Fires. Floods. Drought. Small businesses in our beautiful country have certainly been put through the ringer in the past couple of years (drought) and especially the first couple of months of 2020.
We won’t forget how this year started!
Now along with drought, floods and fire, we have directives to stay at home, work from home, self-quarantine, loads of cancelled sporting events, travel and now social distancing – all this threatens to devastate small business, again.
Businesses that rely on foot traffic, businesses that don’t have websites in which people can buy and businesses who are struggling to get stock from overseas – are all looking down a path never taken or seen before.
And, let’s be honest, that “virus” really hasn’t even hit Australia yet.
While federal, state and local governments are working as hard as they can, producing funding and relief packages, there’s ways we can help small businesses too.
Yep, you and me folk – we can help too.
They may be small ways, but they can be mighty, especially if we keep in mind the businesses we love and trust and have always been there for us when we needed them.
So, what can you do to help keep them afloat:
Purchase gift cards
Inject immediate cash into a business by purchasing a gift card.
Purchase a gift card with your cash now – giving the business the cash injection it needs now, and spend it later, when all this is a distant dream.
They last forever now – there’s no expiring date.
Purchase one from your favourite restaurant, your favourite clothing store, maybe a pass to the movies or where you would normally buy lunch (but you’re not at work at the moment).
Again, small but mighty steps to help.
Shop local — online and off
Where you can, support your fav businesses who offer shopping online.
Rather than going in, if you feel you shouldn’t or couldn’t – log onto their website and buy what you’d usually buy.
Have it delivered, straight to your door – even if you live in the same town! The postie gets to keep their job then too!
But what about those shops that don’t have an online store?
Support them too, of course. Perhaps they have a home delivery service to help with store closures, or after hour pick up options. You don’t need to see a human to make a human smile!
If you see something on social media they are sharing for sale, message them. Give them the opportunity to create a sale, even though they don’t have a website.
You already know, like (or love) and trust them – so there’s no worries there. Give them the opportunity to make it simple for you to buy.
Help them via social media too
If you see a post from your favourite small business, share it!
If you think your bestie, she/he might love that shirt or recipe or meal etc too – tag them.
Social media is a perfect “referral” network. You can share lots of love from the comfort of your own office or home – and make sales for them just by sharing or tagging.
And, don’t get into the doom and gloom of social media for your town.
Don’t scare potential visitors or buyers from coming by spreading fake news via social media.
Whatever you share, whatever you comment on, make sure it’s true and correct – and possibly from a government website.
Many independently owned restaurants and food businesses that haven’t previously done so are now getting on to delivery platforms or just offering delivery services. Rather than laying off staff, they are diversifying.
If you can order in, order in.
Pay via credit card over the phone and ask them to leave it on the doorstep, if it comes to that. But remember, unless you’re sick or in a 14-day quarantine, there’s no reason not to open your door and receive the delivery.
Maybe even tip a little – even though it’s not common practice in Australia, let small businesses know you appreciate them just a wee bit more in the current climate.
It’s not hard to be generous or to help a small business owner in times of uncertainty.
You can support them as you usually would financially, the methodology might just have changed a bit.
If you are struggling or need some advice or a business chat, feel free to reach out and book a quick 30 minute check in call here – https://calendly.com/jenn-smm/discovery