It’s a new month and we’re right in the middle of adapting to life amidst Covid-19. The past few months hasn’t been easy to say the least, and we could all use some help from each other. Previously, we produced an article: 9 Ways To Make Your Business Known, for business owners. Now, this article is for the consumers. To help the local community thrive again, here are some ways to support local businesses!
1) Utilise Online Services
You probably don’t need us to tell you, but lots of services can actually be carried out online. Classes, consultations, appointments, training, tutoring and so many other things can keep going, so by taking part in online services, you’re doing local businesses a huge favour.
2) “Buy Now, Use Later”
Yes, we know that a number of businesses/services are still suspended, but that doesn’t mean we can’t contribute! Some of them have “buy now, use later” promotions, or some sort of gift card/voucher which you can use at a later date. By “buying now”, you’ll be helping these businesses stay afloat! Businesses are also springing flash deals every once in a while, so make sure you check the local businesses’ social media pages every now and then!
3) Leave Positive Reviews
Okay, now this is completely free for you to do, and would only cost you a little time and effort. Leaving positive reviews for your local businesses can help them boost their online presence, and right now businesses are needing all the exposure they can get. There are plenty of platforms you can review on, but if you need a place to start, check out Carilocal.com. It’s a local business recommendation site, and features businesses across various industries, so be sure to leave some positive ratings and reviews there!
4) Forget About The Refund
If it’s not a substantial amount of money and/or you’re still doing alright financially, consider not getting a refund for once. We know that events/services that are cancelled are the worst, and also “why should I pay for something I don’t get?”, but wait. The people on the other end aren’t too happy about this either, and they’re probably in a worse position than you are. To help them out, consider not getting a refund, and treat it instead as a donation for them.
5) Share, Share, Share
Another completely free thing you can do is to shout your local businesses out on social media. Hit the “share” button. Tag them on your Instagram stories. Anytime they have some promotion going on, share. They post an interesting post, share. Again, this is about boosting online presence, and helping more people get to know them, which increases their chances of getting some leads.
6) Reschedule Or Postpone, Don’t Cancel
Many services are just waiting to resume, and they could really use your support even as they’re temporarily suspended. Oftentimes, it’s the thought and intention that counts, so try not to cancel all services, but postpone them to a later date. Knowing that they have work as soon as regulations allow will help life their spirits and help them get through the time when they can’t do anything.
7) Collaborate/Volunteer Your Services
Know of someone who’s running a business, and you have some expertise you can share with them? Hit them up, and offer your services to them. Most people would probably need promotion and marketing assistance, so if you have experience as a website developer or social media manager, let them know how you can help. Alternatively, if you’re also a small business owner yourself, get in touch with other business owners and see if you can collaborate. The combined effort and services may appeal to a larger range of audience at once, and you guys could get more leads together!
If you can afford to, donate to or tip your local businesses. Besides businesses themselves, you can also consider tipping delivery people as a small “thank you”. And donations aren’t just about money, though it is extremely helpful for everyone. You can also donate health essential supplies such as hand sanitisers and face masks if you have some extra to them.
9) Be Patient
Obviously, there’s a new set of regulations in place to help keep everyone safe and healthy, and the SOPs can feel irksome. Besides the fact that they’re put in place to ensure safety, businesses are also new to this, and we’d do well to remember it. Whenever you’re queuing up at restaurants or retail stores, there’s no point losing your temper and please, don’t give the workers a hard time by making unreasonable demands or deliberately going against the rules.
10) Reach Out & Check In
Last but not least, especially if you know business owners personally, do check on them to see how they’re doing. Besides financial support, they might need some moral support as well. Send them a friendly text, or ring them to have a quick chat. You may find that reaching out is one of the ways you helped them the most!