Hello everyone! Welcome back to another edition of Business & Budgets! Today we are going to discuss the power of group economics, as well as how to get your mind right so that you can actively participate in your local economy. We are going to cover 5 pillars to give you a better understanding and plan of action when it comes to supporting locally. Let's jump into it!
1) Why you don't support your family, friends and local community?
If you are reading this it's probably because you are seeking to learn how to better support your community. Well, like all things it starts with your mindset. Do you have any friends or family members that recently started businesses? Have you supported their new brand? If not, why not? The top three answers to this question are typically:
They just got started, I'm not sure about their product or service
"XYZ" is cheaper
"ZYX" is better
Let's review those answers. Just because a person just started selling their product/service doesn't mean they don't know what they are doing. Many people develop their products for months or even years before entering the market.
Another business being cheaper doesn't mean it's better. Many of the items sold for cheap prices at big box stores are the product of unethical labor laws. Items made by local businesses are more often to have been made by hand, which means more skill, time and love went into the product.
Stating that another product or service is better before giving the local business a try isn't fair. How will you truly know which is better without making a purchase to compare? In the event that the more popular product is better, many small businesses take feedback well. They revamp and revise to best meet their client needs. Which is generally not true when it comes to mass producers.
2) What local support does for you?
Supporting local businesses, supports your local economy, which directly benefits you. More sales generated in your community, means more taxes collected. Which means more money for your kids schools and local roads. This in turn results in better schools, which leads to an increase in property value which is great for you if you are a local homeowner. If you don't own property you still will be contributing to the growth and development of your neighborhood which is something to be proud of. Better service. Better quality. Better health. Are all results of strong community support. Community support will also encourage other businesses to move in when they realize how strong the local economy is and who doesn't enjoy a new restaurant, coffee shop or entertainment venue?
Supporting local businesses, friends and friend can also fuel an entire new internal economy that supports each other with nepotism and group investing opportunities.
3) Power of social media
Social media is an extremely powerful tool and you can use it to support local business owners, or hurt them. So, be sure to use your platform wisely. When a celebrity accomplishes a goal or launches a new product, do you share it on your timeline or in your story? If so, do the same thing for people you know in real life! You are giving those brands free promotion every time you post them. Why help the rich get richer when you can pull your neighbor out of poverty and help your cousin become the first millionaire in your family? Use those free promotional opportunities for the brands that have small marketing budgets and need your help.
Now entrepreneurs this tip is particularly for you. Don't get so wrapped up in social media clout that you waste products and money in an attempt to work with "influencers." Don't send your amazing products to celebrities, hoping that they will wear it and tag you because more often than not, they won't. They can afford to buy your products if they wanted them and when people pay for things, it's usually because they like them and are therefore more likely to talk about them. Instead of wasting time and money with celebrities connect with micro-influencers instead. Those that have the same audience, with less than 10,000 followers and high engagement. Reach out and determine if they have a promotion price of if they will just accept your merch and review it. Don't forget about your family and friends with large audiences!
4) Support doesn't always require money
Many of us believe that the only way to support a small business is by making a purchase. But, you don't necessarily need or want everybody's product, nor can you afford to shop with every local business. So, what are your support options that don't require you to open your wallet?
Post them to your social media page, encourage others to follow and shop.
Tag them on those posts that ask you to share your favorite businesses.
Send someone who needs their products/services to their website or pass out their business cards if you have them
Collaborate with them! Do you have a business? Are you planning an event that requires their service? Do you have a platform to share with them (i.e. blog, podcast, live IG show, etc.)? Can you connect them with other relevant businesses? Leverage these opportunities!
Nominate them for awards and local media opportunities!
5) Start supporting now!
Now that you know how to support and importance of support, go ahead and start now! Here's a few ways to support small businesses right now, even before leaving my website.
Check out some of the other posts on my blog and share the meaningful ones.
Also, make sure to check out the fifty amazing businesses listed under the BizList Atlanta tab! Even if you don't make a purchase, use some of the support strategies listed under number four.
Supporting small and local businesses can completely change the current status of wealth distribution. Let's take just one big box store as an example. Walmart grossed $482 billion in revenue a year. Imagine if half of that revenue, $241 billion was equally distributed across the 30 million small businesses in the US. Each of those businesses would have an additional $8,000 in their bank accounts. That small contribution could have saved a few of the 200,000 small businesses that closed last year.
I hope this post has been helpful for you as you make final buying decisions for this holiday season. Make the choice to choose a few small and local businesses to support, they value your support more than any big box company ever will.