Ways To Support Small Businesses This Christmas

Wednesday, December 02, 2020

Christmas is a time for giving. One of my favourite things to do is to support small businesses, especially at Christmas. It's easy to ask for the latest branded gift, but this isn't benefiting the people who need your money the most. This Christmas, try to support small businesses where you can. You could buy your turkey from an independent butcher or make gift baskets filled with handcrafted items from local crafters. There are are so many ways you can support independent sellers this Christmas!

Purchase From Their Own Websites

Buying from a brand on Notonthehightstreet or Etsy is good, but they take a percentage of sales. Where you can, try to shop on the independent businesses' website. You may also find better deals and combined shipping on a brands website as opposed to a general selling site. There could also be exclusive items you can purchase! Not every small business will have its own website, but do your research and support those who do. If you can't purchase from an independent website, try to leave feedback after your purchase. It will help other buyers find the items and encourage them to make a purchase.

Buy From Market Stalls & Fairs

I love Christmas markets and usually go to Winter Wonderland in London and local events in my area. If you're looking to support small businesses, attend these events. You can find gorgeous items for sale, pick up a tasty treat and sometimes even enter competitions or giveaways! If you attend these events, try to make at least one purchase. Christmas is typically cold, and these sellers could be standing around for hours without a sale. Even purchasing one item can make their trip worthwhile! While you're out, try to get food from an independent seller or cafe near the event. It may be hot dogs or pastries, but it's better than getting a drive-through McDonalds on your way home! 

Ask For Gifts That Can Be Bought From Small Businesses

When writing your Christmas list, be considerate of what you're putting down. If you've asked for a gift set, see if you can swap a branded set for a homemade one. There are so many beauty businesses around, each selling a gorgeous array of beauty products. If you've asked for clothing or shoes, it may be harder to find an independent alternative. In this case, cut down on the amount of these items you ask for, or see if you can find an independent business for your needs. There are so many amazing fashion brands out there who also focus on sustainable clothing! If you can't let go of your branded goods, ask for second-hand gifts. eBay has lots of brand new items for sale at affordable prices. You'll get the gift you want while the seller makes a bit of money on the side. Most auctioned eBay listings are from "regular people" wanting to make a bit of extra money. It will keep more items out of landfill too!

Follow & Share Their Products On Social media

The power of a retweet or share is immense! When you've found a brand you love, make sure you follow their social media accounts. It'll show them you're backing them, love their brand and will keep you up-to-date on new releases or giveaways! When they post promotional news, share it with your followers! Whether you're an influencer or your only followers are your family, sharing promo will help to spread the brand's message. It will give the brand a bigger audience and can even lead to sales. Just because you have 100 followers, doesn't mean your share isn't valuable. Engaging with the seller's social media is also important. Just commenting on a picture saying "Those look so delicious, I can't wait for my order" can make the independent seller feel valuable. It shows them that their hard work isn't going unnoticed! 

Leave Positive Reviews To Help Others

As I mentioned before, leaving a review is the key to future sales. Whether you've purchased off the business's website or on Etsy, it's important to leave feedback. It will help other buyers find the product and decide whether it's right for them. How many times have you read the reviews before purchasing an item? It's persuasive and can finalise decisions. If you liked a product, tell the brand! It shows them people love their products, what they can do better and helps buyers to decide whether to purchase it or not. Try to be positive in your feedback, but not fake. If there was something really wrong, email the brand first with your complaint. You can then leave feedback based off of the customer service. It's better to mention you had an issue, but it was resolved quickly than "terrible product, wouldn't recommend this brand". That can ruin a small business's reputation. When you're small, feedback can make or break. 

Tip Generously

Christmas isn't just about gifts. When you're catching up with family, opt to eat out at your local restaurant. It helps your local area, and you'll get quality food as opposed to fast-food chains. If you're in the Cambridge area, here are some lovely independent restaurants you could support! Once you've finished your meal, tip generously for your meal. I used to work at a restaurant where I made desserts. The waitresses would take 10% of their weekly tips, and that amount would be split across all of the kitchen staff. Your tips go a long way for waitresses at independent cafes and restaurants as most waitresses are on nearly minimum wage - I know I was! 

Give Gift Cards From Local Businesses

Stuck with what to buy someone? My go-to last-minute gifts are hampers or gift cards. Instead of buying a retailer's gift-card, see if your favourite small businesses have gift-care options. There are lots of small businesses who offer gift card options on their websites. You could even go into local shops to see if they offer credit. It's a great way to give your loved on a chance to purchase something they like, and they will have to spend it on a small business. If in doubt, you could always pop your favourite businesses and email to see if they offer anything similar. 

If you can, please support small businesses this Christmas. There are so many amazing brands out there. Each business owner has a family and a passion for whatever they've chosen to sell. By purchasing from them, you're helping them thrive in their dream job. Even swapping a few of your gifts for independent alternatives will help more than you think! Are you going to be supporting small businesses this Christmas? Let me know what you're doing to help and what hidden gems you've found along the way!

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  1. Love supporting small businesses! I tend to buy from Etsy, so thank you for sharing these tips because I will deffo try and order from their own website moving forward x

  2. These are all great tips! I am definitely trying to shop small this holiday season!

  3. I love supporting small bussiness especially the locals one in my country and during this time of the year since we all know what we are dealing with. Most of the gift I'm currently doing are all from local store.

    Michelle| www.brokebutflawless.com