I have been a small business owner for over 5 years now, and before that I spent 4 years as a manager of a small business. Something I have learned is that small businesses operate full steam ahead. Have you heard this relatable quote?: “I quit my 9 to 5, to work 24/7”. Although I am a major advocate for rest, and believe me I set boundaries just for this reason, the truth is running my business takes up a large chunk of my life, and some days most of my energy goes into the tasks to run my business that don’t necessarily pay immediately. The way I see it, it’s like planting seeds (Every blog post, social media post, business card, email, text message, phone call, networking meeting ETC… is a seed) And, every day I’m watering, pulling weeds, and fertilizing.
If you have a small business, these are 4 things you can ask your followers/friends/family to do to support you. If you’re not a small business owner, you probably know one. Consider these ways to support:
- Share kind words– My top love language is Words of Affirmation, which means I flourish in environments that I feel my work and efforts are appreciated, and I’m not alone. Most every person you meet needs encouragement at some point in time, and business owners ESPECIALLY need it. We are constantly taking the “temperature” if you will of our products or services, and constantly fine tuning our processes and systems. Your kind words make us feel energized to keep pursuing the dream, and help us know what we are doing right!
- Share feedback– Even if it’s not pretty to hear, we want to know in what ways we could improve. Keeping the first tip in mind, you’ll want to be as gracious and tactful as possible. Usually a good way to start is “I just wanted to give you some feedback that you might find helpful… When ______ happened, I felt ______” Or, “I noticed something and wanted to let you know in case you weren’t aware” I recognize it’s not always easy to give feedback like this, especially if you tend to be the non-confrontational type. But, most business owners I know are constantly trying to see their “blind spots”. You may do them a huge service to share how they might improve! And, business owners, please remember, that not all feedback warrants a change, and we don’t want to take things too personally. Let’s smile, and acknowledge the feedback, and maybe respond with “I’ll give that some thought”.
- Share our posts- You’ve probably heard this before, but I can’t emphasize it enough. We spend time and energy to make content that we hope is valuable, motivating, helpful etc. It can be disheartening when it doesn’t seem to resonate with our followers. But, sometimes we don’t even know if it does or not! When you share, and comment we 100% notice it!! Again, it can be so encouraging. The other great reason to do this, is to help others!! There may be people who need a small business’ product or service, and they just don’t know about it yet.
- Give a review- One of the largest deciding factors on if someone will use a product or service is how they appear on reviews. Not only do people want to see the quality of a business, they also want to find relatable information. Let’s say a friend is looking for someone to care for their dog while they are out of town, they own a Great Dane, they’ve never been away from their dog, and they are really desperate to find someone amazing, they google dog sitters, and find a review of one that specifically mentions “Great Dane” and they go on to say how wonderful the experience was with XYZ dog sitter, and how they went above and beyond etc. That person is more likely to feel confident in their decision to hire XYZ dog sitter. Reviews are like GOLD to a small business!!
Small businesses reading this, please feel free to share this on your own page to inform your followers how they can help support you and your other small business friends!
Remember, I’m cheering you on with GRACE!