How to Support Other Small Business Owners
Did you know that there are over 30 million small businesses in the United States? With numbers like that, you may think that small businesses are seeing a lot of love from consumers. However, consumers often need to be reminded to shop small due to the ease of online shopping. As a small business owner yourself, how can you find ways to shop small and show support for your fellow small business owners? While support from family, friends, and customers is key to business success, it’s also important to think about the support that small business owners can offer each other to succeed. Keep reading for some tips on how to network with other business owners, and help everyone reach their goals.
Why You Should Support Small Business Owners
Running a small business is hard. There are constant worries like cash flow, the economy, and day to day tasks like hiring. In our Small Business Worry Index, we learned that small business owners also struggle in their personal lives, including relationships with friends and families, hobbies, and mental and physical health, due to work-related stress. While our survey focused on 500 small business owners, considering there are more than 30 million in the U.S., we are willing to bet that many others feel the same way. Because of this connection, you can personally understand why supporting other small business owners is important.
Connecting with others can lead to great networking opportunities and the chance to share helpful business tips. Social media has made connecting even easier due to online forums, Facebook groups and Reddit threads directed at small business owners specifically, and plenty of online communities to join. Do you have questions about how to hire an employee or get your payroll started for the first time? Is there an emergency situation at your business where you need a local plumber or electrician? At the end of the day, all business owners are just trying to keep their doors open, but it can sometimes be a challenge, which is why support from other business owners who get it is so important.
How to Support Other Small Business Owners
Support can come in many forms and doesn’t always have to be through purchases. To give you some ideas:
- Spread positive reviews. If there is another business that you enjoy, whether they have a product you can’t imagine life without, their customer service, or because they are a good friend, share that feedback with the world. Word of mouth is still so crucial to business success, and in today’s “cancel culture” sometimes the negative comments spread faster than the positive. It takes minimal time and effort to write a positive review or give a compliment on social media, and the results can be huge.
- Offer help. Unfortunately running a business can’t always be smooth sailing and problems are going to arise. As mentioned briefly above, help could be sharing the name of a trusted electrician or providing a tip on how to onboard employees. But offering a helping hand can also be valued when another business is planning, or setting up for, an event, or is facing an emergency staffing shortage. If you can do some heavy lifting for a bit, spread the word about the event, or lend some of your employees (depending on the business) to make things easier. While on a bit of a larger scale, at some fitness studios like Orangetheory or Pure Barre, when studios need emergency coverage due to sick instructors, other nearby locations might be able to pitch in and cover the classes needed.
- Collaborate and partner together. There are so many ways that you can partner with other business owners. Whether it’s featuring a joint promotion or teaming up for a local Corporate Challenge race. You may also generate new business ideas together, such as a partnership between a coffee shop and bookstore, or a wine bar and the specialty cheese shop down the road. Finding a natural partnership should help increase sales at both businesses, while also strengthening your personal connections.
- Reconsider your purchases. Of course, there is always the option to shop small yourself. When we chatted with SurePayroll customer Maria Erna, owner of WaG Premier Grooming Salon and Dog Spa, to learn about her small business journey, she shared that when purchasing products for her business she tries to purchase from local small business owners first. For the times that she can’t locally shop small, she will expand to a national search of small business owners. While you won’t be able to do this for every business purchase, if you can make a more conscious effort, every little bit will help.
Supporting other small businesses can be extremely easy and not take a lot of time while having huge benefits for all parties involved. Having strong business connections is important for business success, plus you never know when you’ll find yourself in a sticky situation and need a hand. Small business owners are a huge part of the economy, so by shopping small, you are contributing to big revenue and success for all.