I wish I would have known about O‘Neal’s Furniture Assembly service sooner…

Finding out about useful information too late!

Oftentimes, our clients will approach us and mention how they wished they would have known about our services sooner. Our response is always the same: We feel the same way!

But, I don’t want you to think that not being able to use our services immediately is the end all be all. We appreciate the instant interest in our services and understand the need has passed in that particular moment. However, it’s many ways that you can show support without receiving services.

Let’s take a look at how to do so:

1. Word of Mouth

If you have a good experience at a small business, talk about it! Word-of-mouth marketing drives $6 trillion in annual consumer spending and accounts for 13% of all consumer sales. The more people you can tell about a small business, the more you are helping that business.

2. Participate in “Small Business Saturday”

Small Business Saturday is an American shopping holiday held on the Saturday after Thanksgiving—it will be on Nov. 30 in 2019. Similar to Black Friday, it’s a day for small businesses to entice more customers by offering deals and discounts or something special.

Whether you’re a consumer or small business owner yourself, promoting Small Business Saturday inherently promotes small businesses by helping them generate even more revenue during the busy holiday season. It reminds people that while they may get great deals at department stores or big-name brands on Black Friday, there are still opportunities to spend locally and get a great deal.

3. Share Small Business Content on Social Media

Enjoying the cookie from your local bakery? Share it on Instagram. Shopping for gifts at a local boutique? Check in on Facebook. Sharing on social media when you patronize a small business is free advertising for that business and a great way to encourage others to patronize them as well.

4. Encourage Family and Friends to Shop at Small Businesses

If your spouse usually does the grocery shopping at Whole Foods, encourage them to try out the local supermarket. Tell your friends you’ll only accept gifts from small businesses. Refuse to go to dinner at franchise restaurants. These are just a few of the ways you can persuade people within your sphere of influence to support small businesses.

5. Leave Positive Reviews of Small Businesses Online

You can help small businesses by taking the time to leave positive reviews on sites like Yelp, Facebook, and Google. This will increase their visibility in search results when consumers go to find specific services in their area and will foster a sense of trust in small businesses.

Great Reasons to Support Small Businesses

1. Improve the local economy.

When a consumer buys local, significantly more of that money stays in the community. In fact, studies show that for every $100 spent at a local business, $68 remained in the city while only $43 of each $100 spent at a chain retailer.

Local business owners often have incentive to support other local businesses, patronizing local establishments for both business and personal reasons. Chain businesses, on the other hand, tend to get their supplies from corporate, as well as having store managers and employees that aren’t as personally invested in buying local.

2. Know the people behind the service.

When you personally know the people behind the business where you’re buying local products and services, you enjoy a connection you would not otherwise have. Along with the rest of the community, you celebrate when a favorite local business succeeds and you mourn when it’s forced to shut its doors. This personal investment isn’t quite as present when a chain business closes, aside from feeling disappointment that you have fewer businesses within convenient driving distance.

3. Keep your community unique.

Local businesses give a community its flavor. Towns across America have similar chain restaurants, grocery and department stores but that diner down the street where you have breakfast every Saturday morning is one-of-a-kind. The combined presence of your town’s many local businesses makes it different from every other city in the world. By supporting those businesses instead of chains, you ensure that uniqueness is preserved as a part of your community.

4. Better customer service.

If you’ve ever dealt with a large corporation, you know getting help can be a nightmare. You’ll call a 1-800 number, only to be transferred seven times and put on hold. Even when you speak to a customer service representative, that person is so far removed from the decision-making process, there’s little concern that the company will lose you as a customer.

When you shop local, the business owner is usually directly connected to every employee in the store. That leads to a personal approach that often means any problem you have is taken seriously.

5. More personalized service.

Having the owner nearby also means that owner personally knows his customers. He knows the products you buy or the services you request on a regular basis and can tailor services to make your experience even better. A local gardening shop owner may learn about a new product on the market that can help you with a pest control problem you mentioned on one of your visits, for instance, and can order that product as part of his selections.

Buying local has benefits beyond mere convenience. When you support local business owners, you get a better level of service, as well as helping make your community a better place to live. This is in addition to the health benefits and access to unique products that you usually can’t find with chain locations.

Supporting Dreams

A small business is often the realization of a life-long goal or dream. The services provided represent the imagination, passion, and dedication of the small business owner. We all have dreams, and we all want them to be supported. Know that when you shop local, you are supporting the dreams of another human being.

Though it can feel much easier to type in a website on your browser or fill up a shopping cart on an ecommerce app, we feel the aforementioned reasons make supporting small businesses a more rewarding and worthwhile experience.

There are so many ways to support small businesses—with your money, your business, community organizing efforts, or thoughtful consumer habits. Supporting small businesses in your community supports the community at large.

Now that we have provided you with ideas, it is time to act. Maybe you start by foregoing Starbucks for the local coffee shop. Or by leaving a kind review for that deli that makes your favorite sandwich. There are lots of tiny actions you can take that will mean the world to the small business owners in your community. So what are you waiting for? Start with us!