This article is part of Raydiant’s Coronavirus Small Business Resource Center which aims to provide actionable insights, ideas, and resources to business owners struggling due to the current Coronavirus outbreak.
We’ve collaborated with different executives, business owners, and thought leaders to crowdsource insights and expertise that will ensure this content is as actionable, timely, and helpful as possible.
If you are a business owner looking for a specific question to be answered or if you an expert and would like to have your insights included, please email Emilia@Raydiant.com.
What can consumers do to support small business owners?
Andrew Jacobs, CEO of Hudson Envelope Corp
Try to support small businesses whenever possible. Many are shipping quicker than amazon themselves these days. Just because an item is out of stock on amazon, does not mean the small business is out of stock on their own website.
For the first time ever, many businesses are no longer allowed to replenish their stock at amazon. And PRIME shipping is taking longer than 2 days. Small businesses may have the product, and be able to ship quicker!
Nick Flint, Owner and CEO, Pure Cut Supplements
Times are tough for everyone right now, and not everyone has extra income to help support small businesses. Here are a few free/low-cost options for them:
Leave reviews on Yelp, Google, their website, and Facebook. In the long run, those reviews will help drive more customers to their site.
Buy a gift card from them (not a Groupon)! Businesses need that immediate cash flow to help pay rent, payroll, and other fixed costs. They don’t get proceeds from a Groupon until you actually redeem it, and it takes about a 30% cut from it.
Interact with social media posts. More comments, likes, and shares will help them get more exposure to other potential consumers.
Danny Sims, Managing Director of DJS Research Ltd
We’re mostly a B2B agency, so for our clients, I’d say just work with us, be open and ideally be flexible and pragmatic. For consumers more generally, consider using smaller local businesses – I’ve spoken to a lot of other business owners locally and they’ve had people asking to buy vouchers which can be used in a few months’ time.
Cash flow is going to be the issue for a lot of small businesses, so any support consumers can give in the short term will really help.
Paige Arnof-Fenn, Founder & CEO, Mavens & Moguls
An idea I am sharing is to look at all the groups we are a part of (industry, trade, neighborhood, alumni, women, hobby, religious, non-profit, community, etc.) and suggest they start their own stimulus package by agreeing to support/buy from each other directly and refer business proactively to each other too. Cross-promote the products and services in newsletters, follow/like/retweet on social media and vice versa. Whether you need to buy food, a book or a gift, office supplies/equipment, update your website, or create a video there is probably someone in your network who is more than happy to get the business right now. You can always buy gift certificates from them too which is thoughtful and very much appreciated in times like these. I bought a few from my favorite local restaurants this week, in fact, to use when they reopen. As a last resort use Amazon or Google for help but do not start there. The corner store would probably even carry out your bag to your car if you called them and said you needed some cereal, milk, candy and lottery tickets if you asked. Help your neighbors and network thrive and we will all get through this together stronger.
Arden McLaughlin, Owner of Definita
Find 2-3 businesses to support each week. It’s not up to all of us to save every business.
We have to figure out where to spend our money and where we need to save our money. And, it’s okay to not contribute to everyone.
Celeste Huffman, Marketing Team, Rogers and Hollands
For any essential items, definitely buy wherever you can find them.
For non-essential items, either find a small business to purchase from or if you have a favorite company that is currently closed, if there is no rush, wait for that company to re-open.
Jared Weitz, CEO and Founder of United Capital Source Inc.
Although shopping and eating out is very limited, try to spend money locally and support your local businesses.
Business owners can lean on each other for support. Swap services instead of charge one another for them or market each other’s businesses to your committed community.
Cindy Kelly, Owner of Regis Regal German Shepherds
Ensure you’re keeping up to date with them – following them on any social media channels is a good step to ensure you’re going to stay on top of their news, or subscribe to any newsletter they may have. It’s important that you have this connection so you can see how you can help – should they ask for any.
If you’re able to suggest a new initiative for them it may be a good time to reach out, especially if you have a good relationship with the business owner. They might really appreciate the tip at a time like this – and to know that their customers are thinking of them too during this difficult time.