Small businesses are the heart of our nation. They provide us all with everything from a warm meal to home repair. They employ us, they sustain us, and we need them. 

Right now, small businesses are suffering. They’re unsure of what the next few months hold and if they’ll be able to bounce back from this pandemic. For many of them, the future isn’t looking as bright as it once was. Luckily, there are things we can do to help them. 

At Hatchbuck, we’re thinking a lot about our small business clients and what they may be experiencing right now. We’ve come up with a few ideas of how we all can provide some additional help so that small businesses can survive and thrive once this dark cloud moves on.  

How to Give Back to Small Businesses

For B2B Businesses with Small Business Clients

For B2B companies, it’s not only our job to provide our small business customers with the services we promised. It’s also our job to make sure we’re looking out for them and their businesses’ wellbeing. We have a duty to share with them any resource, tool, or strategy that can help them succeed. Here are some ways B2B businesses can help: 

1. Create and Share Content

Talk to your sales team, your account team, and your customer service team. Ask them what their conversations with small businesses are like. Are these small businesses expressing fears right now, and if so, what are they? Where do they need more support? The feedback they provide should be informing your content strategy so that you create content they’ll find useful. 

Maybe you can gather all your past content that is helpful and create one big guide for them. You can update it regularly so that it hosts a myriad of important resources that they won’t have to search around for. A lot of people are creating content around what is happening, so I also recommend including some of that content from other brands and partners. Your goal here is to help, not sell. So as long as it’s helpful, include it. 

Make sure you also share this content out in your newsletters, drip campaigns, and on your social media channels. A lot of us are turning to social media right now to stay in the know on what’s happening, so by sharing helpful resources there, you’ll be able to meet people where they’re already engaged. 

2. Offer Marketing Advice

If you’re a marketing company or marketing is one of your areas of expertise, perhaps you should offer up more advice in that arena. With sales slowing down and less foot traffic due to social distancing, marketing strategies will have to be adjusted. People are going to have to be creative and try different tactics than they may not be used to. That’s where you can come in and offer support. 

Provide them with some ideas that you may be trying out, or share with them one of your tools they aren’t using that you think could give them an edge. Some examples include:

3. Consider Adjusting Your Packages

Revenue numbers have suddenly become a crapshoot. When money stops coming in, typically, it has to stop coming out, too. Consider extending any upcoming renewals, and if you’re able to swing it, maybe hold off on monthly charges until the crisis calms down. We know that these favors aren’t possible for every company to offer, but if you crunch your numbers and think it’s something you can pull off, do it. Your small business clients will be so grateful that you offered and that they didn’t have to ask. This kind of gesture could help save your clients’ businesses and result in strong and mutually beneficial partnerships. 

4. Help With Social Media

Maintaining a social presence during a crisis isn’t easy for a lot of people. What do you say? How do you post something unrelated without seeming heartless and disengaged? Be a resource to your small business clients as they navigate social media during this new reality. Provide them with some tips, such as: 

  • Content on how they’re handling the pandemic and any safety and hygiene adjustments they’re making to their protocols and procedures 
  • Hours of operation, especially if they have changed or are temporarily closing their storefront
  • Where customers can go to continue to support them 
  • Ways customers can continue to support them 
  • Other content that is informative and helpful regarding the pandemic 

For Consumers

Even though we’re all being advised to stay at home to flatten the curve, there are ways we can still contribute to the success of small businesses as consumers. Here’s how: 

1. Shop Online

Shopping online is convenient and easy, and now, it’s recommended. Since we can’t really go out and hit up our favorite stores right now, check them out online and purchase from them there. 

A lot of small shops don’t have a way to shop online, but given the recent climate, all that has changed. So many small businesses are adjusting their websites so they can start to sell their products without relying on in-person shoppers. Make sure you take advantage and show your support. 

2. Get Food Delivered

Restaurants are suffering right now, too. Many have had to lay off employees and waitstaff in hopes that they can re-hire them once they can open their doors again. Many have also made getting delivery and pick-up orders an easy option. 

Instead of dining out, pick a night a week to support your local restaurants by ordering delivery. Or, if you’d like to take a quick car ride to get out of the house, pick-up your order. Just make sure the restaurant you’re ordering from is taking the appropriate hygiene methods for everyone’s safety. 

Groceries are a necessity, and luckily, you don’t have to worry about heading out to the grocery store right now. Apps like Instacart allow you to order your groceries online and choose whether you’d like to pick them up or have them delivered. 

3. Purchase Gift Cards

If you can’t hit up your favorite bookstore, restaurant, clothing store, or boutique, purchase a gift card now for you to use later once they’re open again. This is a great way to create immediate revenue for these stores, and it will be a nice treat for yourself, or someone else, later when you are able to use it. 

4. Be A Big Tipper

People who work hourly are used to relying on tips for most of their income. Needless to say, if they’re being laid off or if their hours are being greatly reduced, their income is plummeting. If you have the means, tip them a little more than you might typically when you go to pick up your food or when you add your tip online. 

5. Give Money to A Cause You Care About

Non-profits are taking a hit right now, too. Make sure you consider them when you’re looking to give back. A lot of these organizations are helping those who are in the worst spots through all of this, so they can definitely use the extra help and funds. 

6. Be A Participant

With hard times come creative measures. A lot of small businesses out there are trying different methods to reach and engage with their customers and audience. Encourage them by participating. For example, a shop down the street from my house has too much inventory to sell online. Instead, they’ve numbered everything in their window and have asked passersby to call a number to place an order for the numbered item they want. The fact that they’re going to that trouble and trying this kind of method to ensure people can still shop from them is so inspiring that it just makes you want to buy something in support. So, be an active participant. Sign up for that online course or workout class. 

We’re all in this together, and we have to look out for one another. Our community depends on our small businesses, and we depend on them. It’s crucial now, more than ever, that you should that support.