With another year of holiday shopping upon us, it’s important to consider small businesses for your shopping expenses. We’re not ashamed to say it: small businesses need love too!
Small businesses are our friends and family in our communities. It’s important to show them support and help them succeed.
It might seem like quite an endeavor to support a small business but that’s not true, and we’re here to prove it to you. The title of this article does not lie – supporting a small business really is easy.
Why support a small business?
- Small businesses create more job opportunities. According to the Small Business Administration, small businesses and companies create 1.5 million jobs each year, and account for 64% of new jobs created in the US.
- They contribute to the community and the local economy. Small businesses give back three times as much money to their local economy, and donate and give back to their communities by hosting events, charity donations and much more.
- You get a better customer experience. Small businesses really listen to their customers. Need a specific item? The chances of you getting exactly what you’re looking for are greater at a small business than with bigger brands that only sell what they have.
How can you support a small business this holiday season?
Planning ahead and shopping early will help support a small business throughout the year. Sure, the holiday season is a great time to shop, but if you think locally year round and start planning early, you can help a small business significantly.
Small businesses also have a stressful time towards the end of the year with all the holiday coordination such as scheduling with their clients, shipping out products as well as living their personal lives. Buying early will help them reduce the stress and give better service year round.
Consider your values
When looking for a product or service, think locally first. Consider how far your dollars go when spending at a small business and take some time to search and find the small business near you (or even online) that can service your needs. You have a lot of holiday shopping to do, so replacing 10% or even 20% of your big brand shopping with local businesses makes a huge difference.
Engage with small businesses on social media
Social media is a huge way for small businesses to get the word out about their products and services, discounts and promotions, and even connect with their local community. Engaging with them by liking, commenting and sharing posts helps get small businesses the exposure they desperately need. This holiday season, make it a point to spend a few minutes interacting with posts and small businesses on their social media pages. It’s a few minutes for you, and for them it could mean business all year.
Help spread the word
Found a barber shop you love? A yoga instructor that really connected with you? Every small business owner makes it a point to provide personalized service to their customers, and they deserve to be recognized for it. Post a positive review of your experience, or even a photo and tag them. This will help your community engage with the small business. Nothing’s better than word of mouth to help a small business succeed!
Buy gift cards and coupons
Buying gift cards and coupons is another surefire way to help a small business maintain a steady flow of business all year. Sure, you pay now, but the service or product you buy will be provided throughout the year and without the stress of the holiday season, there’s a higher chance that a one-time coupon will turn into a lifetime customer.
How can you find small businesses to support?
Word of mouth
As stated earlier, word of mouth is one of the best ways to find a small business to support. Got an idea for a product or service you’re looking for? Ask friends and family if they have any suggestions before going straight to the name brands. Go online, read reviews and find other people’s recommendations for where to source what you need.
Keep your eyes and ears open
Take a walk around your neighborhood and find local shops that you can support. Keep your eyes peeled for flyers or business cards that other small businesses might be posting. Actively look online through social media and other platforms that connect you with small businesses. It might take a bit of extra work, but you should be able to find what you’re looking for relatively quickly and make a huge impact both for the small business and for your community.
Use sites and apps that help you find small businesses
There are a bunch of apps and sites you can use that will help you find small businesses to support. Here’s a short list of some:
- The American Express Small Business Map
- Independent We Stand’s Locals Only Business Search
In general, a quick google search of “small businesses near me” should help you find what you’re looking for.
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Supporting a small business this holiday season will help boost your community’s economy, provide more job opportunities and give back to those who could really use it. It’s not as hard as it looks. Just think small when you need to shop, interact with your local small businesses and help spread the word. In this case, a little really does go a long way.