11 Ways to Support Small Businesses and Help them Grow

ways to support small businesses and help them grow

When the pandemic hit in March, small businesses that got a majority of their sales from foot traffic (people stepping into the shop) were severely impacted. According to Yelp, there have been 140,000 total business closures from March 1 to June 15, which is an insane number! During this time, it’s more important than ever to support small businesses and help them grow in any way you can. 

From shopping online to writing reviews, this article will help you find the best way you can help your favorite small business during these difficult times.

**Disclosure: This article contains sponsored links, but all opinions are my own.

1. Shop Online

At the start of the pandemic, many small businesses shifted their goods and services online. So, most businesses now have an online model to help customers shop from them more easily. Before shopping from the retail giants online like Amazon, check if your favorite small business has a website you can shop from online. You may be surprised! For example, The Flower Shops is a network of high-street florists in the U.K. that offers same-day flower delivery all over the country. You can purchase flowers by occasion, color, or flower type.

2. Purchase Gift Cards

Buying gift cards for friends or family is a great way to introduce a small business to someone else. About 93% of U.S. customers either purchase or receive a gift card annually and this makes a considerable impact on small businesses. It can be as small as a $5 or $10 gift card but it’s a great way to support that business. According to RetailNext, gift cards represent the opportunity to create stronger relationships with customers, raise brand awareness, boost profits, and attract new customers. Next time you’re wondering what to get for a friend or relative, purchase a gift card from your favorite small local business.

Image Credit: iStock

3. Share on Social Media

Do not underestimate the effect a short tweet – that you spent three minutes crafting – can make on smaller businesses. People will retweet and like that tweet, and by the end of the day, your tweet can introduce a small business to thousands of people who viewed that tweet. That is the power of social media! Right now, social media is the most effective way for small businesses to grow their online presence. Take a picture of the product, and post about it, or create an unboxing video on IG stories to hype the brand (if you like them of course). Many businesses have even taken to Tiktok to showcase their products and services. Follow, like, and share. It helps!


Related: 10 Self Care Tips for the Holidays


4. Leave a Positive Review

To help small businesses grow, you also need to think about how you, as a consumer shop. Before buying a product or paying for a service, you’ll probably check a review first, right? You’re not the only one! A recent consumer survey reveals that 82% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses; with 52% of 18-54-year-olds saying they ‘always’ read reviews. Not just that, another study by Business News shows that a rating increase of just 0.1 can increase conversion rates by 25%! This shows that it’s very important to leave reviews for products you buy. A short paragraph you write may be the key for a small business to gain a new customer.

The Flower Shops is a small business that works with high quality, skilled florists to hand-deliver flower bouquets across the U.K

5. Start a Crowdfunding Campaign (or Contribute to One)

If there’s a small business you like, reach out to them and ask if they would like to run a crowdfunding campaign. You can work with the business owner to figure out the best type of crowdfunding for that business, the platform to use, how to spread the word, and more. Once the campaign is set up, help promote it on social media, your email list, and your friends and family. Explain how their small donation will help to support the business and the rewards they may receive in return.


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6. Sign up for Their Email List

Email marketing is an essential tool that helps not just small businesses but their customers too. You can help small businesses grow by signing up for their email list, it’ll help them keep in touch with you, and it’ll encourage you to become a loyal customer of that brand. Emails help brands to build a relationship with their customers, and it also helps customers get quick information about new products, services, and sales available. So, it’s a win-win situation!


Related: 21 Best Beauty Gifts for Every Budget – Makeup & Skincare Gift Guide


7. Donate your Services

Due to the uncertainty caused by the pandemic, many businesses were unable to keep essential personnel. If you’re a lawyer, accountant, banker, or social media manager, to name a few, small businesses may need your help! Try calling your favorite local business to consult with them, help answer pressing questions, and alleviate their fears.

Image Credit: FreePik

If you’re a small business owner yourself, you can also play a part in donating products or services for free! For instance, if you sell winter clothing, you can give out some mittens and scarves to delivery services to help them do their job better. A restaurant owner can give out free meals to your local post office, and so on. There are so many ways you can help others to grow their business.

8. If Possible, Shop Directly from the Source

Although digital shop sites like Facebook and Instagram may be easy to purchase from, they might not always be the best option for the business. Shopping through third-party apps and websites reduces the profit for that brand due to commissions that the third-party app receives. If you’re presented with the option to shop from a third-party or directly from the brand’s website, always choose the latter!

9. Take Online Classes

Image Credit: Kari Shea on Unsplash

Due to the pandemic, many business services that offered regular, face-to-face sessions were closed. However, many of them are still offering online classes at lower rates so you can learn in the comfort of your home. So, if your favorite gym is closed, find out if they’ve now moved online. You may find that you can still attend classes remotely, with an instructor leading the session as usual. Your salon may even be offering free hair-care classes to its customers. Find out, and sign up!

10. Tell your Friends to Tell their Friends

Word-of-mouth is still as effective as it was before the age of social media. Shopped from a small business that impressed you with their professionalism? Tell your people. Found a small brand that sells the cutest jewelry you know a particular friend would like? Tell that friend! People trust what other people tell them, and they’re more likely to shop from a smaller business if they hear about it from someone they know. If you sincerely like a small business, tell people about it. It’s the simplest way to support them and help them grow.


Related: 50 Best Gifts for Book Lovers – Unique Gift Ideas for Readers


11. Be Patient and Empathetic

The pandemic has affected a lot of businesses in everything from supply chains to delivery times. Despite this, small businesses are doing the best they can in this situation. So, if a step in the ordering or delivery process goes wrong, please understand that they’re doing their best. Also, don’t believe the myth that chain businesses are the best in terms of delivery times and seamless orders. On the contrary, they might take more time due to the large volume of orders. So when you shop from a small business online, please be patient and empathetic considering the current situation. 

If there’s a small business you like, reach out to them and ask if they would like to run a crowdfunding campaign. You can work with the business owner to figure out the best type of crowdfunding for that business, the platform to use, how to spread the word, and more. Once the campaign is set up, help promote it on social media, your email list, and your friends and family. Explain how their small donation will help to support the business and the rewards they may receive in return.


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P.S. Shopping for Christmas?

Check out these lovely Christmas flowers from The Flower Shops


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How do you support small businesses? What are your favorite small businesses to shop from?


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blogger, lifestyle blogger

20 thoughts on “11 Ways to Support Small Businesses and Help them Grow

  1. Sarah says:

    Great suggestions! Supporting small businesses is so important, and I love that you listed a lot of different ways to help. I try to shop small and like on social media, but I see several other ideas I can do too! Thanks for the ideas!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Taiwo says:

      Thank youuu!! I really wanted to find ways that people could easily support small businesses if they don’t have much time or money. I’m glad you liked my post!

      Like

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