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Starting and running a small business is one of the most challenging things to do. Daily, entrepreneurs face obstacles that can either discourage them or affect the growth of their businesses. So, if someone you care about owns a small business, it only makes sense to support them.
Supporting your friend’s small business can help grow the business and strengthen your bond. From hugging them to giving them a social media shout out, there are many ways to support your friend’s business.
Over the years, the tips we share in this article have helped several business owners stay in business.
Whether or not you have the money, you can support your friend’s small business in these ten practical ways.
Getting involved is the first way to support your friend’s small business. By this, we mean something other than that you learn all about the technicalities. Instead, you offer a listening ear and, if needed, a supportive hand. They may need to bounce off ideas on someone; you can be someone who listens and offers new insight.
Being involved in the process would also mean having general knowledge of the products or services they offer. Know the benefits of the products and the operations schedule of the business. If you need to make referrals on the spot or stand in for them, you can easily do it.
People often think that being supportive equates to being a yes-man, but that’s not true. The business world is very competitive, and people only want to exchange their money for value. So, one way to support your friend’s small business is to give honest feedback on their product, services, or operations. Ensure that the feedback or criticism is both honest and constructive. That way, you save them the embarrassment that could come from a stranger who is a customer.
As you give feedback, it is also essential to provide strategies that can be possible solutions to the problems. Also, since feedbacks are vital, ensure that your approach is not condescending. Approach them politely and let them know you speak from a place of love and concern.
For small businesses, a personal referral is a gift that keeps on giving. People often trust the review of someone they know personally to make a purchase. So, you can support your friend by recommending their business to people who need such a service. As you network with people, you can wait for the best time to stir the conversation in the direction of the business. One of the ways to make this effective is to focus on communicating the benefits of the business and how it applies to the person’s needs.
Promoting your friend’s business on your social media accounts can be one way to lend support. The ultimate goal of every business is to make a profit, and profit comes with sales. To make sales, you need people. So, posting about the business on social media is a great way to spread the word and convert viewers to buyers.
You can promote this on any social media platform where you are actively engaging. It could be on your WhatsApp status, Facebook story, Instagram reels, or Twitter page.
If your friend’s business has active online social media accounts, you can engage with their content. People often go through comments online to establish trust before patronizing a business. Here, supporting your friend’s small business would mean leaving positive comments on their posts or reposting their content.
In addition, apart from helping the content gain traction, publicly supporting your friends can boost their confidence. Running a business is already difficult, but knowing that they have people cheering for them can make all the difference. Additionally, you don’t need to spend a dime to do this; you only need a good heart and an internet connection.
One of the major problems most small business owners face is dealing with entitled friends and family. Please don’t be that person. Expecting free products or unwarranted discounts based on friendship is exploitation. A business is a business, and you shouldn’t force them to give you personal gifts out of the business’s profit.
Furthermore, for small businesses, profits are very important, so you should refrain from getting your friend’s products for free. If you need their services, pay for them upfront. If you need to buy a product they sell, pay the total amount without owing.
Also, a lot of resources are put into sustaining a business, including money. The system needs funds to stay afloat, from rent to promotion to workers’ salaries. The best way to support your friend is to buy from them without feeling entitled to discounts.
Most small business owners have websites or localized listings that help customers reach their business. Also, you can reach out to your friend and ask what platform they need a review on. Then, take 2 minutes to leave a positive review of the business on the site. What this does is that it establishes trust and competence with potential customers.
In addition, several consumers say they patronized some businesses after reading reviews and testimonials on the business site. So, taking a few minutes from your schedule to say a good word about your friend’s small business is tremendous support.
Depending on the kind of business your friends owns, you can patronize them if you use the product or service. Apart from contributing to sales profits, this will help them expand their reach. For small businesses, one more customer means several potential customers. Also, this is because, with one customer, the business can reach several others who may not know them directly. It is an effective means of indirect advertising.
You may not have the money to fund your friend’s business or use the products they sell. However, you can offer other soft or hard skills to help the business’s smooth running. For instance, if you are a graphic designer, you can offer to design a flyer or social media post to help them promote the business. In addition, if you are good with numbers, you can audit the business accounts. If you are a customer service expert, you can give them tips on interacting with customers. Business owners spend a lot of money outsourcing, so offering your skills will help the business save costs.
This may look trivial, but it takes bravery to run a business in this present economy. The truth is, even the brave need a little encouragement from time to time. Most times, a friendly hug is a support small business owners need to make it through a bad day or season. Also, hugging your friend when they need it the most is saying to them, “you are not in this alone.” You may not know this, but if your friend is not at their best, the business may suffer too. So, once in a while, hug them, take them out to eat, relax and unwind. It may not look like it, but you indirectly support the business. Ultimately, the business needs your friend at their optimal state to thrive.
A famous quote reads, “When you support a small business, you are supporting a dream.” We cannot overemphasize the importance of supporting a small business. Also, knowing how to support your friend’s small business will boost sales and also strengthen your bond. If you need clarification about supporting your friend’s business, our top ten tips will inspire you.