Support a Small Business without Buying Anything New

Do you plan on shopping small this year but can only support so many of your favorite businesses? Supporting a small business doesn't always have to involve purchasing new items. There are several ways you can contribute to the success of a business without spending money on new products.

interior of corvus bakery in grass valley, ca

(Corvus Bakery - Grass Valley, CA)

While ordering a coffee and muffin at Corvus - our local gluten-free bakery in Grass Valley, California, I noticed something particularly appealing on the wall and I just had to snap a photo of it. A lightbulb moment went off as I thought to myself "why are more small businesses not sharing this?" It was a receipt looking printout of 6 Ways to Support a Small Business all equating to $0.00. As a small business owner, these supportive gestures can stretch your dollar further or better yet can actually be more helpful than... and I cannot believe I am going to say this - making an actual purchase.

We list ways to support a small business without having to buy anything new and rank them in the order of importance for online businesses. Remember when you shop small and local you are helping communities thrive. 

1. Sign Up for Their Newsletter

We believe signing up for your favorite businesses newsletter is the most important. Why? Building a loyal list of customers a business can keep in communication with on a personal level can be hard and it is even harder if the business is fully online.

Managing an email list costs a business close to nothing compared to traditional marketing and if Instagram went away tomorrow what would happen to their following? With social media algorithms frequently changing it is more difficult to stay connected with followers. Email newsletters provide detailed information to keep you informed on offers, discounts, events, new launches, educational content, brand identity and values regardless of what happens with social media.

2. Write a Positive Review

How often do positive reviews drive your purchasing decision? If you supported a business recently and loved the product or experience than leaving an honest review can go a long way and this is especially true for local businesses searched for on platforms like Google and Yelp. Online product reviews serve not only to inform others about details impossible to know without having the physical product but it also informs the shop owner of what is working and what is not working.

3. Give them a Shout Out

Some of the most special moments owning a small business are receiving authentic content from a customer sharing videos and photos of their business in real life. Receiving a shout out online helps to spread the word, boost brand awareness, and offers diverse perspectives. User-generated content (UGC) seriously takes a significant amount workload off of a small business owner and supports their many roles of having to be a business owner and also a content creator.

4. Engage with Their Posts

How often have you heard a business owner share they feel like their posts are not being seen on social media or that they have been "shadowbanned? With the frequent algorithm changes, business owners are struggling to keep up with the demands of these platforms. Demands like videos have to be "x" amount of length, using "x" trends, and "x" type of content. 

It is a known fact - the longer a user keeps another user on the platform, their content will get a boost. So when you engage with a post by commenting, saving, sharing, DM'ing, reading and viewing it longer than 3 seconds you are increasing the chances their posts will show up in other feeds. 

5. Tell Your Friends and Family

This is a no-brainer, word-of-mouth is the oldest form of organic marketing and it costs both parties nothing! Share, share, share!

6. Follow Them on Social Media

Following a businesses social media pages are a great way to learn more about them and acts as an "online storefront." Social media pages are storefronts that guide the first impression and are destination pages that quickly exchange information about the business like their website, ethos, brand identity, and offerings. If you need to know what a business does then social media is a great resource for that. Having more authentic followers does help with the first impression. 

Remember when you shop small and local you are helping communities and economies thrive. 

Ways to support a small business

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