ve heard someone say, “I saw this great restaurant on Yelp” or “I read about this great new store on Facebook.” These recommendations carry a lot of weight and can be extremely helpful for small businesses.
Chances are, you’ve had friends ask you for recommendations before. Next time they’re looking for a new place to shop or eat, recommend a small business!
You can do many things to support a small business without purchasing anything. By spreading the word and telling your friends and family about your favorite small businesses, you can help them grow. You can also visit their stores or websites, leave positive reviews, and share their social media posts.
Small businesses appreciate every bit of support they receive, so even if you can’t make a purchase, there are still plenty of ways to show your support!