Small businesses are the backbone of our economy. According to a report by SalesForce, over 90 percent of the business population represents small- and medium-sized businesses, also known as SMEs. These small businesses provide unique products and services and create the jobs that are key to helping local communities thrive.
However, they often struggle to compete with larger businesses that have more resources and marketing budgets. In fact, 38 percent of small businesses fail because they either run out of cash or are unable to garner more financial backing (CB Insights, 2021).
Small businesses need our support more than ever, and it's always good to lend a helping hand, especially if the business owners are your friends. However, if you're strapped for cash and don't have the financial means to spend, there are still many free ways to support small businesses that can make a big impact on your friend's shop. In this article, we'll explore some of these ways and give you tips on how to support your friend's small business without spending.
How to Support Your Friend's Small Businesses
Free Method 1: Spread the Word About Your Friend's Small Business
One of the easiest and most effective ways to support small business without spending is by spreading the word! Tell your friends and family about the small businesses you know and love. Share their social media posts and tag them in your own posts. Word of mouth is a powerful tool that can help small businesses gain exposure and attract new customers.
So, What to Say to Promote a Friend's Business?
Promoting a friend's business is a great way to support them and help their business grow. Knowing what to say to promote a friend's business, however, is equally important important - the last thing you'll want to do is to accidentally drive potential customers away! It can be tricky to know what to say to promote your friend's business effectively, and all the more so if you're relatively new to the product that they are selling. Here are some tips on what to say to promote a friend's business.
Tip 1: Start with a Personal Story
When promoting your friend's business, start with a personal story that highlights why their product or service is important to you. This will help to establish a connection with the audience and make the promotion more authentic. For example, you could talk about how your friend's product helped you solve a problem or improved your life in some way.
Tip 2: Highlight the Unique Value Proposition
One of the most important things to communicate when promoting a friend's business is their unique value proposition. What sets their business apart from the competition? What makes their product or service unique? Highlighting these factors can help potential customers understand why they should choose your friend's business over others.
Tip 3: Use Positive Language
When supporting your friend's small business, it's important to use positive language. Avoid negative or critical comments about their competition or industry in general. Instead, focus on the positive aspects of your friend's business and how it can benefit potential customers.
Tip 4: Provide Specific Details
Be sure to provide specific details about their product or service. This can include features, benefits, pricing, and any special promotions or offers. Providing specific details can help potential customers understand what they can expect from your friend's business.
Tip 5: Call to Action
Finally, be sure to include a call to action in your promotion. This can be as simple as encouraging people to visit your friend's website or social media pages, or to try their product or service. A clear call to action can help to drive traffic and sales to your friend's business.
Using a food truck as an example, here's an example script of what you might say if you're promoting your friend's food truck business. Remember, you should always aim to keep your story authentic!
Hey there, I wanted to share with you a personal experience that I had recently. I stumbled upon my friend's food truck, and let me tell you, the food was absolutely amazing! Not only was the food delicious, but the service was also outstanding.
What sets this food truck apart from others is their unique value proposition of using fresh, locally-sourced ingredients. Their specialty dish, the pulled pork sandwich, is slow-cooked to perfection and served with a secret sauce that will leave your taste buds begging for more.
To sweeten the deal, they are currently offering a special promotion where customers receive a free side dish with the purchase of any sandwich.
I highly recommend checking them out on social media or even better, visiting their food truck to experience the delicious food and exceptional service for yourself. Support small businesses and indulge in some tasty eats.
There are many free ways to support small business, and sharing about them within your social circles is a great way to give your friend's business an instant publicity boost. You can even consider sending a text blast to reach out to your contacts, and that's been made easier with VoIP apps like Phoner that allow you to pick multiple phone numbers. To illustrate, let's say your friend's food truck business is roaming between states, and you happen to have some friends staying in those areas. Phoner comes in handy with local numbers that can keep you in touch with your contacts and share about your friend's small business.
Free Method 2: Engage with Them on Social Media
Engaging with small businesses on social media is another great way to support them. Like your friend's small business posts, comment on their pictures, and share their content with your followers. This helps to increase their visibility and reach more potential customers. You can also use hashtags and location tags to help people find their business online.
You should also consider using multiple platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, Twitter and even Reddit - the options are simply too many! With the various platforms, you should also optimise the type content based on the platform chosen. For instance, you can create a long-form video review content of your friend's small business on your YouTube channel, versus shooting a shorter and snappier version of the small business on your TikTok channel.
If you're still thinking about how to support small business for free, starting on social media is a definite yes from us. It's completely low to no-cost, and you're likely to already have a couple of people following you on socials already. What better way than to support small business without spending?
Free Method 3: Attend Their Events
Small businesses often host events such as grand openings, product launches, and pop-up shops. For example, you could join a local business association or attend a community fundraiser that supports your favourite small businesses. Attending these events not only shows your support for the business, but it also helps to increase their visibility, and you get to support small business without spending. You can also bring a friend or family member with you to help spread the word.
Free Method 4: Be On the Lookout for Collaborative Opportunities
If you know someone who is looking for a product or service that a small business provides, refer them to the business. This not only helps the small business gain new customers, but it also helps the person looking for the product or service find a reliable and trustworthy business.
It can be as simple as knowing someone who's organising a fund-raiser carnival. Having your friend's food truck small business come into sell their tacos or burgers are a great way to give them sales opportunities. Don't ever think that your referral can't help - sharing about their small business goes a long way for them! Referrals are thus a fantastic collaborative opportunity and one of the best free ways to support small business.
Free Method 5: Offer to Help & Share Your Expertise
Small businesses often need help with tasks like bookkeeping, social media management, and website maintenance. If you have a skill or expertise that could be useful, offer to volunteer your time to help them out. This can be a great way to support a small business without spending money.
For example, if you are a graphic designer, you could offer to design a logo or create marketing materials for your friend's small business produt launch. If you are a photographer, you could offer to take photos for their website or social media accounts. Sharing your expertise not only helps the small business, but it also helps to build relationships and foster a sense of community. You don't even have to be a professional - it could be a side hobby of yours that you enjoy in your free time. Not only will you get to practise and build a portfolio of the skills you've learnt, more importantly, you're learning how to support your friend's small business through your expertise.
Free Method 5: Offer Honest Feedback About Your Friend's Small Business
Feedback is a two-way street, and small businesses are always looking for ways to improve their products and services. If you have honest feedback or suggestions, you should offer them to the business owner. Even if your comments are slightly critical, honest feedback can help your friend's small business improve their offerings and better serve their customers.
However, you should aim to provide constructive feedback that offers advice on how your friend's business can improve. This ensures that you won't hurt your friend's feelings or sour your friendship. Some best practices to make sure you're delivering constructive feedback when you're still learning how to support your friend's small business are:
- Be clear, concise, and direct
- Give specific examples of what happened
- Provide encouragement and moral support
- Let them have time and space to process and ask you questions
- Check in with your friend's small business to find out how they are doing after receiving the feedback
Putting the above points into practice, here's what your feedback should sound like:
Hey there, I wanted to give you some feedback on your food truck business. While the food is always delicious, I noticed that the wait times have been a bit longer than usual. For example, the other day it took over 30 minutes to receive my order.
I know how hard you're working to keep up with demand, but I wanted to offer some encouragement and support as you navigate this challenge. Perhaps there are ways to streamline the cooking process or hire an additional staff member to help during peak hours.
Please take the time you need to process this feedback and let me know if you have any questions or concerns. I care about your small business and want to see it thrive. Let's check in again soon to see how things are going.
Free Method 6: Write a Positive Review
Online reviews can make a big difference in a small business's reputation and visibility. Take a few minutes to write a positive review for your friend's small business. By being honest, specific, and highlighting the unique aspects of the business, you can help potential customers understand what sets the business apart and why they should consider using it.
Want More Ways to Support Your Friend’s Small Business?
Consider Buying The Small Business's Gift Cards
Buying gift cards is a great way to support your friend's small businesses. It gives them a much-needed cash flow boost, and you can use the gift card later when you need their products or services. Alternatively, you could also give the gift card to a friend or family member, which gives them an opportunity to check out your friend's small business in the process.
Bonus Tip: Recommending Your Friend to Get a Separate Phone Number for their Small Business
If you have a friend who is a small business owner and is currently using their personal phone number for business purposes, you may want to suggest the idea of getting a second phone number for their business.
Having a separate phone number dedicated to your friend's small business can help them to maintain a better work-life balance. A small business phone system like Phoner can help to keep their personal and business communications separate.
In conclusion, there are many ways to support small businesses for free, including spreading the word, engaging with them on social media, attending their events, referring them to others, offering to help, sharing your expertise and more. It's also important to know what to say when promoting a friend's business. Hopefully, with these tips to support small business without spending, you will be able to help your friend's small business grow and succeed.