Small Business Symbiosis: How We Can Support Each Other
We’ve said it time and time again: Small businesses are the backbone of the Canadian economy. Did you know for instance that small businesses represent 70% of private sector employment in Canada? That’s just one of countless great reasons to support small businesses in Canada. Whether shopping for gifts at an independent clothing boutique or buying produce at the farmer’s market, supporting local small businesses in our everyday lives is as easy as it is essential. Similarly, it’s just as important to be cognizant of supporting your fellow small business owners. Whether your business is primarily online, at home, or brick and mortar, seeking out ways to support Canadian small businesses can reduce costs, increase sales, and improve brand awareness.
Here are 6 ways to grow your business while supporting other local Small Business Owners:
- Canadian Supply Chain: The #ShopLocal movement is strong and consumers love to not only shop local but also buy Canadian. Source out local Canadian designers and manufactures that produce products that suit the needs of your business. You can also opt for smaller, Canadian service providers over larger international firms. Not only are you supporting Canadian businesses but “Canadian Made” can become part of your marketing strategy. Not sure where to start? The CFIB has a great online Small Business directory as well as Canada One, and you can add your own business to the directory as well..
- Share the Love: Is there a Canadian business you love to support? Tell your customers about it through word-of-mouth or online channels. For instance, Lendified is a proud supporter of Canadian Small Businesses through our social media #SmallBizSpotlight features. Leverage your social platforms to put a spotlight on local businesses - they might just return the favour.
- Get Involved: Joining your local Chamber of Commerce or attending a local Small Business Networking event not only helps you source out other local vendors and businesses, but you can learn from the experiences of your peers. Lendified is a proud member of various chambers as well as the MaRs FinTech Cluster where we have the opportunity to share our financial services experience and expertise with high-growth potential startups as well as collaborate alongside other pioneering financial technology professionals. The Government of Canada has a vast online directory of business support organizations to help get you started.
- Cross Promotion: Know of a business that would compliment yours? See if they would like to set up a referral partnership with you. Help eachother grow your business by cross-promoting online, split advertising costs, or by offering discounts to customers to each other’s business. Not only will you expand your reach and grow your customer base but you can also save on advertising costs. And don’t forget bloggers - they are entrepreneurs too! Reach out to local bloggers and invite them to try out your service or visit your business, and see if you can be featured on their blog.
- Sponsorships: Sponsoring local events focused on the small business community can be a strategic way to increase exposure and raise awareness about your business. Depending on the degree of your sponsorship, your brand could be attached to the marketing campaign for the event.
- Social Responsibility: Social good is just good business. It’s also a great way to connect with and support other Canadian small businesses who share your passions. Connect with other entrepreneurs and business owners to learn about what causes they are supporting and, if they align with your passions and make good strategic business sense, find out how you can get involved.
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About the Author
Lendified is Canada's premier online lender for small businesses. The company was founded by former bank executives dedicated to provide businesses with fast, easy, and affordable financing. The Lendified team regularly produces blogs and guides to help small business owners succeed.