With the holiday season upon us, curating personalized and meaningful gifts has become a tad harder. With loads of generic gift cards and ideas out there, trying to stay authentic becomes a little harder. This year, I made a conscious decision to shop “local,” to support small businesses (most of which were run by women), and to support my community. I did have to get my shopping in early and spent the better half of the week writing reviews and recording unboxing reels – which was fun, but really made me take a long hard look at why small businesses deserve more LOVE!
Small businesses drive the economy! As of 2021, there were 32.5 million small businesses in the United States which generated 466,607 jobs for the economy. Small business employees account for 46.8% of all US workers. It is also estimated that 48% of all purchases made at a local business are recirculated through the local economy in which the business exists (Source).
Reduced carbon footprint, especially for a company like Assistants4Hire, which has essentially no carbon footprint because the office is virtual, there is no travel, and no paper printing is required. Expanding on this point, most small businesses are cost and environmentally conscious and focus on sustainability when sourcing products or goods for use in production or services.
While we agree that small businesses tend to create more jobs, many of these jobs also provide support to their employees by allowing and encouraging hybrid work arrangements. This, in turn, benefits employees who need the flexibility to care for their families or other obligations while still working the hours they need. Small businesses provide their employees with the right fit – and generally are preferred as employers.
Small business environments nurture innovation and growth. Simply put, in order for a small business to stay relevant and competitive in the market, it must constantly reinvent itself. This translates to unique product blends and solutions to choose from. In the case of Assistants4Hire, there is a constant drive to offer clients solutions that add more value to their business, whether in the form of content creation or daily organization. Small businesses are still small enough to interact with a client on a one-on-one basis and provide personalized care and attention.
Actively promote small brands and create a referral network. Whether you utilize the services of a small business like Assistants4Hire or purchase products or services from a small business, consciously promote the small brands – if you truly believe their products and services are valuable. You can do this by purchasing products and services as gifts, talking about the brand(s) in appropriate forums, and even considering doing your holiday shopping with the good small brands to spread the word and joy.
If you own a small business, chances are you have forums or instances where people are looking for a specific good or service. Cross-referring other small businesses is the best way to support them. Referrals have power, so use them generously to grow and promote small businesses.
User experience and word of mouth are effective marketing tools that outperform any marketing campaign you can create, so feel free to share stories and offer testimonials. So, give some in order to receive some. Did you have a particularly positive experience or receive exceptional service? Write your story on LinkedIn and tag the business and person. Did you buy an awesome product from a small business? Take a quick photo or record a quick unboxing video and thank them on social media, tagging them. Send thank you notes for excellent service and product quality that the small business can use in a newsletter or on social media. You know you would love all of these positive affirmations for your small business, so make it a point to do the same for other small businesses.
Hire small businesses whenever possible, not only for personalized solutions, service, and competitive rates, but also because your conscious decision can uplift and have a positive impact on so many lives.
Please share the love this holiday season by leaving at least two recommendations for a small business you love in the comments section of this blog.
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Written by Tatum De Souza