Local stores and suppliers were once a go-to for everything we need, but rapid changes in technology, convenience, mass production, and many other factors have shifted the market to favor big name brands. Big box companies have been experiencing some turbulence, though, and the ‘Shop Local’ movement has begun to shift the gears. Consumers are realizing that patronizing big-name businesses tends to send their money out of their communities, and local businesses tend to supply higher quality products. Below are 3 simple ways that you can help small businesses thrive:
- Follow Local Businesses on Social Media
Following your local small businesses on social media can make a BIG difference. Some small businesses rely on social media to share their news, events, sales, and promotions, so following their social accounts helps you stay up to date on news & deals while also showing your support for them. For example, NHLA Member Frank Miller Lumber Company posts a specially priced “Bundle of the Week” to their Instagram page (@frankmillerlumber) every week. As a consumer, this is a great way to stay updated on what specials they’re running each week or even share these deals with your friends and community.
If you follow their social media accounts, you can like, share, or comment on their posts to help more social media users see their content. In the digital age, it’s very important to understand that the more likes, comments, and shares a post gets, the more likely other users are to see that post, even if they don’t follow the same small business’s page. So, it may seem too easy to be true, but simply following your local businesses and engaging with their content on social media can help bring in customers and ultimately grow their brand!
- Recommend Local Businesses
Word-of-mouth marketing is a small business owner’s biggest ally. 92% of consumers trust recommendations from their friends and family, and over 50% of word-of-mouth recommendations lead to a purchase. Next time one of your friends or community members asks where to buy wood products, remember to recommend your local sawmills and manufacturers over big-name stores.
Another easy way to help your local businesses thrive is to leave positive reviews about their services and products on platforms like Yelp, Facebook, and community forums. Almost 72% of people trust online reviews just as much as in-person recommendations, so leaving some love for your local businesses on any online platform will help grow their business.
- Shop Local As Often As Possible
Simply keeping local businesses at the forefront of your mind when you need to shop for any product is a great habit to pick up. One of the main reasons that big-name companies are dominating the market is from convenience alone, but sacrificing that convenience so that your local businesses can thrive is well worth it. After all, when local businesses are booming, your local economy will grow too. So, next time you’re in the market for any given product, do a quick search to see if there are any local businesses that can fill your needs.
Big-name brands have long had a stronghold on gift purchasing, which is mainly due to their ability to advertise and offer extreme deals. It may feel hard to overlook a big name company flashing 80% off of the newest, hottest gifts in town, but there are many advantages to choosing local businesses when buying gifts. The next time you’re shopping for your kids’ birthdays, Mother’s Day, Christmas, or any other special occasion, visit your local wood shops and see what they have to offer!