Over and over again, we hear about how hard it is for independent businesses to thrive and how our high streets are dying because no one wants to shop there.
Undoubtedly, some of these things are true and certainly it is a tough environment for small business in the UK. However, it is clear from the hugely successful Just A Card campaign, Small Business Saturday and more that there is a huge appetite among our communities to buy from and support independent and small business in our country.
The question is how to harness that enthusiasm and turn it into business. How can we move from social media engagement to an actual up turn in footfall, turnover and profit?
One of the most powerful ways is to simply connect. It is easy to forget, when sitting alone in your shop, workshop or office, that you are not actually alone. Despite connecting on social media, often business owners feel isolated.
All great movements start from the bottom and we can’t rely on magic potions and quick fixes. What we can rely on is each other. A spirit of generosity and a louder, collective voice does make all the difference.
So what can we do to stay connected in a meaningful way? Here are some ideas:
- Look out for and actively participate in online campaigns to raise the profile of small business in the UK – choose the ones you resonate with most and be generous with your support.
- Take the time to connect with your immediate communities and fellow business owners – start local. We are all so busy and stretched but actually this type of connection on and off line is vital marketing time that you need to ring fence.
- There is no such thing as USP. Not being generous because another business also sells jewellery or offers aromatherapy massage is short sighted. Customers buy from people and being generous about a fellow business what ever their type of business will never detract from you – it will only make you look authentic and trustworthy.
- Use hashtags to search for your tribe. Although a sense of place is vital to many small businesses, finding like minded business owners in your sector all over the country can open up a world of inspiration, ideas and support.
- Put you phone down! Although many of the ideas today is digitally based, there is nothing like actually meeting in person, enjoying a coffee and connecting on a human level. This is not only great for networking (awful word!) but it is also good for your soul and will give you fresh air, ideas and energy in spades.
If this How To Guide has resonated or inspired, let us know in the members Facebook group! Share your ideas or top tip or ask for support from you fellow members.