When times keep looking more and more challenging for the American small business owner, they must learn how to reach out to other small businesses for help. Learn how to get help from small businesses and the potential advantages of offering your help to a small business in need.
Any good entrepreneur and small business owner know that getting help could be the difference between the success and failure of their small business. But, they must also know how important it is to reach out for help to other business owners and offer it. In these trying times, it will not benefit you to keep to yourself and ignore other businesses’ calls for help.
Here’s what we’ll discuss in this article:
And more along the way. Learn how you can help other small businesses and get the essential help you need for yours!
Other Small Business Are Not Always Competition:
With the current inflation and supply chain issues — not to mention the fears of a recession — things are looking evermore grim for business owners. According to the Small Business Administration, small businesses are the backbone of the U.S. economy, representing 44% of the economic activity.
But still, they’re the ones who suffer the most during economic hardships. For example, the coronavirus pandemic left an enormous impact on the U.S. small business economy. During it, around 400.000 small businesses had to close their doors. Also, small business owners are the most concerned with talks of recession.
It shows that there’s more benefit in helping each other rather than trying to steal another business’s customer base. As you saw above, small businesses are the ones who fare the worse and can only rely on themselves. But a better idea is if they can offer help to each other, share referrals, share their customer base, and even acquire new customers.
How to Reach Out to Other Business Owners and Ask for Help:
Help as a small business owner is a natural thing to ask for — even more so in today’s economic climate. And referring back to the topic above, there’s no table of investors or funding that larger corporations can access for a U.S. small business owner. To make sure you get the help your small business requires, you must reach out to other small business owners and ask them.
There’s no shame in reaching out to members of your network and asking their opinion on the problems that face your small business, even offering you physical help with something you need. Many business owners have exchanged information, supplies, equipment, and referred clients to other small businesses that needed it. For this to happen, you need to maintain a cooperation mindset and offer help when other small businesses require it.
Offering help is not only reserved for mentorship or advice through webinars or local chambers of commerce:
Offering help can very well be in person, helping businesses solve their problems, improve their customer and employee retention, work on their marketing and logistics, or whatever may be required. Don’t be afraid to reach out to business owners for help with your small business, and return the favor whenever they reach out to you.
You can get almost all kinds of help from your network, but business financing will likely not be one of them. If you’re already finding difficulty getting funded by traditional lenders such as the SBA or banks, Biz2Credit can help you secure funding. You can be sure we can help you in this field.
How Small Business Owners Can Support Each Other:
The most crucial step to reaching out to other businesses for help is to have good relations, and for that to happen, small business owners must support each other. Not only does this help you when you need it, but also cements your small business and increases its outreach to your community.
Here you’ll get a few ideas on how you can support other small business owners and, in return, they can support you.
Many business owners swear that partnerships can tremendously help their business, and the advantages are there to be seen. When you partner with other small business owners, you’re cross-promoting each other’s businesses, and that’s a tried and tested marketing strategy today. You can do promotions on social media or events, run contests and discounts, or whatever it may be to maintain a mutual benefit partnership.
Much of today’s marketing involves social media because, according to a study by Pew Research, 7 in 10 Americans use it. A great way to help each other is to launch campaigns and mentions on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok. These are the most popular social media platforms, so it’s a good idea to establish a presence there. Make an effort to use it because if you don’t, you’re missing out. 77% of American small business owners use social media to promote, so if you need help, it’s likely that a small business owner you know has the experience and can help you.
Including Small Businesses as Suppliers or Vendors:
Many types of businesses out there can tend to your small business needs, as other small businesses could benefit from your product or service. While typically performed by large retailers, small business owners can see a lot of difficulties getting paid by those retail chains. That’s where a change for small business cooperation can come in handy. Do a run of your local small businesses and look out for the ones that can benefit from having you as a vendor or a supplier, but if you could use a supplier, don’t be afraid to reach out to them with a proposition.
Opt for Small Businesses Before Large Corporations:
Unlike larger corporations, small business owners can only rely on themselves to see success. But, as the main topic of this post, you can help your local businesses stay clear of the Walmart effect and prefer to do business with them instead of a large retailer. Not only that, a small business tends to be more personal. So, use this opportunity to promote your own small business to potential customers while also offering help to other small businesses along the way.
Mentor Other Small Business Owners:
The power mentorship can have for any entrepreneur can very well make or break their small business or startup. If you are a seasoned small business owner, don’t be afraid to pass some of your entrepreneurship knowledge to someone that’s starting out. Teach them the basics of writing a good business plan, the importance of cash flow, potentially successful business models, and how to get business financing. Also, if you’re the one who needs mentoring, go around your small business owners’ circle, and don’t be afraid to ask for guidance from your network.
Don’t Be Afraid to Refer Small Businesses You Trust:
Not only mention small businesses you trust but do go out of the way to promote them. Make an effort to mention those same small businesses, and they’ll retribute the favor. You can also use the power of social media channels for mentions, use word of mouth through your network when the possibility arises, through podcasts if you participate or have one, and more. If you do this, you’ll most likely see other business owners do the same for your business. People remember generosity over anything else, so be sure they’ll go out of the way to do the same for you.
A Few Essential Steps on How to Network with Other Small Business Owners:
Networking is a powerful weapon many entrepreneurs use for success. In fact, according to Forbes, 78% of startups deem networking vital for their success. And for small businesses, it can prove tremendously helpful all the same.
Networking allows you to keep tabs on industry news and experts, help you learn, explore new avenues for success, meet other like-minded business owners, and reach out to other businesses for help, be it for you or any other member of your network. Let’s look at a few essentials to help you network your way to success.
- Reach out to other business owners online: It might seem overwhelming to do a cold outreach from nowhere to another business owner, but it could also be a great way to make new connections fast. If you’re following up with other businesses and have an idea that could help, want to do a partnership, or need help with your small business, establish contact with small business owners and discuss some ideas. Although nothing’s guaranteed, it can position your business for successful partnerships.
- Host informal meet and greets: If you have the time or the means to do so, creating an informal meet and greet around your community is a great way to start knowing other small business owners at a personal level. The power of these informal venues is that there’s no pressure to get things done, only to talk to people and get to know them and their businesses.
- Join organizations and/or groups: Industry-specific groups can be a tremendous boost to small business owners to surround themselves with other like-minded business owners. You can discuss important information, add valuable members to your network, keep up with the changes in your industry, and much more. Finding a perfect group or organization online can be challenging, but once you find one, you’ll have your returns tenfold in the form of valuable connections and information.
- Attend conferences, seminars, or masterminds: These events are similar to an organization or group, they only last a few days at best but tend to be much more effective. A well-organized seminar, conference, or mastermind will not only have other like-minded individuals but will also have speakers and attendees that — more often than not — are successful in the field you’re attending. These events can have a heavy price tag but are an investment that will allow you to come full of ideas and valuable networking leads.
- Volunteer throughout your community: Another way to reach out to local small business owners is to volunteer in a campaign — or even organize your own with the help of other small business owners. Not only will you connect with other small business owners and expand your network, but you’ll most likely increase your popularity through your local customer base. People do not forget good actions and if your community hosts a local chamber of commerce, be sure that your deeds will not go unseen by the attendants.
It All Comes Down to Your Small Business:
As with the oxygen masks in airplanes, you need to put yours first before helping anyone else. And naturally, other small business owners likely do the same. So there’s no reason to blame them or to expect an unsustainable commitment on their end. Before thinking about how to reach out to other business owners for help, think about their situation, as well as yours.
A place where you can find help whenever you need it is in Biz2Credit. Stay on top of every small business development with our articles and get all the tips you need to succeed. Also, if you feel that your small business needs funding, reach out to our team and get to know the best financing option for you and your small business.