Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and part of social responsibility means supporting small businesses whenever possible. According to a survey on banking.org, 91% of the country’s formalised businesses are SME’s and provide over 60% of the South African workforce with employment. Supporting small businesses means supporting the local economy, providing jobs and not forgetting the sheer quality and elite customer service that small companies strive to give their customers.
To shine a spotlight on small businesses and raise awareness on the importance of supporting small businesses, NSBC created Small Business Friday, which happens to be today, the 4th of September 2020. The ninth annual #SmallBizFriday is here, and we’re giving you four ways to support small businesses.
Buying local strengthens the local economy because the money goes directly to the farmers or small business owners. Other reasons to buy local are:
- Reducing environmental impact: local produce requires less transportation
- Creating more employment locally: small businesses create work for local inhabitants
- Investing in your community: putting your money back into people just like you
- Get better customer service: small businesses tend to go the extra mile for their customers
This tweet by a famous South African chef, Lesego Semenya, known by his twitter handle @LesDaChef adds that you generally pay less when you buy straight from the source (farmers) as opposed to big retailers.
I know I sound like a stuck record sometimes but do yourself a favour. Organise 4 or more friends and do a trip every few weeks to the Joburg Market in City Deep. You'll pay easily about 25% of what you pay for fruit and veg at retailers.
Buy directly from farmers and suppliers
— Lesego Semenya (@LesDaChef) September 3, 2020
Share and tag
When you’ve purchased something from a small business that you are happy with, it costs nothing to share on your social media platforms. For the brand, it means a lot because it’s a testimonial and gets their brand name out there.
Social media is a useful tool for small businesses to market their products or services and sharing a good experience that you have with a business elevates their business profile.
Tell a friend
Word of mouth is still a highly effective form of marketing for small businesses. Telling a friend or colleague about a small business that you support carries more weight than the most high-budgeted influencer campaigns. People in your intimate circle know you, and they also trust and value your opinion. So when you have a good experience, don’t hesitate to share with relatives and friends.
Customer feedback is invaluable and helps the business grow. Provide the company with feedback and suggest ways that they can better their products or services. There’s always room for improvement, and all businesses welcome constructive feedback from clients; if you see something that needs tweaking, let the business know.
We hope the next time you want to purchase something, you consider buying from a small business first. And when you have purchased, share the experience and provide feedback to the business. Do your bit for your community and support small businesses in your area.