There are sooooo many ways we, as consumers, can help small businesses grow. Here’s 32 of them!
Bit of a bonus episode today. One that I’d love you to refer back to again and again. One that I’d love you to take action on … again and again. And one that I’d love you to share with anyone with a heart beat!
Now, as you’ve probs gathered by now, I love small business. I’m in awe of small business owners. And I’m on a mission to help as many of you grow as I can.
To that end, in today’s episode I’ll share with you 32 ways us, as consumers, can do just that.
The 32 ideas I’m about to share are not marketing ideas to grow your business (you’ll find plenty of those in the other 531 episodes I’ve produced).
Instead, they’re ideas that we as consumers can put into action to help small businesses all over this crazy world.
Now, I’d love to say I came up with them all. But I didn’t!
The reason they’re so good is that I posted this simple question inside The Small Business Big Marketing facebook Tribe … “What’s the #1 way we, as consumers, can help small businesses grow?”
And here’s what my wonderful Members had to say ….
1. EMMA RHODES, HER CORPORATE JOURNEY
Shop with them![#462 – Robie Bell of City Larder – “Don’t buy the new Nike sneakers from some big online empire! Instead, put that money in to buying something bespoke from a small business.”]
Lower your expectations, and be forgiving. Whilst a small business may offer a great product or service, often they’re under-resourced … so if that means waiting 5 or 10 minutes to be served, then wait 5 or 10 minutes!
3. LINDA MITCHENER, GREEN LIFE SOIL
Recommend small businesses you know of on any forums you’re on. I’m in the horticultural industry and I get so sick of seeing “Go to Bunnings” being posted. I always suggest people go local & support small business. If people are continually poked about it, it might just start to sink in.
4. DARYL van ROY
Ring direct for takeaway – UberEats can shove it!
Book accommodation / experiences direct and avoid using those big aggregating websites.
5-7. BEN PORTER
- Write a post on a local community Facebook page about your recent experience.
- If the business isn’t listed on Google Maps (it happens) add them.
- Google their business name and write reviews on the pages that rank first as these are most likely to be seen. For some businesses this may be TripAdvisor or ProductReview or Yelp.
- If you’re in a shop and hear another customer ask a question of the owner or a staff member, that you think you can add value to, then go ahead and throw in your two bobs worth.
- Ask the business owner what areas they’re finding hard in running their business. Then maybe offer them some advice if it’s an area you’re familiar with … or maybe you know someone who can.
10-11. RHONDA DIPROSE, FUNERAL CELEBRANT IN HAWKES BAY
If I like a business or a person running a business, I will talk to them and the first thing I do is tell them to find your podcast!! I show them what it looks like on my phone, give them some examples of episodes and get them to download the app in front of me.
Or, if someone on a business facebook site asks what’s a good podcast to listen to, I’ll post your podcast link and suggest they look into it.
P.S. I often collect a business’s business cards and then make sure I pass them on to others and tell them how impressed I am with the business! I did this one day with Mrs Sharpe … She’s in a van and goes round sharpening knives for people. One day I was walking past her van, I got about 20 of her cards and all the way home, I stopped into other businesses and told them about her and if any need knives sharpened. The only thing was by the time I got home, I had given them all away. So, I had to go and find her to get some more!!
12. JENNA MALTBY
Social media engagement … either like, comment or share! It all helps and it’s free.
13. SCOTT HUNT, FITNESS ENHANCEMENT
If you’ve had a great experience with a local business, help them out and give a Google and Facebook review. It takes one minute and really helps support them. If you can spare 5 minutes, and don’t mind being in the spotlight, film them a video testimonial (on your phone is fine) explaining what you love about the business. Just be natural and honest! A picture says a thousand words, but a video says so much more! Giving five minutes of your time like this is free and can help support your favorite businesses for years to come.
14. SALLY HARDHAM
Sign up for their newsletter.
15. VILIM SIMOVIC, VILFREIGHT
Try to review as many businesses as you can, as I know it helps. I spent no money on advertising for the first three years of my business as I lived off reviews.
16. TED ADAMS, VIPOOCH (MOBILE DOG WASH)
I talk a lot to our clients about how much I love Staffies. So, guaranteed anytime a client of ours meets a Staffy they say “You have to get VIPooch”.
I was accidentally telling my clients who our perfect customer is and as a result we get to meet so many awesome Staffys all the time.
So, flipping this around, ask a business owner who therior perfect client is, and then if you know someone who fits that description, go ahead and tell them about that business.
17. DANIEL REGLI, REGLIS MISSING LINK (BESPOKE JEWELRY IN CHILTERN, VICTORIA)
Slow down, enjoy the process of shopping around, taking the time to explore and find new places and things to buy. Instead of racing off to the nearest chain store.
18. TRISH RADGE
Join your local Chamber of Commerce, business association or networking group and rather than go with the intention of getting more business yourself, ask people “How can I support you?” You’ll be surprised how people remember you when you’re helping them, rather than selling to them.
19. NICK HAWTIN
My theory is the take a mate, make a date. Then you’re giving business twice as much support.
20. CAT RIDOUT
Post a picture of you enjoying whatever small business you like and tag them. It’s word of mouth and people can see you actually using them all in one. Plus people are very visual.
21. AMI HARDWICK
Have the courage to tell them to their face if you were not completely satisfied with their service. Help them to improve in a positive way, rather than posting it on a review site first up. Give them a chance to turn it around. You never know, it could have been a misunderstanding.
22. RICHARD WILLIAMS
Say thank-you and mean it. Running a small business can be a very lonely place. We have to put a smile on sometimes when we just don’t want to. A heartfelt thank-you can make the day feel so worthwhile.
23. CRAIG HELMERS
Tell the business you were really happy with their service / product / experience. And then tell them that you are happy to give up X amount of your time (say 20-minutes, for example) and they can use it as they see fit to promote their business.
24. CRAIG MCNIVEN, ECONOMIST ON THE GOLD COAST
Ask the small business owner you have just supported how else you can help them … they may simply ask for a review or a like and share on social. Or they may say “Tell your friends and family”. Afterall, if you just made a purchase, the people you hang with are probably like you and would also be that business’s ideal client.
25. TOM HAYWARD
Take time to seek out quality artisan producers. Don’t take the quick fix, buying from the big guys online or supermarkets. For example, look for small producers such as Bahen & Co. Chocolate, rather than Cadbury.
26. BOB N RACHEL
A key component to social “like and share” that is being missed is the aspect of your followers INVITING THEIR friends to like your local business.
It’s an easy thing to go to a social page for a business you’ve liked and recommend it via the invite to like button, to all your personal connections.
If your (say) 1,000 connections all INVITED all their (say) 500 connections to like your page that’s a half a million people being invited to like your page on Facebook. If 1% of those people accepted the invitation, you’d go from 1,000 connections to 6,000 immediately. That’s a fantastic boost to your reach, and they can do it very easily with just a few clicks.
27. NIGEL SAN, FETCHED (PRE-PORTIONED DOG FOOD)
It’s hard to beat word of mouth marketing! It’s the most powerful, and it’s a 3rd party, trusted reference!
In saying that, I feel from a business sense we have to be conscious of this in everything we do – so we need to – have a product/service that is worthy to be talked about & customer service second to none, so people feel they are joining a family when they purchase from you.
Everything you do, think about it in a way that “will this make us be a positive conversation at a BBQ.”
So for us, keep talking about businesses to our mates, that do these things well … it’s very easy to talk about a negative experience and we forget to talk about the positives, because we expect a good experience…but it’s these experiences that we can share that make others confident to buy!
So my advice is talk about every small business that you have a good experience with, to as many people as you can!
28. ELLA BELLA, PEACHLAND WINE SHOP
The quick and easy way to support small businesses is to leave a DESCRIPTIVE Google review (or Yelp or Tripadvisor), or leave a review on their Facebook page. On Facebook, you can give a recommendation. When enjoying the product or service, take a photo or a video, post on your personal social media and tag the business.
29. LAUREN ALLINGHAM, MAYFAIR PROPERTY MANAGEMENT
Tell people about our positive experiences, in the flesh! Actually face to face. Our friends, our families, our colleagues, our customers. (Not just online reviews)!
- Purchase gift vouchers
- Contribute to crowdfunding campaigns
- Start a local business directory
- Stock up on items you’ll need later
- Have patience
If you’ve got something to add to that list me, call the SBBM Hotline on +61 480 015 150.
Be sure to join the Small Business Big Marketing Tribe on Facebook. We currently have over 750 members sharing ideas and pushing each other to be better everyday.
Next week we catch up with an Aussie fellow now living in Ireland, where he runs a global coaching business for accountants and bookkeepers … And you know how much I love a good niche!
If you’re loving The Small Business Big Marketing Podcast, then you’ll find 531 more episodes on the PodcastOne Australia app.
As has been the case for the past 11 years, the podcast is presented by me, Timbo Reid.
And flagrantly pulled together by the sweet smelling team over at PodcastOne Australia.
Until next time, thanks for tuning in … may your marketing be the best marketing, bye for now :).