As small business owners we are sometimes the most hypocritical buyers. We want everyone to buy from us, but how many of us support local business ourselves? We need to make it a point to buy more of our office products and business services from local providers. If we all supported local business the way we want others to support our business, we’d all be growing rapidly.
- For every $100 spent in a locally owned store, $45 stays in the local economy as compared to every $100 spent in a Big-Box Chain store, only $15 stays in the local economy.
- Local businesses are more accountable to their own communities.
- Supporting local businesses contributes to a community’s character and economic diversity. One-of-a-kind businesses are a distinctive part of the character of a community.
Download the Buy Local infographic for more information on Buy Local Campaigns.
Review products and services for your favorite places
Don’t just tell your friends about it, tell other people about it too. Sites like Yelp are great, but a public post on Facebook where you share you experience and share it on the Fan Page of the business that you’re giving props to in order to share the louve with them as well. Instead of giving big business all the publicity when you click like on Facebook, Share the Louve for your local small businesses as well.
Support Crowd Funding Campaigns
If anyone knows how difficult it is to get funding for a small business expansion or start-up, it’s small business owners. Banks are not doling out funds no unless you have tons of collateral, wads of cash tucked away in your seat cushions or your wealthy uncle has decided to give you your cut of the estate before he dies, funding your new business venture, or even an old business venture for that matter, can be a little discouraging if you’re still trying older methods of finding start up capital.
This is why crowd funding has taken off. Companies like Indiegogo, Kickstarter and FunderHut have created a platform that allows you to raise the money you need without the financial pressure of a small business loan because it’s not a loan. Other benefits of crowd funding are:
1 You don’t have to part with equity. You can incentivize contributing to your campaign by way of rewards, perks or kudos depending on your platform.
2 It’s a great way to see if your idea is a business or a hobby. As a start up crowd funding allows you to see who your early supporters are and who will become your brand evangelists, or if you need to go back to the drawing board.
3 You can build a great fan club. If contributors really believe in your venture, they will share it with others and your list of brand evangelists just grew.
Indiegogo and Kickstarter were both nominated for TechCrunche’s 6th Annual Crunchies Award in the “Biggest Social Impact” category. Congratulations to Indiegogo for the runner-up finish–Reddit won this category. Campaigners have nothing but great things to say about the awesome effect that Indiegogo has had on the success of their small business dreams.
The major challenge for a small business promoting a crowd funding campaign is reaching beyond the personal network and driving organic traffic via the social media platforms and finding the best part of the story to tell; the part that encompasses the crucial elements that speak to why we do what we do and why we need the help that we need. Check out our crowd funding campaign on Indigogo to see the types of campaigns you can run.
Check out the small businesses in your area and see what causes they support. If it’s not listed on their website call them and ask. If you’re participating in a marathon or any charity event, talk with a local business and discuss a potential partnership. This has the potential to be mutually beneficial and from a business owner perspective you’re sure to land a loyal customer with this kind of support.
What are some others ways you can see yourself supporting local business? Chime in below and let us know.