One of the biggest challenges I faced in my life was leaving corporate America to focus on my passion project and small business, Brickellista. When I first moved to Miami, I had no idea I would ever start a blog, let alone make it into a profitable business. So when Brickellista started to grow, I realized this was my chance to take a leap of faith to enter the adventure of entrepreneurship. It took conviction and strength to leave a stable work environment (salary, health benefits, 401K, etc.) to follow through on this dream, but I knew this would be a journey worth taking.
There were many ups and downs during this journey and it was thanks to to the support of my network I was able to quickly grow! It is no surprise that this challenge has also been one of the most rewarding! Strength is having the mental courage to follow through on a dream. It’s also important to help others that are embarking on their own entrepreneurship journeys.
The new age of social distancing and self-isolation has impacted businesses of all sizes. However, small businesses are facing a substantial impact from the coronavirus circumstances. Knowing how to help small businesses can make all the difference for those that are struggling to keep their doors open. In these crazy times, we all have to come together to support each other and make it through this pandemic with as little damage to our neighbors as possible. Its important to share our strength.
Today, I partnered with Viactiv for their CHEWs to be Strong campaign to help motivate and inspire others. Viactiv is a sweet way to a stronger you, inside and out. Just two tasty Viactiv chews a day give you 100% of the daily recommended calcium you need to help keep your bones tough, so you keep going strong. Because when we are strong inside we are able to share our strength with others.
Hopefully you’ll find some inspiration in this blog post to share your strength and help small businesses, like my own, during the pandemic.
How To Help Small Businesses:
There is so much you can do to help your local businesses. Obviously we’re all struggling during this time, so do what you can! Here are 11 ways we can help:
Make or Buy PPE For Businesses
Businesses are currently facing higher costs because they’re required to use PPE ( personal protective equipment ) if they’re able to be open. They need to provide face masks and sometimes other PPE for their workers and even customers in order to be open even in a little capacity. The added costs impact their bottom line.
Put a notice in your lobby or on your Facebook page that you’re able to donate PPE. If you have a sewing machine, you can make homemade non-medical masks and distribute them for free or nominal. Masks are very easy to make, and a growing number of hospitals are seeking volunteers to help with the same. You can also buy them and donate to any business in your community.
Buy Gift Card For Yourself or a Friend
Buying gift cards can be a small but helpful way to support local small businesses. It is a way to reassure businesses that they will always have customers. Plus, you’re putting cash in their hands now to keep them afloat. Buy a gift card at your favorite restaurants, salons, fitness studios, etc. Places that you know you’ll go after the pandemic are easy to commit to buying a gift card.
You can also buy gift cards for friends as a gift. It’s a fun way to stay connected and show your friends you care and miss them too. You don’t need to buy something expensive. Send a $5-$20 gift card to your friend and ask them to do the same for another small organization.
Just imagine if every customer buys a $10 gift card from a business, the company will collect a good amount of money. Moreover, making the recipient do the same will increase their chances of having repeat customers over time. It creates a ripple effect on customer engagement and retention over time.
Amplify Messages on Social Media
This is so easy and takes just a little effort. By following and sharing posts of business you want to support, you’re growing their fan base now and for the future. I suggest making a small list of companies that you want to support so that you can support them constantly. Follow them, share any services they are offering during the pandemic. Promote their efforts to help keep them afloat.
By promoting business on social media, you’re helping with their word-of-mouth advertising. Which is one of the most valuable advertising forms.
Retweet promotions to increase their sales. When you get takeout, post about it! Leverage your own following to add credibility to the company you are supporting. You don’t have to have a huge following to make a difference for small businesses.
Offer Free Consultation
Businesses still need all of the support they needed before, and even more. They need insurance, accounting, marketing, and legal help to negotiate uncertain times. Business consultation at this time can be immensely helpful to businesses.
If you are a CEO, CFO, a marketing specialist, a lawyer, or anyone with a unique skill set able to help businesses, offer your time free of charge. You can call your favorite local business to consult with them. If you’re a blogger, offer to promote them for free if you can. If you’re a graphic artists, offer to make some social media posts for them. Take enough time to listen to them and understand the problems they are facing.
Use your expertise to help alleviate their fears and answer pressing questions related to cash flow, customer service, margins, etc. Share any tips to help them pivot and make money even if they can’t stay open. Send them ideas, articles, and let them know you’ll support if they decide to pivot. Discuss how to generate more valuable leads, market their business online, and brand their business for better positioning.
Recommend Funding Options
Fortunately, there are countless sources available to help small businesses navigate the situation smoothly. But, sometimes businesses may have a hard time finding these resources.
Help them by researching these resources and options that seem helpful and relevant to the business you care about.
Let them know that the Federal Reserve has cut down interest rates to zero. So, these local small businesses can take loans to stay afloat and active. The CARES Act provides relief for paying rent, salaries, and other related expenses as forgivable loans.
Encourage Employees to Shop from Small Businesses
If you are still operational, you can encourage your employees to buy from small businesses. You can share the local restaurants offering takeout around your office, or share the local shops in the area still open that your employees can shop at. You can even implement a rewards fund program to reimburse employees when they buy lunch or coffee from local small businesses.
If you have an office lunch or happy hour, definitely support your local businesses as well! Shop small instead of opting for large chain restaurants that are more likely to make it through the pandemic without financial issues.
Overall, you have to get cash flowing to small businesses, as large businesses are better positioned to navigate the fluctuating pandemic economy easily and in a hassle-free manner.
Shorten and Extend Payment Terms
If you are a business with small business vendors, you can extend the your payment terms and help small businesses with their current cash flow situation. For instance, change net-30 terms to net-60 or more. If you know one of your vendors is struggling, give them the option to pay over time interest free if you can take the hit yourself for a month or two.
You can also do the reverse. If you owe money to small businesses with longer payment terms, you can speed up the process and pay ahead of time to get them some cash in hand.
Do you have any ideas for helping small businesses during the pandemic?
Would love to know if you have any ideas for helping small businesses during all of this craziness? Share your tips in the comments below. Also if you’re a small business, please leave your business in the comments so we can support you!
COVID-19 has had some pretty dire economic impacts, especially on small businesses. It’s up to us – the consumer community – to support our neighbors.
Whether it is volunteering talents, ordering food from a local restaurant, or simply a small monetary support, every little bit counts.
Let’s work together to keep our minds, bodies, and business healthy by helping small businesses.
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Viactiv Calcium Soft Chews. All opinions are 100% mine.
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