Understanding how to support local businesses can help you contribute to your community and provide a consistent resource for owners that need a reliable income. There are over 30 million small businesses in the United States alone and they employ almost 48 of today's workforce, so it's more important than ever for customers to support their communities by boosting the revenue of smaller companies.
1. Share the Business With Friends, Family and Social Media
Sharing your approval of a company and its products is one of the best ways to support local products and services. If you enjoy your time with a small business, friends and family are more likely to buy an item from the store if someone they trust recommends it.
The Importance of Word-of-Mouth
Talking with family members and close friends about businesses you like is a great way to support a small business. The family will trust the store and be more willing to try their products. Word-of-mouth advertising is also free and easy. Some companies even offer discounts to those loyal customers who refer friends, making it a win-win for all parties involved.
Sharing on Social Media
With the rise of social media, it is more important than ever to share your approval of a small business on apps like Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Tag the business in your social media posts to drive more customers to their page. You can even watch for updates from the business about new items or merchandise and share pictures of your favorite products or work done by the company.
2. Share Positive Reviews After a Good Experience
Posting reviews about a business's customer service team or the unique products they sell is another way to promote a small company. Reviews are one of the best ways to support a local store because other customers rely on them for their buying decisions. Leave a five-star review on Google, Yelp or Facebook to help a small business attract new customers.
Advertisers consider your personal opinion to be extremely valuable in the marketplace. Many website algorithms use customer reviews to help their clients notice their business and drive revenue.
3. Buy Products or Use Their Services During Holidays or Events
While big-box stores might promote sharp discounts for the holidays, that can be the best time to support local shops. Gifting items from small businesses can act as a promotion while also adding a personal touch to your gift. If you need to cater an event or purchase party favors, there are a few ways to ensure that your favorite small businesses still receive attention throughout the holidays.
- Call ahead: Call the store to find out what the business offers and ask for any specific items or unique services they might provide during the holidays.
- Start early: Looking at products from small businesses early on will help you avoid waiting too long for an item to ship to you or for service to be available. Ask your favorite local business about personalized offerings during the holidays to find good deals.
- Find deals: Take advantage of holiday deals and sales to make the most of your shopping needs. Many businesses will offer lower prices or special sales to stand out from more prominent competitors.
4. Buy Gift Cards to Share With Friends
Gift cards can be a great way to support a business because it means that the store will continue to find new customers. Contribute to the business's cash flow and the local economy by buying a gift card and advertising the store to someone else.
Buying a gift card guarantees future support for your favorite small businesses and shows them you are invested in their brand. Gift cards are also a great way to encourage new customers who might be curious about the business's products. You can share information about the company and promote your support for the brand to other friends and family members. New customers may also become fans of the business and come back in the future to buy products with their own money.
5. Go Right to the Source Instead of Using a Third Party
Third-party sources may include companies like Door Dash or Instacart that require you to pay through the application rather than at the store itself. While receiving groceries or food items may seem more straightforward, it is better to support your local business by buying products from stores or online shops. Here are a few tips for shopping local.
- Find take-out options: Many restaurants offer curbside pick up or even deliver straight to your house. Call your local restaurants to find their take-out options and encourage other customers to continue ordering rather than choosing a chain.
- Attend local markets and fairs: Support local businesses by attending local markets and fairs. You can find a farmer's market to buy from local farmers and food vendors and fairs often host stalls for local businesses and craftspeople.
- Purchase directly from stores: Buy merch from the store itself rather than a third party like Amazon or Facebook Marketplace. This ensures that the money goes directly to the business. You can even promote the product by posting pictures and reviews online.
- Shop for later: Shop for items now, like candles or soap, that you can save for a later date. You can use these products as last-minute holiday gifts or birthday presents and ensure the local business receives money throughout the year.
6. Show Loyalty to the Business
When you hire a business to complete a project like a home renovation, you will often find that many licensed contractors are also skilled in other areas. A local company that you trust may be able to come back for additional projects in the future. To rebook a contractor, house cleaner, or painter, call the small business and see what other services they can provide.
You can also buy merch with the business's logo or slogan to show loyalty. This will support the business and advertise it at the same time.
7. Support Online Efforts
Many stores also offer online shops to provide more revenue for their business. Consider buying their online merchandise and utilizing the many benefits of supporting small businesses through their online presence. Shop online from a local business for anything from books to beauty supplies rather than buying them from a big chain store.
Find Small Business Support With Business Consumer Alliance
Business Consumer Alliance is a non-profit organization servicing contractors, consumers, and businesses across North America. Our company dedicates itself to promoting self-regulation within small businesses, assisting customers by resolving complaints, and forecasting a business's reliability.
BCA helps businesses grow and thrive through our membership which gives your company access to sources and materials that will teach you about HR regulation, legal disputes, advertising, and marketing trends. Contact us to speak to a team member or call us today at (800) 834-1119.