Many small online businesses have emerged during the pandemic mainly as a means to cope for people who have lost their jobs. On the other hand, though, some small businesses were born because other people were also able to make a livelihood out of their accidental creative discoveries.
Yes, one of the positive aspects brought about by the pandemic was that it was able to bring out the creativity of a lot of people. By being locked at home, individuals have discovered hidden talents, new recipes, as well as arts and crafts.
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20 Ways To Support Your Friend’s Small Online Business
The rise of small businesses
Small online businesses have surged in popularity during the community quarantine. It was understandably so; online is relatively less expensive as compared to having a physical store. What’s more, almost all people are already online even before the pandemic happened so it’s easier and faster to get information across electronic channels.
I personally know three friends who put up an online shop right before and during the community quarantine and I am happy to say that their businesses are doing well. Two are selling food items and one is reselling various clothing products and accessories.
Filipinos are so hard to please
Sadly though, it’s a different story for many other online sellers. Oftentimes, you hear stories about not having been able to bridge the gap in between their finances as the cause of their businesses’ collapse. Meanwhile, others would say that it’s the utter lack of support that caused their inevitable failure.
Come to think of it, a lot of Filipinos are really hard to please. I once heard from a New Zealand-born Filipino blogger I met in a blogging group that it’s his family that he finds so hard to please (i.e. they would not like or follow his Social Media accounts no matter how hard he pesters them) to the point that he declared that Pinoys’ standards are “way above the sky.” I could not help but agree with him.
I sometimes do ask why other people whom you have not met in person are more supportive of your business or passion project as compared to your friends whom you grew up with. I do not have the answer to that.
What I can confidently say thought is that, personally, I try to support the businesses of people I know, not just my friends without expecting anything in return.
How to help your friend’s small online business
There’s nothing really hard and it will not take up too much of your time or exert effort. Here are some ways to do it:
The lifeblood of online pages and small business is engagement from other people. This will get them in front of other people
1. Follow their social media accounts
This is undoubtedly easy and involves no cost to you at all. Give your friends a pat of confidence on the shoulder by following their Social media accounts.
2. Leave a good review to their social media pages
Facebook in particular allows users to leave reviews on pages. Your friends will surely be inspired to do more with their small business when they see you leaving good reviews about their products and services.
3. React to what they post
Again, leaving a post reaction is easy and entails no additional cost to you. Also, leave a reaction to their posts. “Love” their posts to let them know that you support them. Do you know that Facebook algorithm gives more weight on reactions as compared to regular likes?
When their posts get a lot of reactions, Facebook bumps them up in the newsfeed of followers. Thus, a lot of people would be able to see their posts.
4. Watch their YouTube videos
If your friend’s business has a YouTube channel, then watch their videos. Creating videos is hard work and time-consuming. A short 3-minute video could have taken them the whole night to edit and finally publish it. Support their hard work by watching their YouTube videos.
5. Comment on and like their YouTube videos
The lifeblood of social media and video posts is engagement. You see, when you engage on a post or video such as leaving a comment and like, it signals the social media site that the content that you engaged on has value.
As such, when other people search for terms related to the post or video, there is greater likelihood that the social media site will show the most-engaged videos and post in the top result.
6. Share their posts
Help your friend’s small business reach more people by sharing their blog and social media posts, and memes. Tag them also in relevant posts whenever you can.
7. Share their products
Aside from your friend’s posts, also share their products and services in your personal newsfeed or your own page.
8. Mention them in your posts
If you are posting on social media and you know that your friend has a product or service relevant to what you are posting, mention them in it. Include their contact information if you can.
9. Recommend them to other people
Your efforts do not have to be necessarily confined in the social media and online space. You can mention your friend’s products and services or recommend them during your conversation with your colleagues, other set of friends, neighbors, or your loved ones.
10. Buy their products
Buy their products and try them for yourself. Remain anonymous because they will surely insist on giving it on a discount or even for free. Only ask for discounts when you know that their business is already doing well.
11. Write a review about their products if you can
Leave a nice review about their products in their online shop. Also do the same when their products are listed in other similar websites.
12. Comment on their blog articles
If your friend keeps a blog about their small business, visit their website and comment on their articles. Again, it’s a good way to engage with their business and to give their articles a boost in search engine rankings.
13. Recommend suppliers that you know
Refer to them suppliers that you know of, especially if they can offer good costing so that your friend can save on expenses.
14. Share your knowledge to them
If you have the technical expertise, share your knowledge to your friend. It can by anything from technology, to marketing, to cost management, or to shipping. Anything to help them improve their business or make life easier for them.
15. Ask them how you can help
Offer to them your help. You might have shared your knowledge to them but they still have no idea on where to start, maybe it’s time to give them a hand You would be surprised to know that some people, no matter how calm and composed they appear, can have a lot of turmoil going on in their head.
Help design promotional materials for them or help them sort their orders. Every little help goes a long way.
16. Talk to your friends and give them words of encouragement
Your friends may not always need any help with regard to the technical and logistical aspects of their business. Maybe they just need a friend to listen to them. Talk to them and give them words of encouragement. Listen to their frustrations and fears, sometimes they just need someone to hear them out.
17. If you know business seminars, recommend it to them
It helps to attend seminars. Even short, one-hour webinars are a big help. A lot of times, these seminars are not really to gain new knowledge but to affirm what we already know.
In the end, it works by providing the attendee more confidence because they know that they are in the right direction.
18. Recommend trade fairs
Trade fairs involve cost but it’s a good way to bring businesses closer to potential customers. It’s also a great venue to find other businesses and experts that you can network with.
19. Recommend Facebook groups where they can join
To tell you honestly, Facebook groups are a big help to me because they offer a wealth of knowledge and information. There is a Facebook group for almost any niche – blogging, small businesses, parenting, trading, almost anything! What’s also good about Facebook groups is that joining is free.
20. Tell them where they can improve
Give your friends honest feedback. Tell them the areas where they can improve. If you know people who have feedback about their products and services, inform them about it. It is only by improving that their products and services can truly satisfy the needs of their customers.
The start of success begins as you support your friends and family in their small online business. That’s already a big win for them as putting up a business is hard; it involves a lot of time, effort, and resources.
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As such, if you know someone who is trying their very best to make their small online business succeed, give them all the support that you can provide.
Also read: 5 Practical Tips To Help Your Online Business Thrive During The Quarantine