2020 has really given us a run for our money, and we’re only 3 months in! The reality of what small businesses face over the coming months is daunting to say the least. Personally, we are a small business ourselves and we work closely with a large number of local small businesses on a daily basis. Although we all seem to have had this huge curveball thrown our way, we can seek comfort in knowing we are all faced with similar challenges. Now, more than ever, is a time to band together.
I first went into business because I was passionate about supporting and helping small businesses in any way that I could, and this ethos has not changed in my 9 years of business. My team and I are going to do everything in our power to support our clients, and help other businesses as much as we can. This is why we have been spending a lot of time this week brainstorming ways we can not only support our current clients more but also help local small businesses where we can.
As small business owners, we all have an opportunity to look out for each other and make a difference where we can, which is why we wanted to share some of our ideas on supporting small businesses in our community. These are some of the ways we have been and will continue to support local small business, we hope that everyone can take these ideas on board, and make a difference to our local community too.
Leave Positive Reviews
When you receive good service, your meal is amazing, a business goes out of their way for you, or you just loved their smile, let them know through a positive review. You can do this on Facebook, Google, or TripAdvisor. Not only will you make their day, but this helps small businesses in so many ways!
97% of consumers consult with reviews before buying. Your positive review on someone’s business may just get them a sale.
This is such a simple & free way to support small business but we forget to do it. Set a reminder in your calendar for once a week, a time when you know you’re sitting on the couch on your phone, and think back to the places you have visited and interacted with in the last week, then go give them a nice review - p.s. You’ll get some happy endorphins for doing a good deed too!
Support Small Business on Social Media
While you’re on their Facebook Page leaving them a review, remember to like their page, and maybe even share it too?
Supporting your local small businesses on Facebook is easy & free! If you see a post from them online, interact with it and leave a comment and if you think it’s something your family & friends would benefit from - share it on your wall.
Maybe you’ve just grabbed takeaway's from your favourite cafe? Snap a photo from where you're enjoying it and share on your FB - remember to tag the business. Honestly, you have no idea how much this means to small business owners - it literally makes their day to see their customers supporting them.
Local Online Shopping
You will be surprised by just how many local businesses also run their business online, and at this point in time, many may be making the transition right now. If you’re planning to do some online shopping, or you need to buy something specific, stop and first think about what small business you could be supporting right now.
More often than not, there will be a local business who stocks exactly what you’re looking for. Head over to their website to see if you can find what you’re looking for, or simply give them a call - they can probably organise for you to pick up, or deliver it to you!
If you’re not sure, ask your trusty Facebook friends for recommendations. I.e. ‘I want to buy a wooden train set for my kids birthday, does anyone know someone locally who stocks these before I buy it online?’
Buy Gift Cards
Cash flow is what keeps a business alive. If businesses have lost the majority of their sales, their expenses still won’t change. This means that businesses will quickly run out of money and simply won’t be able to keep their doors open.
Buying a gift card is a great way to inject money straight into a business right now, and then it can be used later on… once all this craziness has blown over! Got a friend's birthday coming up? A friend is expecting a baby? Mother's Day is just around the corner, or even Easter Gifts! A gift card is the perfect way to support a small business and gift something that can be used later - plus they fit nicely in a card which can be posted for $1!
Just because they’re introducing social distancing, and you may feel like staying at home is a smarter decision, does not mean you have to miss out on your favourite restaurant dish! Hospitality is really suffering and they need us to keep supporting them so once all of this ends they can still serve us our favourite dish! Many restaurants, cafes, and eateries are now offering takeaway options, and if they aren't, give them a call because they will probably do it for their favourite regular (you!).
We all still need necessities; bread, fresh produce, meat, etc. Let’s start making more of an effort to shop with our local suppliers; bakeries, butchers, fruit & veg stores, etc. It may take a little more effort than going to just one place, but it’s the least we can do to support our locals who are doing it tough right now. You won't have to wrestle the crowds that you find at the big supermarkets, plus, you will be rewarded with great service & far better quality!
Explore Our Backyard
Many of us have had to cancel travel plans for the year. If you’re still looking to have a break and some downtime this year, consider exploring Tassie! Too often we say ‘Oh! I’ve been meaning to go there!’, well now’s your chance to go.
Spending time to explore Tasmania means we will be injecting money back into local communities, spending money with small businesses and getting to see some places that you’ve never seen before.
Let’s be honest, Tasmania is a pretty great place to be in ‘lockdown’.
Remember, sometimes all someone needs is an ear. Just ask the question and check in with your friends and family who are still trying to run small businesses and stay afloat. Ask them ‘what can I do to help?’, and remember to refer back to our other suggestions above by sharing their business on Facebook and shopping with them whenever you possibly can.
Never in our time have we seen something that has affected the entire world the way this has. Right now, we are all faced with similar challenges and worries; let’s come together and use this as an opportunity to be more community-minded.
Be kind to one another, do your part to support others, and continue to look for the positive in each situation.
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