5 Ways to Support Small Businesses

It’s a common misconception that the term “support small business” simply means shoving your product or service up your sleeve and hoping no one will notice. Small business owners are really hit particularly hard by the recent governmental mandates and policies put into place to ensure public safety. And yet, their local communities depend on those small businesses in the middle of them, from the local baker to the plumber.

So, while the desire to support small business is most immediately apparent, the actual benefits of shopping small extends past mere crisis times. The end result is more money in your pocket and more services to offer your customers. Not only is it the economic boost you’re looking for, but also the additional services you can offer to keep them happy. In an age where people are getting busier by the minute, shopping is a perfect way to get some relaxation. After all, who wants to go shopping when they’re stressed out?

Small business entrepreneurs should do everything in their power to support local businesses. In fact, it’s actually encouraged. They may not necessarily want to do something to make their employees’ mad, but they’ll likely look favorably upon the efforts of their ceos if they see their locally owned shops packed with customers.

Take this famous quote by Omaha City Manager John Butler: “I am convinced that for the majority of small business owners in our city, customer service and satisfaction rank near the top of their agendas.” This quote, though uttered almost 20 years ago, still has plenty of resonance. It’s certainly true that serving customers well directly affects the bottom line. And for many small business owners, providing a friendly, timely, and knowledgeable service to customers is second nature.

So how can small business owners take part in Instagram marketing for local businesses? There are actually several ways. Here are just a few:

Be an instagrammer. Entrepreneurs upload images of their products and/or promotions on Instagram. Many entrepreneurs even use Instagram to announce promotional offers (like discounts, freebies, or other giveaways) to their customers. Entrepreneurs who belong to trade groups like the Food Trail Association regularly Instagram commercial messages about the association’s events and latest offerings. Many local businesses, in addition to posting messages on Instagram, send out promo-style coupons to potential customers via email. Entrepreneurs can even set up an account and ask their followers to forward the promo to their friends.

Promote through social media. As social media continue to expand and become more popular, it is a great way for a small business owner to promote themselves and their company. In particular many entrepreneurs use Instagram and twitter to promote events, blog posts, sales announcements, and website updates. By posting these messages on their personal pages, the business owner not only looks great online but also appears credible in the community.

Promote gift cards. Gift cards, which can be used to purchase local products at local businesses, are becoming a popular promotional strategy among small business owners. The gift card can then be shared online with friends and family, allowing everyone to get involved. The key to making this work is to not only offer the gift cards, but also to encourage family and friends to use them. Many times, this can be done simply by offering the gift cards to local merchants for purchase.

Promote through trade shows. While trade shows are often associated with large companies, many small businesses choose to attend. Attendees of these shows can become familiar with the various products and services offered by different vendors, which can be a great help for those in need of new products or services. For those who may not live near an outlet, it’s still possible to promote pandemic awareness, help fight disease, and promote self care through custom imprinted gifts and other gifts.

Promote through festivals. There are many festivals in cities all over the country, including the fourth weekend in January where many small businesses have their grand openings. In many cases, there will be special gifts available for those in attendance. These gifts may include personalized candles, engraved necklaces and watches, or other unique gifts created especially for the attendees of the festival.

Promote through social media. Most people use social media to connect with others, gain advice, and reconnect with friends. Many small businesses take advantage of this platform to promote themselves and their gift ideas. By regularly posting on their pages, they can share information about their company and others in a way that builds social distancing and fosters relationships.