Five Simple Ways to Support Your Favorite Small Business

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Since we moved our brick and mortar store across town a year ago, I’ve had tons of people coming into the new location saying “We found you! We thought you had gone out of business!” Thankfully, we didn’t go out of business, but it made me think about ways that anyone can help support and promote a business that they love.

ONE: Like or follow their social media pages. Almost all businesses are online these days and most have a social media presence. It seems like a no-brainer, but follow their pages! I have to wonder how many of the people that thought my store closed, checked Facebook, or Instagram, or Trip Advisor, or Yelp, or Google. If you follow a social media page, you’re more likely to know about events, news, sales, or big news, like relocations or closures.

TWO: Share their social media posts. Again–very simple and takes almost no time. If your favorite store is having a sale, or a concert, or a party, or is sharing some other news, share it with your friends. The more people that see the post, the more likely it is to be successful. Besides, you might just convert your friends into fans of the business as well!

THREE: Leave reviews on Google. Leave reviews on Trip Advisor. Leave reviews on Yelp. Leave reviews on Facebook. SPREAD THE WORD. Let people know they exist and that you love them. Let people know WHY you love them. Use specific examples so that other people will get excited about the same things that you love!

FOUR:  Attend their events. Buy tickets. Tell your friends to buy tickets. Attend their free events, but not ONLY their free events. We work really hard to bring a variety of interesting programs to our store–music, storytelling, holiday events, burlesque– and rarely break even after paying the performers. Performers don’t work for free–supporting them means spending money. If you want interesting programs to continue, the store has to pay for them, and you have to buy tickets. If there’s no return on investment, there will be fewer offerings. If we consistently lose money by putting on these shows, there will be no future programming. It sucks, but that’s the reality of the situation.

FIVE:  This seems like the most obvious thing in the world, but if you want a business to stay IN business, shop there. Shop regularly. Not necessarily every week, but regularly. Need a holiday gift? Anniversary gift? Birthday gift? Shop there. Need a greeting card? Shop there. Need a secret Santa gift, stocking stuffer, or little surprise present? Shop there. Make it your go-to place. As an add-on to that, when people ask you “Where did you get that?” tell them. Let them know some of your favorite things. Have friends who like the same things that you do? Tell them! Become a brand ambassador for the places and things that you love.

Obviously, since I own a shop, these points are skewed toward a retail store, but the same applies to any kind of business–restaurant, food truck, hair salon, pet sitter, groomer, auto mechanic/detailer, whatever. The point is the same–shop, share, and show up.