We’ve been getting asked a lot in the comments and direct messages, “We can’t afford to shop right now but what we can we do to help?”
First of all. Thank you. The fact that it’s even on your radar to think about and check in on us in the midst of your own stress and financial pressure means a ton and speaks to your concern and care.
Since you’ve been asking though we thought we’d throw it out there for everyone as we hope this will help us all feel involved and connected without having to make a purchase.
1) Share information on social media.
Even if you can’t buy anything right now, sharing content helps small businesses everywhere get the word about what they’re doing to stay afloat. So while you may not be in the need of a to-go dinner for four meal from your local restaurant, a friend or family member on Facebook may be interested. Helping us get the word out right now about the specials, promotions and creative options is invaluable to helping us connect with an audience that may not otherwise know what we’re doing. So many small businesses are dependent on walk-in foot traffic and our social media content is one of the best ways we’re able to approximate that customer base. Most small businesses are thinking outside of the box big time and throwing a ton of ideas against the wall to see what sticks. Sharing those ideas around allows us to get realtime feedback about what is viable and what isn’t. We’re all going to have some good ideas and bad ideas that we throw out there but sharing those ideas around helps others see them, rethink them, and contextualize them as their own.
2) Go and leave a 5 star review.
Small businesses are in constant need of 5 star reviews. Constantly. Most of us have zero for a marketing budget so we rely on being at the top of the list when potential customers start Googling around. For our small business, we covet reviews on GOOGLE and TRIPADVISOR. For restaurants, it may be YELP or GOOGLE. If you’re not sure which review site is best for the business you want to support, simply ask them. We can assure you they will be specific about where their needs are. Worst case scenario, copy and paste the review in 3 or 4 spots!
3) Leave an encouraging word.
You don’t have to make a purchase for us to feel your impact right now. Consider leaving a kind word in the comment section. Take 30 seconds and send a private message on Facebook, direct message on Instagram or Twitter, or send a short email. We’re getting a lot of stressful news right now, from conversations with banks to landlords to vendors, hearing someone say something nice gives us a little jolt and friendly reminder that better days are ahead.
4) If you must buy an essential item consider looking for a local small business that might be able to help you fill that need.
We know spending on discretionary items is going to fall off (it already has) and will even after this health concern has passed. But there are still a lot of essential items that we all need. From groceries to cleaning supplies to household services. If you have to make a purchase or hire someone for one of these items or services, consider looking up your local small business. And if you’re at a loss for where to shop, ask around on social media. This helps tie back into the first option and lets your friends and family brag on people and shops that they’ve had a great experience with.
5) Ask how you can help.
Finally, don’t be shy about asking the small business directly how you can help. Be honest and let them know you’re not in a position to buy anything but you want to help them in whatever small way you can. Odds are they may share some of the suggestions above. But they may have other ideas that are specific and contextual to their business. Ideas that we haven’t thought of and you haven’t thought of. So shoot them a message or email and ask how you can help. While you’re asking, be sure to slip #3 in and give them some encouragement about what their small business has meant to you in the past. We can assure you they will be grateful for the opportunity to share and will be humbled that you would even think of them during this time.
Have another idea or suggestion, drop it in the comments! We’d love to hear from you!