Ready to make your 2018 New Year’s Resolutions? Along with improving time management, boosting productivity, getting organized, and growing your business, here’s one more resolution to add to your list: supporting local businesses.
Not only can you create good will in your community, but supporting fellow small business owners can be beneficial for your business’s brand.
Back-scratching for profit
You know the old saying “You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours?” Partnerships between local small businesses work the same way. Think of it as, “You tell your customers about my business, and I’ll tell mine about yours.”
Here’s how it works:
1. Find a local business with similar customers to yours, but one that offers a different product or service.
2. Ask the owner if you can include a discount offer for their business with each of your sales.
3. Ask if they’ll do the same for you.
For example: If you make custom cakes, you can offer customers 20% off balloons/decorations from a local party store. And the party store could offer their customers a coupon for 20% off one of your custom cakes.
This benefits both businesses by expanding your reach to new potential customers.
Coffee with content
Supporting your nearby business peers doesn’t mean you have to spend a bundle in their shops or offices — instead, consider sharing your knowledge and expertise. Organize an informal business group to meet once a week or month for coffee. Chat with other micro/small business owners to problem solve, share local news, or share what you’ve learned about running a business.
Whether you own a body shop or a hair salon, as a local business owner you’ll find yourself sharing information on everything from garbage pickup schedules, how to register your business, to the best place for office supplies.
And by choosing to meet regularly at a local coffee shop, you’ll be supporting another local business as well.
As an entrepreneur, you’ll need products and services for your business. From professional services to day-to-day needs, shop local to support other business owners whenever possible.
Choose your accountant, lawyer, office supplies, or any other supplier from your neighbourhood, town, city, or region.
Not only does this create good will, it keeps money in your community — money that could work its way back to you in the form of new business.
When local businesses do their shopping with other local businesses, it results in an increased local tax base as business income rises. This can help improve your local economy and attract new residents and workers. So you may have new customers and neighbours too.
Promote, promote, promote!
If a tree falls in the forrest and no one posts about it, did it happen?
While supporting other local businesses can help your community financially, promoting your support of local businesses on your website or in marketing materials can also inspire customers. Reminding your existing customers of your commitment to the local economy is a way of showing local pride and commitment. And when you “shop local,” you may inspire others who see your promotion to do the same.
Furthermore, small businesses help create a community’s identity, and your willingness to shop local yourself — and encourage your customers to do the same — can have a far-reaching impact.
A great community can attract tourism, create jobs, and even new residents. So remember this: your support of other local small businesses can help create the community you want your business to be a part of!