As inflation continues skyrocketing, many people may be wondering what they can do to support small businesses while sticking to their own budgets.
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No matter which type of small business you frequent -- whether it's a restaurant, a hair salon or a clothing boutique -- here are some of the best ways you can support small businesses without breaking the bank.
Ask the Owner: How Can I Help?
Rather than guess the best way to support a small business, consider introducing yourself to the owner and taking a few minutes to have a brief one-on-one conversation.
Tell them you enjoy their establishment and are interested in supporting their company. Ask about the specific support that is needed. Maybe the owner is trying to find talented employees to come work at the business and you can refer a few candidates their way.
Some business owners might have needs that go beyond your skill sets, such as needing assistance with designing a business website or advice on where to find a mentor. If you know someone talented in the community who may be a good reference or know about a helpful resource they can reach out to for help, refer this individual or resource to the business owner.
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Write and Share Positive Reviews
One of the simplest ways you can support a small business is by writing positive reviews. Find out if the business has an account on Yelp or Trustpilot. If they do, write a positive review highlighting their services and products. Remember to give the business a five-star rating to help it become a top localized search.
You can also write positive reviews on other spaces besides crowdsourcing platforms. If the small business has a Facebook page, write and share a review there or write and submit a review to be used on their website.
Spread the Word Using Social Media
Give your favorite small business a boost of attention with social media. Follow their accounts and like a few of their posts or leave kind comments to increase the company's engagement metrics.
Then, use your social media accounts, like Facebook and Instagram, to post and share photos and videos of yourself at the business or of a purchase you just bought. Tag the company in the caption or tag yourself at their physical location and share it with your followers.
Even if you don't have a massive following, posting and sharing this content will help the business reach a new, wider audience and boost the company's credibility.
Purchase Merchandise Sold by the Business
Does the business you frequent sell unique products or merchandise only available in-house at their location? Purchase these items and use your social media accounts to talk about how these specific products can't be found anywhere else.
If the small business doesn't sell merchandise or specialty products, inquire if they have any gift cards or gift certificates for sale.
Talk About the Business on Nextdoor
Raise awareness about the small business on the neighborhood networking platform Nextdoor. Write a post about the business to share a great customer experience moment you had at the establishment or share some of the reasons why you love going to this business. If you notice someone on the platform asking for relevant recommendations, suggest your favorite local business.
Posting about small businesses on Nextdoor increases their exposure to other residents in the community. Some may already be huge fans of the business while others discover it through the positive word of mouth shared by neighbors they know and trust.
Leave a Tip
Depending on the type of small business you frequent, there may be opportunities to tip staff members. Always make sure to tip in establishments such as restaurants, coffee shops and bars for outstanding service.
In some small businesses, like a clothing boutique or a pet store, it may be less obvious to tip. Ask staff members or the owner if the business has a physical or virtual tip jar where you can make contributions.
Keep Frequenting the Small Business
Do you love your small business? Keep supporting it by remaining a loyal customer.
Return on a regular basis on your own or bring along friends, family and other members of the community for an instant referral and introduction to your favorite spots.
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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: 7 Ways To Support Small Businesses Through Inflation Struggles