By now it has been well documented that 2020 was an incredibly difficult year for almost everyone in this country. Even those who survived relatively unscathed could not hide from the fact that most of the surrounding people had been impacted on some level. We all welcomed 2021 because it gave us a chance to mentally turn the page and being looking towards a brighter future.
Hope is a word that we often use when describing what we are looking for in the coming months. We hope that 2021 delivers the solutions we need and a return to the normal life we once took for granted. For small business owners, the idea of having hope runs much deeper. It is the hope that as the world returns to normal, consumers will not forget that it was a small business that endured incredible hardship and misfortune.
Big name brands survive because of their recognition and equity. Most of them have been around for years and delivered enough quality service and products to build a loyal customer base. When state governments began enacting shutdowns, these major brands simply turned to their already established digital presences to continue serving those customers. They were already equipped with the infrastructure to supply consumers with the fast and safe purchasing options they now required.
Small business owners on the other hand were left wondering what the future held for them. As consumers, we can do our part in supporting them in a variety of ways. The most obvious way to support a small business owner is to actively choose to buy their products instead of a national chain. The argument is clear that they need your money a lot more than the big name brands do.
Of course, support goes past traditional purchases and exchanging of currency. It includes taking the time to promote these brands to your network and community. If you are pleased with your purchase, share it on social media and encourage your followers to give it a try. Make it a point to leave a review on their website, google page, yelp or anywhere else people can find their product.
As a consumer, supporting small business means adopting a new mindset when making purchasing choices. It requires the buyer to stop and think before making a purchase. Am I buying from a small business? If not, is there a small business alternative I can be shopping with instead? How can I share my positive experience with their product in a way that will generate more business for them?
As 2021 unfolds, we all hope better times are ahead. While some of our future is out of our control, how we show up for small business owners is not. We can make the conscious choice to meet their hope with our positive actions and habits. We can decide that we are going to make an intentional effort to support them in every way possible for months and even years to come.