Many of my friends are small business owners in one way or another. Whether they are online marketers who make their money from their websites, brick and mortar owners with a storefront, or home businesses that sell popular beauty and home products, many are making their livings in part or in whole from their small business.
Personally, my main source of income is my website Sunshine Rewards. As is the case for many of you, the holiday season can either make or break us. We look forward to Q4 with the anticipation that a strong quarter will help us keep our business at least one more year.
Running a business is hard. Anyone who tells you otherwise has never done it themselves. It’s great to be your own boss, but it’s also a stress like none other.
How many times have you seen a friend or company go out of business and you said “Oh no! I loved that company!” but in reality you hadn’t given them any business for years…if at all?
As a business owner, let me tell you a few ways that you can support small businesses this season and help us see another year. Although we would love your financial support as well, these don’t cost a penny!
Social media is a double edged sword for small businesses. It’s “free” advertising but it’s also a game you have to play almost full-time to win. “Liking” a company’s Facebook page is a good start. However, if not enough people interact with the posts on that page, Facebook will quit showing the posts to EVERYONE. It’s not quite that simple with the other social media sites, but the gist is the same.
Simply interacting with the business on social media will help them immensely. Leave an actual comment on one of their Facebook or Instagram posts. Retweet something on Twitter. It doesn’t even have to be something commercial. Most businesses post “fun” things as well. The more you interact with them, the more other people will see their posts and the company will get the free exposure.
Leave a Review
Many businesses have places where you can leave reviews for them. Some of them have business pages on Facebook with the review option. If they are a brick and mortar, you can leave comments on Yelp or through Google.
If you don’t see a place to review the company, do a search in Google for the company’s name and the word “review.” If they are an online company, there will probably be a few comparison websites with review option. Positive reviews will help the company rise in rankings and attract new business.
Tell a Friend
Studies show that people are more likely to try something if they hear about it from a friend than from any other source. That means YOU are a small business’s biggest source of advertising. Your friends are probably looking for a good place to eat or to buy this or that or to get a good deal. Why not share with them a small business that you know and trust? Your friend AND the small business will be winners.
There are around 28 million small businesses in the U.S., and there is a good chance your friends own some of them. Consider what you can do this holiday season to help them (us!!) out and keep over 50 million people in the U.S. employed.
How do you support small businesses? What else should we be doing?