The list of #QuaranTrends just keeps on growing — and we’re loving it. Nowadays, we’re seeing a whole lot of small online businesses opening all over social media. From delicious home-baked goods to everyday essentials like reusable face masks, these businesses offer something for everyone.
While some are passion projects-turned-businesses, a great number of them were actually established in order to fund special causes in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Owners of small boutiques have also taken to the online sphere to sell their goods, while many others have put their thinking caps on in order to earn some extra income during this challenging time.
Whether they’re owned by your friends (or friends of friends) or they’re simply a brand whose products you personally enjoy, these small online businesses certainly deserve all the support they can get! Below are a few ways you can help give them a boost!
How to support small online businesses
1. Patronise their products — especially when they’re ones you regularly purchase
Perhaps you see small online businesses are offering products that you purchase often — consider this your chance to support them! Swap your usual big-time labels for these small-scale brands. Who knows? You just might find your new favourites!
2. Gift your friends with their products
If these businesses aren’t selling things you’d typically use, why not give them to your friends as gifts? This takes away your need to scour the Internet for the perfect presents — and this way, you get to help small online businesses, too! Two birds, one stone.
3. Avoid asking friends for free samples or special discounts
We’re all pretty guilty of this, especially when our loved ones happen to own small online businesses that offer products we’re pretty crazy about. Baked goods and speciality drinks made with personal recipes have us asking our friends for freebies, especially when we’re big fans. As for friends selling essentials like PPEs, face masks, disinfectant and the like? Asking for discounts becomes very tempting, given that we have a personal relationship with someone who’s providing them.
But here’s the thing: As we’ve all learned in Economics 101, “there’s no such thing as a free lunch.” When we ask someone to give something away for free, we’re basically asking them to sacrifice their profits for us. Let’s be a little more respectful, shall we?
4. When you do get free samples, share your feedback with them
To express your gratitude with a “thank you” should be a no-brainer, but be sure to take things up a notch when your friends offer you freebies! Commend them on the strong points of their products and services, and don’t be afraid to let them know how they can improve. For small online business owners, a little feedback could go a long way — so don’t be afraid to share your thoughts!
5. Spread the word about their brand
When the opportunity allows it, spread the word! There’s nothing that works quite like word of mouth and personal testimonials when it comes to boosting a brand’s visibility and credibility. Give them a shout out on your social media accounts, let your friends know about them, and follow their official online pages! Through such a simple act, you can easily reach so many people — we’re all connected by just a few degrees of separation, after all.
Also read: 25 COVID-19 Initiatives You Can Support Through Local Volunteer Orgs
Now more than ever, small online businesses need your support — regardless of whether they’re owned by friends or total strangers! Lucky for us, a small act of kindness can already create a significant ripple effect.