You may not have the money to spend, or perhaps don't need what they provide, or live too far away to make use of them. But whether your friends and family are illustrators and creators, the car fixers or plasterers, the people who do tattoos or hair, the independent shop owners, the cake bakers and caterers, you can support their small business in quite a few simple ways.
(and to find out what makers I've snook into this picture)
2. Not your “thing”? Buy for a friend or recommend them!
3. Bought something? Leave reviews!
4. Visit events they are trading at to say hello, browse, perhaps take them a coffee.
5. Events too far away or not your “thing”? Recommend events to interested friends or groups.
6. Visit the shops they are stocked in, even if you buy something else small from a different person, you help keep that shop open as an opportunity. Buying Just A Card helps independent retail!
7. Find and follow their business on social media.
8. Like, share, retweet, comment, react and all that… your engagement might help someone else see the post, that leads to them parting with money!
9. Not your “thing”? Invite and share with interested friends or groups.
10. Share opportunities with them. They may not know about that local event, new retail outlet, competition, relevant social media interest group, and it might just be a great avenue for them!
11. Tell them what you like about what they do. You may know nothing about the amazing sound systems your cousin fits in cars, but you can tell her how impressed you are with the amount of technical knowledge she has. Or let your mate know that you aren't into landscape paintings yourself, but you can really see how much effort he puts into them. Be honest, and they'll feel that support for their work.
12. Give constructive feedback. Careful here, but with tact, you can perhaps help someone with a problem they didn't know about! Your aunt posts amazing images of her ceramics, with lots of spelling mistakes? Ask if she's thought of a spell check app, because some people will judge based on those mistakes, and she might miss out.
13. Finally, this really does help on a personal level. Ask your friends and family how their business is going, listen, be interested, and only offer advice and insight if they want it. If business is slow, before you ask “Have you tried?...” bear in mind they may have already been doing that for six months, and really just want a sympathetic ear right now!
Help from friends and family makes a huge difference for small businesses, (although they know they have to work hard at their own customer base too) and when small business owners get support, we really do have a little happy dance (even if it's just our brain bopping around).
Although sales keep the business going, a coffee, social media shares, personal recommendations, a hand moving boxes, all also help keep the business owner going – and you can easily do those.