A Community Guide to Supporting Small Businesses

It’s not always easy for smaller local businesses to keep up with bigger, better-known brands. The COVID-19 pandemic was especially challenging for smaller companies, as many of them lacked the large budgets to stay afloat as business declined or was put on pause.

Now is the time for local businesses to recover and for their communities to rally around them and lift them up. Read on to discover some of the ways that small businesses can thrive and learn how their neighbourhoods can support them, courtesy of Sandgate.

Recognize the benefits of small businesses

Small businesses support their local communities in many ways. For one thing, they help create local jobs. They can also contribute to local taxes, helping to support a healthy local economy. Additionally, small businesses tend to be less burdensome to the community precisely because of their size: For example, they can occupy local buildings instead of having to add new infrastructure that disrupts the area. Oliver POS highlights additional benefits of small businesses, like the fact that they diversify the area marketplace.

How local businesses and the local community can connect

Small businesses can have a reciprocal relationship with their local communities that benefit both sides. However, this reciprocal relationship depends on connectivity. Business owners can connect with the community by taking steps like joining a local business organisation, teaching classes or workshops for locals, introducing themselves to other nearby retailers, and participating in area events. Sponsorships are another great tactic. For example, a local business can sponsor an area sports team or event, like a parade. The business invests in the community while making its brand known.

Marketing tips for neighbourhood businesses

Marketing is essential to any business’s success. This is even more important for small businesses in the wake of COVID-19. It’s important to let the world know that you’re still there and ready to provide essential goods or services. A website is a critical marketing tool. Local businesses can then list their website in area business listings to generate leads.

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Ways businesses can show appreciation for customer loyalty

If the community rallies around a small business, it only makes sense that the business would want to say thanks. There are loads of creative ways that companies can convey their appreciation for customer loyalty. Shopify lists some ideas, like writing handwritten thank-you notes, showcasing customers on social media, and implementing customer feedback. It’s also helpful to set up customer loyalty or referral programs. Finally, consider what kinds of perks people genuinely appreciate. Examples range from offering free shipping to sending personalised communications.

Events that can bring businesses and neighbours together

There’s nothing like a fun event to bond businesses and customers. Companies can host area events to show appreciation for their clientele and drum up business in the process. By attending these events, clients are helping to boost the business’ brand. That doesn’t mean that you have to spend big bucks to throw a flashy party full of glitz and glam. Affordable ideas include hosting a contest, organising volunteering opportunities, or offering workshops. Product or service sampling is another fun way to bring people together.

Small businesses are a vital part of a thriving, happy community. However, local companies don’t always have it easy since they lack the money and notoriety of bigger companies. There are steps businesses can take to ensure locally owned companies thrive, like investing in marketing. The above guide has some additional ideas to benefit both businesses and the communities they serve.

Sandgate is a charming coastal village with a lot to offer. To learn more, please email admin@sandgate-kent.org.uk.

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