So, I’m not sure how, but we are in fact moving forward. Frankly, these are strange, unpredictable times; and I’m not getting off the worry train just yet. But, even a perpetual panicker like myself has to admit that the tide may be shifting.
In part, this is of course happening out of necessity. Businesses need economic activity, so with precautions in tow, you’ll see them restart services. And whether you’ll be venturing out into the world, or shopping from afar, I’d like to encourage you to support small. Smaller businesses have been particularly adversely impacted because of lock-downs. Moreover, they will relish your dollar a lot more than their larger counterparts. So, I hope we can all make some changes that prioritize the little guy.
These can be tiny, as long as they are effective. And to help you kick-start your small enterprise patronage, here are five easy ways you can support small.
Invariably, the economic and social lock-downs have proven that we’ll all have a set of necessities. And, what’s more, often, there will be a small-business alternative to your essentials of choice. So, whenever you can, consider the alternative to mass-market options. You’ll notice that Meraki shoes are priced comparatively to high-street alternatives. So, if you’re in the market for flats, look through our catalog. If you love a good gelato, look over Nani’s Gelato’s catalog and delivery options. If you’re looking for natural skincare, why not try Pink Hibiscus? The list of smaller businesses selling alternatives to mass market products, really is endless.
And, if you find it difficult to discover smaller brands, then don’t worry; we can help. For our bi-weekly newsletter, we compile a list of brands that are on our radar. Sign up for our newsletter here.
If you’re not in the market for anything at the moment, that’s okay. Chances are, someone you know might be looking to buy something. So whenever you can, give your favorite small businesses a shout-out across your social media profiles.
This is particularly effective if you incorporate engaging, new social media tools. For example, Instagram now lets users include a sticker linking to a small business in their stories. It not only makes it easier for people to visit the profile of the business you’re mentioning, but also increases chances of engagement and discovery.
Often, you can help a small business out a lot, by simply shopping directly from their site. Third party vendor platforms tend to take a huge chunk of the percentage. So, by switching to the site of the business itself, you can ensure that they are able to keep that percentage.
If you discovered a brand on Amazon for example, and love their products, consider purchasing from their own website. This may also have additional benefits for you. Because businesses value this stream, they might offer you additional discounts, better shipping rates, or improved customer service.
Purchasing gift cards is a great way to support your favorite small businesses right now. Whether or not they’re operating right now, a number of businesses are offering gift cards. Essentially, gift cards allow you to pay for a product or service in advance. They will help small businesses weather this uncertainty, with the promise that you can redeem them in the future.
Reach out to brands you love, or check their website and social media to see if they’re offering gift cards. Consider purchasing some yourself, and encouraging others to do the same.
If you’re a fan of a business, consider leaving them a review. As we spend more, and more time online, reviews can be priceless in helping form someone’s opinion. For a small business, this could potentially translate into sales. So, if you like a product, and have been meaning to write a positive review on Amazon, Google, Facebook, or anywhere else, this might be the perfect time.
Ultimately, small businesses will need as much assistance as they can muster. A bulk of this, of course, has to come from official relief packages, which can make emergency funds available for business owners. But, I’d also encourage all of us to lend a helping hand. I know that the steps detailed in this list can seem tiny, futile even. But, you’d be surprised at how quickly a small step can transition into a giant leap.