It's that time of year again! - The holiday and festive season - and Your support for your friend's small business is critical.
Operating a business whether small or large has always been a demanding experience. Moreover, the tensions, disappointments, and hazards are particularly high now, given the number of competitors that entrepreneurs face not only locally, but nationwide and even globally, as a result of the advent of the e-commerce world.
Many business owners especially small businesses have additional hassles, such as trying to keep up with the digital age, modifying goods or services due to changing demands, managing personnel, or handling the business on their own.
If you have a friend who owns a small business, you'd want to be as supportive as you can so that you can contribute to their success and ease some burden for them. Whether the product or service that your friend offers isn't directly linked to you or not, there are numerous ways you can be helpful and show your support to them.
So let’s have a look at some of the ways you can show support to your friend's small business.
Whether you may or may not require the goods or services that your friend is selling, others may do. Word-of-mouth recommendations are extremely helpful in assisting businesses to attract consumers, especially because potential customers regard personal referrals as far more credible than other types of advertisement, such as commercials.
It's completely okay to also give your friend's business or product a shout-out even in social events and gatherings, at your workplace, school, etc.
Unfortunately, social networking sites such as Facebook and Instagram or Twitter algorithms sometimes make it difficult for small businesses, particularly those that are new, to obtain new followers. It is even more difficult for them to market and make sales successfully if their prospective client doesn't see their products.
Interacting with your friend's small business on digital media platforms is one of the best ways of helping them for free. You can engage with their business on a regular basis and that can go a long way in helping them push their social media pages further to more people.
Show your support by participating through following their accounts, subscribing to their websites or newsletters, liking their posts, leaving comments, tagging your other friends, watching or streaming their videos if they are YouTubers, among many others.
Online reviews have largely replaced the conventional "buzz marketing." Research by Trustpilot, a consumer review website shows that nine out of ten people examine online reviews before buying a product or getting a service.
Another study by Qualtrics, a powerful online survey tool also revealed that Consumers have the opportunity to convey their side of the purchasing story through online reviews, as it provides many other potential buyers with social proof. Qualtrics further describes social proof as; the public’s level of trust in a product or service with some of the benefits of positive reviews to a business including increased customer trust, giving direct insights to customers, and enabling the business to appear higher in search engine rankings.
As a result, reviewing is critical. A nice comment on their business website, youtube channel, Google play store if the business has an app, or their Facebook page is great as it lets other people who are interacting with their product/service know that the business is legit and they are in safe hands.
Positive reviews are among the most effective tactics available to small businesses for converting leads into sales. So a nice comment can go a long way!
Sharing your friend's business on social media is also a kind of support. It is possible that somebody who sees it on your WhatsApp status or Facebook/Instagram timeline or stories will profit from it. Wherever possible, mention your friend's business on your social pages.
It is possible that friends of your friends will notice it through your shares and even end up purchasing their products or acquiring their services. Take a picture whenever you buy anything from them and tag them to let your family members know about their products.
Even when you are not planning on purchasing anything, sharing their new or recent products or services could result in an extra sale or additional followers for them.
This is extremely frequent over the world. When many people have a close friend or family member, who has a business they anticipate their friends to give them freebies or offer them discounts even when it's not possible and this is not okay.
You should not request a special deal because you "know" them or because it's your friend. It could lead to a loss if you expect them to keep giving you free or unnecessarily discounted products or services.
If they offer you a discount or a product for free, that’s fine. Just avoid putting them in such a situation. It's not fair.
It's true that running a business requires a lot of labor and it's most likely that your entrepreneur friend will certainly require extra assistance from time to time. volunteering to assist them is a wonderful gesture. You can pop in a couple of times or for a few hours during their peak seasons, to see how you can help them out.
It could be by helping them in wrapping up deliveries, helping them in getting good vendors where they can get raw materials for their business, or just chatting with them as they go about their day-to-day work. Another example is, if you are a graphic designer, you could inquire about your friend's business design requirements and offer your advice or skills.
Simply offering to help them with anything they require is one of the most effective ways to help a friend's small business!
All of the preceding examples demonstrate how simple it is to help a friend's small business without spending any money, but nothing communicates loyalty in a friendship like financially supporting a friend's ambitions and dreams.
Consider purchasing a product or service from your friend if you need it and you can afford it. Even if it's a small amount of money, buying a product or service from a friend's business will help them grow their earnings.
Showing your friend the support you'd also want to receive if you had a business, would go make a big difference. So go and give your full support to that close friend who is an entrepreneur by shopping from them this holiday season.