The busiest shopping season of the year is fast approaching. After 18 months of enthusiastic online purchases, there’s no suggestion that we’ll change our ways this Christmas – even with eased restrictions on the horizon.
No one is more excited (and maybe a bit nervous) about the festive season than small business owners. They’ve been hit especially hard by the pandemic and the necessary measures put in place to keep people safe. The gifting season marks a major opportunity for many businesses to make sales and get back in the black.
Lady Startup, the education-based community that helps women to put a rocket up their business dreams, has nine ways you can support a small business or side-hustle this Christmas. And some of them won’t even cost you a thing.
1. Batch buy your gifts
Christmas means buying lots of gifts for lots of people so save yourself time – and postage fees – and make a Lady Startup’s day (week? year?) by snapping up multiple gifts. Matching leggings for your sister and her three kids from Lady Startup course graduate Mama Movement? Hard yes.
Yes, the big retailers have made it easy to shop in bulk, with bonuses like super speedy shipping. But if you are a planner (and if you’re reading this article you likely are), you can get sustainable, handmade or original alternatives from a Lady Startup.
2. Purchase a gift card
Support a service business sister. Hairdressers, nail technicians, waxers/laser clinics and skincare salons have all had a rough year. They provide a service so many enjoy but without cash flow, they may not be around once we’re ready for the “new normal”. Consider gifting gift cards to local salons. Who wouldn’t appreciate a pamper session with a professional after a year of home eyebrow tints?
3. Be their cheerleader
Had a good experience with a Lady Startup brand? Leave reviews anywhere and everywhere – social proof is key to startup success. Try searching the business name in Google Reviews and Facebook reviews to get started.
If you have a negative experience, pause for a minute. Was the issue completely out of their control? Or an unintentional error? A request or last minute change that seems reasonable to you might have caused huge complexity for them, resulting in a delay.
Consider whether it would be more effective to give the feedback directly (via DM or email) rather than posting it online. They’ll still learn from the experience but it also gives the business a chance to fix the situation – you might even end up with a complimentary product or service.
4. Buy their digital products
While some small businesses may not open again, others have pivoted to digital to keep going without human contact. Many of these online-based offerings make great gifts. Your Pilates studio might be offering online courses, your favourite cafe might be doing hampers, or your dog groomer might have launched an online pet supplies boutique.
Lady Startup course graduate Go Chlo offers online Pilates classes which can be purchased as gifts.
Check out their social media pages and if you have an idea for them – suggest it. If YOU have a small business or a side hustle and you want to know how you can use digital to diversify your revenue streams, check out Lady Startup’s Rocket Plan online course. Taught by Mamamia co-founder Mia Freedman, this three week online course is broken down into easily digestible modules and you’ll learn how to put a rocket up your revenue, emails, socials and website.
5. Pay the full price
Odds are the startup, small business owner or side-hustler you are buying from isn’t even paying herself yet. Unless you are offering an extra service or promotion in return, don’t ask for a discount. This applies double (triple) for friends and family. If you want to support her, pay her what the product/service is worth.
6. Like and comment on posts
Social media algorithms reward meaningful engagement with further reach. Put simply, the more likes and comments a post has, the more people will get to see it. Extra Lady Startup karma points if you tag friends who might be interested and comment to tell them what they should buy.
7. Respect their time
Lady Startups are often one-woman shows. If they’re a service business, they’ll likely be providing the service, taking bookings, and ordering supplies. If they sell a product, they’ll be flat out filling orders, packing shipments, and dealing with enquiries. Be mindful of their time: keep questions clear and to the point to avoid multiple messages or lengthy calls, and understand that they might not respond to your query until the morning or after the kids go to bed.
Remember, with your support this Christmas they just might be able to take the next step up and hire a virtual assistant to outsource admin tasks or customer service.
8. Use word of mouth
Use your personal social media (or even… IRL conversations, remember those?) to recommend the business. Your friends, family and followers are likely looking for gift ideas of their own, so share screenshots of your cart, unboxing pictures or short reviews of products you’ve purchased from small businesses. Remember to tag the business (or provide a swipe up link if you have the ability) so people can click through to check them out.
9. Share their posts
It’s so easy and so fast. Share their Instagram Posts to your Stories. You’re helping their message travel further and reach a new audience by sharing with your network. That’s it. That’s all. Done.
A big thank you from the small business community. It’s been a rough 18 months for everyone and your support means the world.
And if you have started your own business or side-hustle but need a boost to grow your customers, sales and revenue this Christmas and beyond – the Lady Startup Rocket Plan is the place to start. And enrollments for the final intake of 2021 open on October 12th, but you can get your name on the waitlist right now.
It’s a self-paced online course and you can do it in your own time – a big bonus if you’re juggling other work/life commitments.
The 3 week online course is broken down into easily digestible modules and covers:
- How to grow your business online without any gimmicks or bullsh*t strategies that waste your time.
- The difference between a mediocre website and one that actually sells. How to grow your email list.
- How to scale up your social media strategy, create consistently engaging content and finally have a content plan.
- How to create a Facebook paid ad the right way.
On top of all the course content, you’ll have access to an exclusive Facebook community that is only for students in your intake, and Mia drops in for weekly group mentoring live streams to answer your questions and cheer you on.
To find out more about the upcoming intake of the Lady Startup Rocket Plan and get your name on the waitlist head here.Internet Explorer Channel Network