How can you support the small businesses of your friends and family without even buying from them? Here are 5 tips for helping them out and showing support

How can you support the small businesses of your friends and family without even buying from them? Here are my 5 tips for helping them out and showing them your support, even though you may never ever buy anything from them.

Last week I put out a post on social media about ways that people can help small businesses even when they don’t buy from them. Given the amount of reach and shares it got, it obviously resonated with a lot of people. Often we find, as small business owners, we don’t get the help and support from our friends and family because they simply don’t understand the value of that support or the helping hand it may give you.

There is a saying, “A rising tide floats all boats”. In this case, be the rising tide and help to raise all the boats (small businesses) you know.

1. Sharing Is Caring

When you see a social media post from your friends business, give it a little like, share it if it resonates, drop a nice comment. Show it some love. Just help them out a bit because reach is hard to get when algorithms are out to ruin your business.

2. Tell The World

Don’t keep it a secret that your mate has started this super cool new business. Tell everyone. And by everyone, I really do mean everyone. Tell the world. Because you don’t know who may need your friend’s products or services. Every referral counts.

3. Show Support

Support doesn’t always have to be in the form of sales. If you can’t buy from your friend then buy them coffee. Support is showing up with coffee and cake. Or dropping a text to ask how it’s going. Asking if they need help with anything. Or even if they just want lunch bringing over. Support comes in all shapes and sizes. Just show it.

4. No Freebies

Please don’t let the coffee you just bought me as a sign of support be a disguise of asking to pick my brains. Or worse still, asking for free stuff. Refusal will offend. But none of us are in business for a laugh. We are in business to pay the bills and nobody works for free in this game. Unless it is of their own choosing. Just because I once passed you in the street, it doesn’t mean that you are entitled to thousands of pounds worth of work out of me. Pay up like everyone else.

5. Buy, Buy, Buy!

When, and if you can buy from the teeny, tiny, local small business. Your local economy relies (heavily without you realising it) on the local traders staying in business. Because they are the ones more likely to keep their earnings local. They aren’t paying their earnings into an offshore account to avoid tax and buy another yacht. They are more likely to spend it close to home. The more money is driven out of the local economy, the less local jobs their will be, less money for others to spend, less growth, less everything. Shop local, Spend locally. And support your friend’s small businesses.


And just in case you didn’t realise. Pay your damn suppliers on time! None of this 90 days rubbish. Pay your suppliers, especially the really small business because they probably need the money for vital things, like food for example. When you pay late you potentially start a chain reaction of other businesses that then could be paid late. Pay your invoices when the suppliers’ states they should be paid by.

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Read more: A Guide to Small Business Trends