As the world continues to travel through uncharted territories due to the coronavirus, there’s not one industry that hasn’t felt its wrath. COVID-19 has definitely turned the world upside down. From entertainment to housing, all industries are scrambling to find new ways to rebound or recover.
While big businesses take major hits, many small businesses take even greater hits. This is why it’s so important to support local businesses during this time. Many small business owners are fearful of their ability to recover once it’s all over. Consider some of the impactful strategies you can use in order to make a difference in your own way.
Offer a Donation
If you have the financial means to do so, consider making a donation to a small business. Most small businesses won’t turn down free money. If you have a group of friends who frequent a small business regularly, consider reaching out to your friends to ask them if they’d be willing to join you in collecting a contribution to donate to the business you all have benefitted from. Whether everyone donates $5, $10, $100 or Bitcoin, every little bit helps. If the local gym you’ve used is actually a small business instead of a large chain, they’re definitely feeling the pinch as gyms are shut down. If you can afford to, consider continuing your membership until the gyms reopen again. Even though most people have contracts with places like gyms, most gyms are halting payment because the circumstances are out of the customer’s control. It’s only fair. However, this is a great way to still help the gym you love if you aren’t hard-pressed for cash.
Recommend Their Products and Services to Your Circle of Influence
Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have done an amazing job of keeping people connected, informed and entertained. However, it’s also a great way to exert your own influence. With consistent social media posts, you’ll develop a captive audience. Most people are on social media because they want to see what everyone else is up to. They’re looking out for ways they can learn or try something new.
If you’re benefitting from a specific small business during this quarantine, share the good news on your social media platforms. If you’ve found an Etsy shop that sells amazing body lotions, share the link to that Etsy shop on your social media platforms. Many women are trying to figure out how to maintain a decent manicure while the nail salons are closed. If you’ve found a great vendor who sells stunning press-on nails, spread the word.
Order Takeout During the Week
Many restaurants are remaining open during the coronavirus crisis as they provide food to those who order. However, the dining rooms are closed. Not only does this directly impact the number of orders they have, but it also removes tips. Tips are major income producers for the servers of the restaurants.
If you’ve frequented a small restaurant for a while, don’t stop amid the virus. Many restaurants are still delivering or providing pick-up options that don’t require any contact. If you’re tired of cooking three meals each day, give yourself a break by ordering out for one of those meals. If you don’t usually order takeout, now might be a great time to start in order to give yourself a break as you help keep a restaurant open. Every order really does add up. As you find great restaurants with delicious food, tell others about it. Also, don’t forget to leave a good tip.
Plan a Future Vacation
While vacations might seem like the furthest thing from your mind right now, it’s also one of the most desired experiences. So many people enjoyed the ability to travel to different states and countries with total freedom. Now, with shelter-in-place orders, that freedom is gone. Thankfully, vacations aren’t canceled forever. A time will come when you can go on vacation again. In that case, it’s best to still plan for it. While you might want to book your plans a year in advance, many travel agents, hotels and cruise lines will be extremely happy for the business. Tons of travel companies and travel-related industries are offering major discounts. It’s also wise to ask about the ‘Buy Now, Stay Later’ initiative. As you book your plans in advance, it also gives you something to look forward to in the future. This effort will also help you to do your part in helping money circulate within small businesses. While airlines and major hotels aren’t small businesses, booking your accommodations through an owner of a vacation rental will provide a positive impact. The same holds true for using a travel agent to book your plans as they receive a commission for their services.
Get Virtual Consultations and Services
If you have young children who are enrolled in various extra-curricular activities in the community, many small businesses have transitioned to online sessions. If your child has been getting piano lessons, find out if their music studio is still offering sessions through platforms such as Zoom or Google Hangout. Your child can still benefit from the classes they want. Even though it’s not the ideal situation, they’ll still gain the value. Plus, you’ll help to keep a small business stable during such uncertain times. If you were planning on visiting the orthodontist because of your widening gap, you can still receive virtual consultations by many practices. While they won’t be able to install the actual braces or do any physical treatments, you can get consultations you were planning on receiving. Plus, if an emergency is dire, most practitioners will open their doors to handle emergencies on a case-by-case basis.
Purchase Gift cards
In addition to donating money, you can always buy a gift card for future use. The gift card will allow money to flow to them in the short-term. It’ll also allow you to receive your products or services in the long-term. This is especially perfect for small businesses that don’t have online platforms.
Take Their Online Courses
Many small businesses are opting to pivot in order to remain profitable. As they become more innovative, they’re upgrading their websites and diversifying their available products and services for more income streams. If you own a small business, you’ll definitely want to consider ways you can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your digital impact. Hairdressers and barbershops have closed down, but barbers can still teach men how to maintain a simple cut during the quarantine through an online course. The course doesn’t have to give all the techniques away. However, the course is a great way to maintain your son’s or husband’s haircuts in the meantime. If any service providers are offering those types of informational courses online, consider purchasing one.
Though there’s a lot of uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 and what the world will look like after the restriction orders are lifted, there are ways that you can help your favourite small businesses remain open. With intentional effort, community involvement and powerful internet marketing strategies, a small business can survive the impact of the coronavirus.
Life might not return back to normal as small businesses once knew it. However, life can introduce a new normal that launches small businesses into a whole new sphere of success. With the help of loyal customers, innovative sales strategies and flexible customer service, a small business can bounce back stronger than ever.
Free CRO Audit
We have always been big proponents in supporting local businesses. If you’re a small business owner, consider reaching out to us here for a free CRO Audit (Conversion Rate Optimization) to develop a strong online presence throughout the quarantine and beyond.
Now and when this enforced lockdown is over it will be more important than ever to support local and family businesses.
Lets get our communities back on their feet by shopping local, lending support and boycotting corporate big box stores that steal the wealth and destroy communities.
Are you supporting local businesses? Share the ways you are supporting small businesses in your community in the comment section below.
7 Ways to Support Local Businesses During the Lockdown