When it comes to supporting our friends and family we tend to believe it costs money. Support does not always involve money. Support can be shown in many forms, such as, sharing social media post, recommending their product/service, a positive and honest review, coming to free events…etc. If you do not have money to spend at that every moment, that is fine. You will not lose a real friend because you are going through a financial hardship at the time. How you will lose a friend however, is not being there.
Small business owners know how hard it is to run a business and manage everyday life. To get the right review or exposure would grow the business tremendously. The last thing they need is a lack of support from the people who matter the most. I am not saying that every friend or family member you have will be a customer, because let’s face it that is not the case. Just because they are friends and family doesn’t mean they will support your business, it might not be something they need or want. And that is okay. But it’s free to share a social media post, because somebody on their timeline might like it. It’s free to be having a conversation and recommend your business to somebody else that needs it. These genuine acts of kindness will go a long way, and show support without any exchange of money.
For example, whenever I am on social media and see those post that go like, “Do you know somebody that…” I automatically recommend friends and family that fit the description. I don’t do this because they ask me. I don’t even do it because I expect them to do the same for me. I do this because it’s the right thing to do. I’ve done it so much that its normal. When people ask for graphic designers I recommend Mama Nzinga. When somebody recommends restaurants or nail salons I point them in the direction of the black owned ones. I do this with the agenda to push people in the direction of the institutions or people I feel need to be supported.
It is not hard to support your friends without spending money. The things I listed above are totally free! But, when you do have money, support them. Support them the same way you do other businesses. Don’t be ignorant and ask for discounts, because you don’t do that with any other company. Show the same loyalty and respect you do to other businesses. Remember, “If we don’t support each other, who will?”
Nia Kamau, The Urban Author