How to help micro businesses bounce back in Britain.
As we move out of lockdown, micros and freelancers need your help. As a customer, you have the power to give them the confidence and support they need to succeed. Here’s what you can do to help micros bounce back.
It’s now one year since the UK first entered lockdown in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. For micro businesses, the corona virus has added yet another huge challenge to their already heavy load. In some cases, it’s been the straw that broke the camel’s back. Now, your support and encouragement is key. You can help micros bounce back.
We have a resilient, innovative community of micros in the UK, and most have adapted to the challenges posed by lockdowns and restrictions. It’s essential to our economy and our culture that these thousands of small businesses and sole traders come out the other end of this intact (though not unaffected).
We’re not out of the woods yet but there is light at the end of the tunnel – and you, as a customer, can play a big part in this story.
You have the power to help our micros survive and thrive, as we move forward out of lockdown.
Why micros need your help to bounce back
Micro businesses have been working harder than ever to keep going throughout this past year, to keep serving their customers to their best ability. Some have had to tweak their offers, while others have had to pivot to a completely new service.
They are a resilient, innovative bunch but they are also only human and have had to deal with all the fear, uncertainty and grief that we all have.
As we start to come out of this third lockdown, they are having to adapt yet again. There is light at the end of the tunnel, yes. But there is still much uncertainty.
I’ve had conversations with many micro business owners and freelancers over the past few months and there is a resounding theme of doubt. Doubt about what the future holds, about the best path to take and about what their customers want.
One of my Simply Club members is a photographer, specialising in outdoor shoots with families and couples. Even though her photoshoots could be done with social distancing very easily, she has been unsure whether she should continue during lockdown – understandably worried about what other people may think.
Other businesses, such as those with holiday accommodation, have been unable to operate. One option to keep trading while not able to open is selling gift vouchers, and Simply Club members have been doing this, with varying success. For those selling lower-priced goods or services, gift vouchers have sold well. Those with more expensive products and offers have struggled.
Thinking outside the box is a beneficial skill for any business owner – even more so in these difficult times. From restaurants providing dine-in experiences and micro breweries delivering direct to people’s door, to yoga studios doing online classes and artists creating digital exhibits.
Many micro businesses are doing these things and much more.
What you can do to help micros bounce back
The best – and simplest – thing you can do to help, is choose micro first [here are some of the best from the Simply Club]
Often, all it takes to find out about them is a quick search online. You could also look to see if there is a small business network/hub in your area that you could join or sign up to their newsletter. If you’d like to receive emails from Simply Great Britain, to find out more about what our members are doing, you can sign up here.
Next time you go to purchase something for yourself or a gift for someone else, instead of going straight to a national (or multinational) giant, take a few minutes to seek out micros – either in your local community or online.
As well as supporting a small business, you’ll also be enhancing your life and making your pandemic experience so much nicer. You’ll get that extra level of care, personal touch that makes such a difference.
If you have a local business that you love but they don’t seem to be offering a service at the moment, reach out to them. Perhaps you have an idea of something they could offer, such as gift vouchers or a slightly different spin on their existing service? Go and talk to them about it. Give them the confidence they need to put new offers out there. It could be the difference between them surviving the covid crisis or not.
Let’s give micros our encouragement and support.
Here’s to the light at the end of the tunnel!