If you are looking for the best ways to support your friends business, you are in the right place! Whether you have friends that own businesses or you own one yourself, it is always a good idea to learn more about how to support small business owners. Small businesses need our support more than ever. When you support a small business, that money goes into supporting the local economy. You are supporting someone’s dream. You are allowing someone to take care of their children, and helping the overall wellbeing of the community.
As you can probably tell, I’m super passionate about supporting small businesses. Instead of putting money into the pockets of massive companies, why not find a way to support a local business. When you do this, you are supporting someone’s dream. Check out this Forbes article to learn more about the positive impact of supporting small businesses.
It can be difficult to know how to support a small business. This is also true if you don’t need that particular product or service. This blog post was created with the intention of sharing some free ways to support your friends small business. This post also includes some paid options. Let’s go ahead and get started!
The best FREE ways to support your friends business
With that being said, let’s go ahead and jump into the absolute best FREE ways to support your friend’s business. Later in the article, we will also walk through how you can support your friend’s business by spending money.
Show your support on social
The first way that you can support a friend’s business is by showing your support through social media. Social media is one of the best ways to show support without spending money. This is because most social media algorithms like to see people liking, commenting, and sharing posts. When you do this, this signifies to the algorithm that people like this content. This content will then be shared with more and more people. It is so interesting!
A few ways to easily and quickly show your support on social is to like and follow all of your friend’s business social media pages. You will then be updated whenever they post, and as mentioned, social media platforms love to see this engagement. Another way to show your support is by sharing posts made by a friend’s business page. Sharing a post is also another powerful way to engage with a business page and is looked very highly upon by social media algorithms.
A few other free ways to support a friend’s business through social media include reposting stories, and also sharing special events and sales. Something else you could do is tag friends in relevant posts to introduce others who may enjoy a business’s products and services. Finally, leaving a positive review is a powerful way for a business to gain credibility. I think this is an excellent way to support a friends business because social proof is one of the best ways to get more people to buy from a business.
Sign up for Newsletters
Signing up for your friends business newsletter is a great way to show your support. Newsletters are one way that businesses attempt to reach their audience and community. If you see something cool in a newsletter you could always forward it and further share your friends business. I also think that making the effort to sign up for a friend’s newsletter shows that you truly care. Even these small actions could make a difference in a business owner’s day if times are hard or business is slow.
While business cards may seem old school or antiquated, I can assure you that this is not the case! In the past, whenever I’ve attended an in-person event, people ALWAYS ask for business cards. I also like to use business cards as a way to follow up with other business owners. If you meet someone who may need a product or service that your friend provides, give them a business card. It could be a good idea to get a stack of business cards from your friend so that you can help to pass them out on their behalf.
Using referrals to support your friends business
Referrals are one of the biggest and best ways for small businesses to grow. I’ve received many of my own clients through referrals and always appreciate it so much when I am referred. The next time you meet someone that needs a product or service that your friend offers, remember to refer them!
Another cool way to support your friends business is by connecting them with other entrepreneurs. There could be an opportunity to do business together, collaborate, or even just build a relationship with another business owner in the community. You never know what could happen, and with a good attitude, the possibilities are endless.
Check in and show support
It is no secret that being a business owner is tough. While it is extremely fulfilling, there are many ups and downs, especially with changes in the economy. Do your business owner friends a favor and check in with them to show support. Even this small gesture could mean the world.
Other creative ways to support your friends business
Below are some additional ways that you can show your support for a friend’s small business. Some of these ideas are paid, while others require just a little time.
If you need what they offer, ask them first
If you are looking for a product or service and remember that your friend also provides what you need, ask them first! Even if it ends up not being exactly what you want, it is important to try to support small businesses, and even considering them in the first place is a good first step.
Don’t ask for discounts
One of the most frustrating things that I’ve had to deal with as a business owner is when people ask for discounts. I think that this is frustrating because if someone respects what you do as a professional, they should be willing to pay full price. Asking for a discount means that the business owner has to cut their margin and profit for you, which ultimately does them a disservice. If you truly support small business owners, you will not ask for discounts. Would you ask Amazon or Target for a discount? Yeah, I didn’t think so.
When you are about to make a purchasing decision, ask yourself if you could support a local business instead
If you are looking into buying something or need to shop around for a specific service, be sure to ask yourself if you could hire locally. Giving a local company your business rather than a huge chain could make a big difference for someone. Even if there is a price difference, think about the impact that you are making. Would you rather have a product that is made with quality and care or a product that is batch-created in a factory?
One way to support your friends small business is to provide feedback on what you think is and is not working from a customer standpoint. Be sure to be tactful in delivering this feedback and approach this in a way that shows you are trying to help. If you have a really good idea that you think could work for a friend, definitely share and let them know! Small business owners are typically very busy, so offering your help in this way could be very valuable.
Shop from small business owners during the holidays!
One of the biggest ways that you can support a small business is by purchasing from them during the holidays! This is one of the best times of year to support small businesses. This year, I challenge you to shop local for at least half of your holiday shopping list. You will be making such a positive impact in the local economy and also in someone’s life!
Buy early to support your friends business
Another way to support a friend’s business is to buy early. While you might not need anything right now, there is absolutely nothing wrong with getting a head start on your holiday or birthday shopping! Buying early can also be beneficial when it comes to wait times, as it can take a little longer for items to ship from smaller businesses who are operating under limited resources.
I think that having patience with small business owners is extremely important. Oftentimes small business owners are the only ones operating their small business and they have little to no help at all. Many small business owners also work full-time or part-time to help support their business while it gets off the ground. Be patient when ordering, it might take a few more days to get a product or service if you are working with a small business, but know that they are doing the best that they can.
If you have an idea for how to better support small businesses in your community, talk to folks in your local Chamber of Commerce or even at the city level. It takes active citizens to improve community efforts and creative ideas to support small businesses. Don’t brush off your ideas by thinking that they won’t make a difference. You can do it!
Set a goal for yourself
I think a great place to start is to set a goal for yourself to support one small business a week or maybe a couple of small businesses a month, Remember, supporting a small business doesn’t always mean buying from them. There are so many other ways to show your support whether it is sharing a social media post or tagging a friend in a post.
The best way to support your friends business
I think one of the biggest takeaways from this blog post is to not forget about your small business friends. With constant changes in the economy and the stress of life, small business owners can use all of the support that they can get. Too often small businesses get lost in the crowd. Do your best o keep your small business owner friends top of mind instead of just supporting them when it is convenient.
Let me know what you think in the comments. Is there anything that I missed? Is there anything that you disagree with? I’d love your perspective!