Tag Archives: share

How you can support small businesses without spending money!

9 Sep

It’s becoming increasingly fashionable to shun the big corporations and support local businesses where we can.  It can be easier said than done though, we are all pushed for time, and it’s so easy to nip to the supermarket or go straight to Amazon to buy everything we need in one hit.  When I went on maternity leave, one of the things I was most looking forward to was simply having time to buy fresh bread from the local bakery instead of getting supermarket bread!  And for the first few weeks it was great, I bought my bread from the bakery, had a vegetable box delivered by a local farm, bought lovely handmade cards and gifts from the small shops in my local town… but then my little baby who slept all the time became a big boisterous boy and I discovered the wonders of online shopping!

I still try to buy local where I can, and through my role of Enterprise Coach with Opportunity Plus, I am forever meeting entrepreneurs who make lovely things that I want to buy!  But spending money isn’t the only way you can support a small, local business (though it certainly helps!!).  Here are some ways that you can support small businesses, without having to spend money!

1 – Interact with them on social media.  Getting a new like on Facebook can brighten a small business owner’s day, and only takes you a second to do.   But likes aren’t everything.  Commenting on and sharing posts helps to increase a page’s “reach”, meaning that more people see what they have got to say.  If you have bought something from them, post a picture of you using it, or let them know how much your friend loved their gift.

2 – Write a review.  This could simply be a recommendation on their Facebook page, or a post on their wall; but if you write a blog, why not write about a positive experience you’ve had with the business, or about the great product you bought from them.  If they like what you have to say, it’s likely they will link to it themselves, bringing you more readers too.  Win-win!

3 – Tell y0ur friends.  Your real life friends and family that is.  Often we share our bad experiences of customer service, but how often do we tell the story of a good experience?  Not the times when something out of the ordinary happened, just the simple friendly greeting when you entered the shop, or the time they spent with you helping you find the right gift for a friend?

4 – Have a chat.  If you can see the owner is looking a little bored behind their friendly customer service smile, have a chat with them.  Even if you’re not intending to buy anything, you can give them an indication of the products you like and don’t like – it’s all market research for the owner.  (I buy in slings for my business and have to choose between about 50 fabrics each time, it’s impossible!  So I appreciate people telling me their favourites, even if I know they aren’t planning to buy one.)

5 – Follow links!  If you see a mention to a business on a blog or elsewhere, click on the link and follow it to their website.  As well as increasing their website traffic, it shows the search engines that this is a website that people want to visit, which can help their website move up the rankings.

Easy!  Just don’t forget to use the small business yourself when you need something they sell!!

What small businesses would you like to show support to?  Comment below and tell us about a good experience that you’ve had with a small business, and don’t forget to put a link to their website.

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Merry Christmas!

24 Dec

Christmas has come round so quickly this year I can hardly believe it!  I always try to buy my Christmas shopping from small, local businesses as much as possible and since getting into social media this year my Facebook news feed is full of small businesses tempting me with their lovely goodies!  Christmas shopping this year has been a breeze!

So today I’m just going to share a few of my favourite pages with you – who knows, maybe they’ll have a January sale and you could pick  up a handmade bargain in the new year!

Jimmy James Designs make wonderful wooden hearts with maps printed on them, as well as their signature acrylic reindeer.

Baxter and Snow make lovely things out of recycled wine boxes – from home furnishings to bunk beds for cats, every item is unique and beautiful.

Hats N That crochet hats and other goodies.  They made an adorable mouse ears hat for my little boy.

Bright Button is a haberdashery selling all the bits and bobs you need to craft your own treasures!

Once Upon a Dream Designs make amazing comic book shoes, definitely one to check out!

Pip’s Garden sell beautiful bedding and children’s clothes, all personalised however you want them – gorgeous.

and not forgetting the lovely Rocket & Co. who were one of my very first blog posts.

Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas.

Chloe, and the whole Opportunity Plus South West team

xx

PS Whilst you’re on facebook, make sure you like our page too!