I grew up in a small business. My parents owned a restaurant when we were younger. I saw the late nights, the struggles, the joy in owning and running your own business. As I grew up we worked alongside them, the long hours, behind the scenes. I started my own little Etsy, Market shop and small business and I continue to grow it and change it and improve it as we go. There are memes and posts about helping your favorite small shops. Here are 5 ways you can support small businesses without spending a dime!
1. Supporting small instead of chains or corporations
Obvious, but purchasing something is the best way to support a small business. Supporting small, and local means you’re supporting a family. It means you are helping a little boy, or a little girl get into extra-curricular activities, that stuff ain’t cheap. It means you are supporting a dream, a talent, and a love for what someone does. They want to share it with you. This is how they do it.
I started my small business when I was at home, on a not optional medical leave during my pregnancy, and just 18 hours short of receiving maternity leave. I took the joy and a passion I had for essential oils and how they helped my family in the past and how they were helping me then and turned it into a small income to help support my family while I was home. Now I do it because I enjoy it and I want others to know what a difference clean, toxic-free products can do you and your family.
2. Follow them on social media
Nowadays, lots of business and sales are through the internet. To get that, you have to be known, and the best way is through social media. Following along on these platforms spreads information about small businesses way faster. Even large corporations are spending their advertising funds on bloggers and stay at home moms doing their thing on Instagram and Facebook. When you trust a friend, you trust what they are using and what they are sharing, and you are also helping them provide for their family.
3. Share on social media and share by word of mouth
Along with following them, like their posts, comment and share all about them. It works the algorithms and allows for their business to grow and to get seen more. I’ve met so many amazing moms and women through blogging and my little shop. We often talk about these cute shoes we got at a big corporate store. Why not share about the cute little shirt you found by this mama or those shoes that were handmade. Share and tag them on social media so that they can reach your followers, your friends, and the people that trust you!
4. Go and show support at vendor opportunities
Markets are our chance to see you guys face to face, to thank you personally, and to get to know our customers. Bring your friends, share with them a day shopping, and meeting vendors and women who want to serve you. This is a creative outlet – mostly done at home, with kids around. Personally, some nice adult conversation is nice after a week of prep, late nights, and stress that it won’t be a good market.
5. Make it personal
Me, I love to hear from you. So maybe, share with me that I in some way helped you or made a difference. It’s why I started it. There was a lack in something I was looking for and thought others would need it to. That hasn’t been the case. When one person tells me it was exactly what they needed or was looking for it makes me so happy.
I had a rough year trying to grow my small business(es) of essential oils and the accessories that I’ve really enjoyed using with them. I saw a lack of options for roller bottles that came labeled and thought, maybe others are missing out too. I’m not sure if it ever was something other people were looking for, or if the people in my circle just weren’t. As a small-time business, it’s hard to be seen. Most times there aren’t the funds to advertise, or giveaway a bunch of products to gain more traction. We rely on our friends and family and our loyal customers to share and help expand our reach.
On that note, our Etsy Shop is our main focus right now. I’m going to be adding more stock and different items over the next little while. Then hopefully, we might have a market or two this spring and then full markets in the winter again!
These tips go for everything, being an Independent Distributor or hand making items and selling them. It is great for bloggers too! Whatever little side hustle or dream or goal you’re aiming for, sharing and hearing about your stuff from friends and family and even strangers is a huge encouragement!
Thank you all for our ongoing support and love! You can find some of our products on Instagram in our highlights. We have albums on our Facebook for our jewelry and rollers. The best place is to shop our Etsy. And you can always message me.