Everybody must be familiar with the large blockchains, businesses, brands, and multinational companies that sell their products worldwide and contribute huge amounts to the economy.
For years, these big brands, MNCs, startups, and businesses have been in the limelight, taking over the international markets, and are known to support large world economies. For example, Microsoft today is not merely a technology corporation. Instead, the company stands out as a global brand.
But among the dazzling brands and expensive products, we forget that local businesses or small businesses are the backbones of an economy. In our daily lives, we go to a street vendor or a local shop in the area and forget to give a thought to the equal amount of effort that these local shops put in to provide us with the best products.
So, then, how to support small businesses? How can we ensure that the local store in our area receives a fair share of the reward for their efforts?
Here we are going to tell you:
- What is a small business
- Importance of small business in an economy
- Problems faced by small businesses
- How to support a small business.
1. What Is A Small Business?
Before looking for how to support small businesses, let’s look at what a small business is anyway?
The definition of a small business varies from place to place. So one could define a small business based on firm size, sales, and revenue.
According to the SBA (The U.S. Small Business Administration), a business is considered small if its firm revenue is $1 million to over $40 million. And the number of employees ranges from 100 to over 1,500.
Although, there are times when the number of employees is even lower than 100, and the revenue generated is also lower than that of the larger firms. But they stand out for their uniqueness, adaptability, and personalized experience.
They generally have only one owner who controls the complete management activities. The production of goods and services in this industry is much smaller, so they might be a neighborhood store or a local business. Due to their reliance on labor and human resources, they have a very low dependency on technology. They make use of nearby and currently available resources.
Regardless of how we define “small businesses,” it is evident that they contribute to economic growth and are found in the same way that most firms are: modest startups.
2. Importance Of Small Businesses In An Economy: –
Since childhood, we have seen our parents purchasing from a nearby store, a local vendor, or a nearby street or holiday market. Thus, an emotional value is attached to these small businesses as they become a key component of our local community. They not only support the local economies but also make them self-resilient.
1. Growth Of Small Businesses In The U.S.
In the past few years, local businesses have grown tremendously. Not only the obvious local stores on the streets but high school students, women, and even teenagers are now selling products in online stores, with the veteran shopkeepers shifting to an online platform to reach the customers, thus generating employment for many.
Sometimes all, family members participate in the business’s establishment. According to the SBA’s data, there are 30.2 million small enterprises with 58.9 million employees as of 2018.
2. Generating Local Jobs: –
As previously stated, individuals and families now deeply delve into business. Thus, job creation becomes easier. They contribute to economic growth by giving job possibilities to those who might not be suitable for employment with larger corporations.
Local businesses frequently draw individuals who develop novel products or employ fresh approaches to old problems.
3. Adapting To Economic Changes: –
Many local businesses can also react and change fast to shifting economic conditions. This is because small enterprises frequently put the interests of their clients first and are acutely aware of local requirements.
Despite the recession, many local customers continue to support their preferred small stores. Due to this loyalty, local firms can survive during difficult times, which can help local economies even more.
4. Contribution To The Local Government: –
When businesses thrive in the local communities pay back to the local governments through taxes. These taxes are, in turn, used to develop the community as a whole. As a result, governments, administrations, and currencies flourish among the world economies.
5. From A Small Business Towards A Large Big Box Chain: –
Starting with a small shop, these businesses grow simultaneously. Although their base remains rooted in the place from where they started and their establishment size, local business often turns into much larger big businesses.
Further, they help boost an area’s economy and increase employment, which also helps open up new opportunities for the growth of other local shops.
Although the local stores, shops, and businesses have so much to contribute to the welfare of the local economy, the customers go mad for the brands, especially international ones, which have little to do with our country’s revenue generation.
Thus, small business owners face great neglect from potential customers. Other obstacles also stop these small businesses from making a big impact on the market. Let’s look at them.
3. Problems Faced By Small Businesses: –
1. Keeping Up With The Finances: –
Small business startups have obstacles in getting the visibility they want due to a lack of funding or cash flow. Additionally, small businesses don’t receive the same level of training in cost-effective techniques as major corporate entities.
The current weak economy is one of the most significant issues for small businesses, particularly those in the United States. When customers consistently reduce their everyday spending, attracting new clients and producing revenue is challenging.
2. Market Competition: –
Earlier, most of the markets and local businesses were hooked on billboard advertisements, word-of-mouth marketing, handouts, and broadcasting. However, with globalization, a hyper-competitive market, and a quantum leap in technology, not every business owner can keep up a similar pace, particularly when it comes to digitalization and promoting products online.
Also, entrepreneurs in small businesses often struggle to access reliable research reports and data sources. Thus, their product fails to reach the target audience, and there is always a lurching uncertainty.
3. Personal Management: –
Since they are starting small, with hardly any workforce or financial planning, the general and administrative (G&A), also known as overhead, costs rise as the result of poor management.
Further, a small business owner is unprepared and scared of taking huge risks, which significantly influences the working capital.
4. Other Issues: –
Small business workers are often demotivated to keep up with the work.
Lack of access to the data source
Moving to a self-funded organization
And being unable to hire a qualified workforce.
It becomes evident from the above discussion that small businesses have issues that appear at comparable developmental phases. Despite their crucial role in the economy, many small businesses have difficulty developing, maintaining, and sustaining themselves in the highly competitive market.
Thus, the question arises, how to support small businesses? What should we, as consumers can, do to make the local businesses of our community?
4. How To Support Small Businesses?
Supposedly one of your close friends has recently started a local small business; being a friend, isn’t it your morale to help them reach out to potential customers? Similarly, you can support other small businesses or your favorite small businesses.
But then, how to support small businesses?
You need not worry more. We are here to tell you not just one but many creative ways how to support small businesses. Let’s look at them: –
1) How To Support Small Business By Setting Up Nonprofit Organizations: –
People might consider that helping out small businesses can be expensive. So how to support small businesses without spending a lot of money? You can help small businesses by setting up recurring monthly purchases or donations. Whether the donation is $5 or $100, you may set it up to be made each month automatically so you can continue to give back. Your modest monthly donation can assist your favorite small business owner with their money, cover marketing costs, or even just put food on the table as they begin a big business.
If not donations, you can check out other crowdfunding websites like Kickstarter and Fundable to support innovation and purchase brand-new goods.
If you are from the States, support Small Business Saturday and look through the tens of thousands of participating local small businesses across all 50 States.
2) Research About The Stores In Your Locality: –
Instead of rushing to the already-established big brands, visit small retail stores or businesses in your community.
Find markets near you, look in local magazines, websites, and Facebook events. Additionally, many internet materials are available that address markets worldwide. You might also learn about new brands from stores with several categories that you can research later online.
3) How To Support Small Businesses By Taking Help Of Online Platforms: –
After the Covid-19 Pandemic, most small businesses have shifted to an online mode. Thus, a whole new world has been set up for online businesses to promote their products.
However, some of the old local businesses still run on primitive marketing techniques and do not have social media access. However, you can help them by promoting their products through your social media, setting up websites, etc.
4) How To Support Small Businesses Through Promoting On Your Social Media Posts:
One might wonder that social media platforms are mostly used for entertainment purposes, so how to support small businesses using social media?
i. Here’s How You Can
You can promote your favorite businesses on Pinterest, Instagram, and all social media platforms. Tell stories about local businesses through social media posts. This would encourage people to look out for newer options rather than repeatedly buying from the same store. You can tell: –
- What is the business about?
- Its products and services.
- Share their process
- The struggle behind setting up the business, etc.
ii. Introduce Small Businesses To Potential Audiences: –
One of the new techniques to attract traffic to local businesses is email marketing. Send emails to potential audiences about product launches, offers, and schemes who visit your website, page, or store regularly.
a. Spread The Word:
Tell your family, friends, and loved ones about your favorite small businesses. Not just that, but one should know how to support small businesses by spreading the word. For example, if you recently brought a piece of clothing from a small business, offline or online, and liked the product, you can suggest it to some friend who wants to buy clothes.
Make sure you provide a real review for the product.
iii. How To Support Small Business By Signing Up For Newsletters: –
If you are online shopping, do not forget to subscribe to business newsletters. Your favorite small businesses will appreciate your support if you subscribe to their newsletter. Additionally, it can alert you to any online events or special deals.
iv. Review Sites: –
While shopping small, or you check in to a local restaurant, remember to give feedback or a review on their website. A positive review will have a great impact on them. Also, it will help businesses to improve their services.
v. How To Support Small Businesses Through Order Takeout: –
A lot of local restaurants provide curbside pickup or delivery. Some well-known delivery services also lower their prices to keep consumers from placing take-out orders. For wonderful eateries that deliver, for instance, look through sites like Grubhub and Uber Eats; they charge restaurants fees that might lower their already low-profit margins.
vi. How To Support Small Businesses Through Purchasing From Holiday Markets: –
One might ask how to support small businesses if you are holiday shopping. It is one of the simplest ways. Visit the holiday markets of the local communities. They have just the right products made for the holiday season. For example, for Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, you can visit a local shop or search for a local business online rather than going for discounted yet expensive products.
vii. Be Generous: –
When you shop small or visit coffee shops or local restaurants, tip generously; please do not cut off the price for their efforts and hard work. Also, tell other consumers to visit your favorite small business and buy gift cards for them. This will positively impact them and encourage them to do better.
viii. Buy Now To Save Money: –
By enhancing small businesses’ cash flow right away, you can help them. Consider presents, birthdays, or other occasions where you can make a purchase now and deliver it later.
ix. How To Support Small Businesses Through Offering Your Expertise: –
Local businesses might be grateful for your assistance if you’re a lawyer, accountant, banker, digital marketing expert, or content creator, to name a few.
x. Introduce Your Favorite Small Business Owners To Other Businesses: –
It is always a great idea to build a community. By building communities of local businesses, the local economy can get a boost. Working together, helping each other with ideas, and promoting each others’ work will help small businesses grow much faster.
For instance, many businesses are women-owned. However, they lack the funds, support, and fame to come into the highlight. Building up local communities allows these women to defy the shackles of society and be economically self-dependent.
xi. How To Support Small Businesses By Shopping Small: –
As far as possible, support local businesses. Yes, big brands and expensive products are indeed dear to every consumer. However, local businesses are putting equal effort into providing consumers with the best products.
They use materials that are available locally. Also, many small businesses nowadays provide products you can customize as per your wish, allowing the buyers to have a richer consumer experience than the big box and chain competitors. Thus supporting the economy.
And so can you! By purchasing from a store near your area.
Although small businesses may not have those great advertisements and brandings, they may be small in establishment size, but you can raise immediate revenue for them by making sure to shop local.
Small business owners handle everything from production to marketing single-handedly and contribute their bit to the welfare of the local economy, thus making it self-resilient and strong.
Shopping small might be an unexpected discovery since their products are typically only available directly from their website/sales channels or in independent retail stores.
Smaller, regional, and handmade stores frequently struggle to fulfill wholesale orders for larger chains. However, these local small businesses excel in diversity and originality; on the other hand, departmental stores excel in depth.
So, it becomes crucial to know how to support small businesses.
Despite being unique, exclusive, and flexible, these small businesses still face problems and abandonment from consumers. Instead of shopping small, from the local stores or sites like Shopify, Lyst.com, Farfetch, and Sook, people often go for Apps like Amazon Shopping or a big brands’ site.
But then, how to support small businesses?
To boost small businesses there are numerous ways to support small businesses, even if you don’t have a lot of cash. Supporting small businesses does not charge you anything. You can do it completely free.
Knowing how to support small businesses can make them and our community prosper.
We urge you to support local businesses because we are collectively stronger. We can impact the situation by working together to save small businesses and their employees.
We hope the list motivates you and allows you to support your favorite businesses without going over.