HOW TO SUPPORT SMALL BUSINESSES THIS CHRISTMAS

 

2020 has been an uncertain year for all businesses, especially for independent business owners who have faced having to close their doors – some of which may never re-open. But what you don’t see behind the scenes are these small businesses frantically working to stay afloat, and make pivotal changes to their services to allow them to continue running.

Small businesses are the heart & soul of a country, made up of entrepenurs or teams of people who are just like you. They take the plunge to follow their dreams, to create, to push the boundaries. All of which bring us the innovation we need to thrive as an economy & create a buzzing social impact in towns and cities.

We wrote this post to go into more detail about how you can begin to help your local small businesses so that when things start to be a little more normal, we can bring our favourite small businesses with us into a new beginning.

#1 Buy from them!

The first and most obvious way you can choose to help a small business is to buy from them. This is great if you already know of a friend who have started their own business that you can support, but what if you don’t know of any that you can support?

If you’re a social media user, simply writing a post to share with your friends, or post to a local town group page asking if they know of any small businesses that need support this Christmas – you will be surprised of the amount of people that comment, either sharing their own business or someone that they know.

Alternatively, a simple Google search may help point you in the right direction! By searching for “Product Name, Town Name”, you are more likely to see websites come up that are based in your local area because you have specified the area in which you want to see these products. Google will still display the ads at the top of the search results though, so be wary when clicking these as it may direct you to large businesses such as Amazon.

#2 Gift Vouchers

It’s no doubt that customers’ needs have changed over the years, with many people looking to give gift cards or vouchers as gifts to the recipient so they can choose what they would like. Once the lockdowns are lifted, your recipients will likely be back to their usual routines, buying coffees, visiting the gym or watching a film.

Gift vouchers are a great way to support a small business in the immediate moment, as they are essentially a way of paying for a product or service in advance. It injects a small dose of financial help with the cost of having to produce a product straight away. It is especially helpful for cashflow for those businesses who have to close during lockdown periods – but great for you when you want to pick up a coffee or sandwich when they re-open as it’s already paid for!

#3 Follow, Like, Share, Comment

If you aren’t able to buy from a business, there are plenty of ways you can help expand their audience so that they get in front of someone that is able to support them.

Generally, most businesses are on some type of social media these days – so give them a follow, like their posts, share their posts on your accounts to increase their visibility. Not only does this increase their audience, it keeps you in the loop of their latest news & what they are getting up to reguarly. Maybe they’ll advertise a new product that you may find useful in future!

#4 Say nice things

Reviews are a really helpful method of helping build the trust of a business which helps other make the decision to buy from them in future. Writing positive reviews can also influence their online marketing too, sometimes making them appear higher in Google rankings which can put them infront of a larger audience!

Places that you can start leaving reviews include on their website, Facebook page or social media or simply pop them an email to let them know that you loved their products!

Alternatively, word of mouth recommendations is just as effective. Talking about the small business and recommending to friends & family could help them get a new customer and spread the word.

#5 Sign up to their newsletters

Newsletters are a really easy way to stay up to date with the small businesses without having to do too much. Simply sign up using your email address and receive regular emails into your inbox with information about news, new products and tips & tricks.

You can help them grow by forwarding on their emails to friends and family, or encourage them to sign themselves up to receive the newsletters too!

#6 Order Take out or delivery

The hospitality industry have been hit very hard this year, and although the likes of pubs, restaurants, cafes etc have been instructed to close through the lockdowns, they are still able to make and deliver food & drinks to you.

So as the nights draw in, perhaps choosing a night or two where you treat you & the family to a special meal delivered from your local Thai place just around the corner. Every little helps to these businesses during these difficult times.

#7 Just ask!

A little kindess goes a long way & if you are still stuck for ideas, sometimes just asking a business owner how they are doing, or if there is anything they need from you to help can inspire you! Remember that behind the shop front of these businesses is an individual or a team of people whose day you will make by sending a considerate message.

Sometimes it’s not immediately obvious what they need, so be kind and reach out and ask if there is anything specific. They’ll be touched that you even asked!

WE WANT TO HELP!

At Nettl of Kidderminster, we deal with all kinds of businesses, but we hold small businesses closest to our hearts. If you are a small business who need a little helping hand, please don’t hesitate to contact the team who are always happy for a chat!

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