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Wellbeing

5 simple ways to support your small business friends

Whether in lockdown or not, one of the things I enjoy most about the freedom of owning my business is having the ability to join forces with other businesses in my local area and dream up fun ways of supporting each other. Two heads are better than one and sharing ideas gets the creative juices flowing. These relationships are not motivated by financial gain but by the mutual benefits of working together with authenticity and respect.

In the current climate however, embarking on involved collaborative projects may not be practical but that doesn’t mean you can’t share some much needed business love.

Here are five easy ways that you can take a refreshing break from the solo-promo slog and get the ‘support’ ball rolling. Not only will they boost the morale of your business buddies but they will create or reinforce bonds that will extend well beyond the current crisis.

As Anne Frank said, “No-one ever became poor by giving”

1.Write a GOOGLE and/or a Facebook review.

We all know that value of reviews for our businesses. So write a positive one for a business friend today.

It will have an immediate positive effect on their GOOGLE and Facebook ratings. It will help customers find them and understand what they have to offer. At the same time your writing is also being circulated within the GOOGLE universe. If GOOGLE and FB aren’t your thing, try a Linkedin recommendation. What you commend as good in someone else’s business will also help you clarify what you want for your own. It is a win, win whatever way you look at it.

2.‘Like’ and interact with business pages and profiles on social media.

Any social media activity flows both ways but I know I always get a buzz when someone makes a comment on something that I have posted, especially the ones that I have taken time to put together. When you feel like you are being sucked down the social media vortex, to get an authentic response from someone you respect helps you feel like you are being heard.

Getting recognition is validating and being validated is fortifying. Next time you are scanning your social media feed to see what responses you have received, take one minute to interact with another business buddy’s page and give them some strength building recognition. Who knows where that conversation starter may go?

3. Tag them in a social media post.

I recently started an INSTAGRAM ‘Tag a small business that you love Tuesday’ on my business profile page.

It is a super quick and easy way to highlight businesses that are doing amazing things and inspire them to do the same. It also hopefully raises the awareness within our online community that giving a quick shout out goes a long way to helping businesses feel supported.  Awareness is the first step in creating action. Even if people don’t physically tag a business, it might make them think of one that they do love and that in itself sends some positive energy into the universe.

4. Make a recommendation

How often have you been on Facebook and seen the post, “Can anyone recommend a…?”

A plumber, a doctor, an interior designer. It doesn’t matter who but if you know one that is good, recommend them. It doesn’t cost you a thing but it is akin to an expensive online advertising campaign for the person you recommend. Or simply be proactive in spruiking your business buddies to your friends. Tell them about the book keeper who performs miracles with your accounts or the hairdresser who performs miracles on your hair!

Your words are worth their weight in gold.

5. Call them up on the phone and talk.

Yesterday I got to chat on the phone to a friend who is also in the fitness industry. We debriefed over the trials and tribulations of running our businesses online via ZOOM. There was lots of sighing, a bit of swearing, some laughter and the hint of tears, but most present was the relief of speaking to someone with mutual understanding. Friends and family can listen to you with the best of intentions but your business buddies will actually hear you. Right now in our lockdown world being heard helps relieve the stress of operating in an ocean of uncertainty.

An affirming text is great but a real telephone conversation with someone who is walking the same walk as you is like food for the soul.

This post was written by Marisa Lawlor on LinkedIn and is republished here with permission. 

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