What a year 2020 has been! Never in my wildest dreams would I have believed back in January what the year would bring.
Looking back, I have some lovely lock down memories around Easter time, a beautiful spring day rolling eggs and a picnic in the field, however there have also been some very tough times for us all.
The current situation is still unsettled with different rules for different parts of the UK, and we all have worries and concerns over what Christmas will bring. From a business perspective things are very tough for many, I moved Pegasus back home during lock down which had it's own set of challenges, but being back in the office with the Team has been wonderful lately and we have been incredibly lucky to be so busy.
However, the next few months for people in retail is our 'harvest' the busiest spell for all retailers and my worry is that by locking us down more people are encouraged to shop with the on-line giants of Amazon and Ebay. This year more than ever, it is so important to think of the smaller independents on-line and if possible ( depending on lock down) on the high street.
It doesn't always have to be a purchase, but a little bit of help can really make a difference in these tough times... hers are my top tips of how you can help the small independents this Christmas.
1. FEEDBACK. Leave a Review on their website or Facebook page... potential customers like to feel safe when purchasing on-line and helpful, happy reviews are the best way of reassuring new customers.
2. SHARE THE LOVE. Share and comment on their social media posts... the more people respond, the more they feature on news feeds, so help local businesses be seen, a simple 'lovely post' or 'i love this' really does help social media visibility.
3. SHOUT ABOUT US. Word of mouth, have a friend looking for a unique gift? Recommend the locals and the independents to friends and family.
4. If you have purchased an item from a small business, take a photo of it and pop it on your social media with a web site link... a brilliant way for us small businesses to get recognition. It also gives us great new content to share.
5. I think most local businesses on the high street will be trying to build websites or Facebook shops so they can keep trading through the next lock-down... so if you know a local store stocks a product, give them a call or a message to see if they are still trading on-line or can take a phone order. Click and Collect is still permitted through lock-down.
6. I know Amazon and Ebay are easy and everything is at your finger tips, but please try and find other smaller independent web-sites to buy from. Lot of people say to me, especially when buying things for their horses, "amazon is cheaper" so if it is, print it off or sent it to your local dealer and ask if they will price match. We all need to be competitive in this market.
Will a little bit of thought we can all really help smaller businesses this Christmas.
Take Care and Stay Safe!