As so many of us within the #forgottenltd campaign group have been, well, forgotten – we need to consider a multi-pronged approach to our situation.
Campaigning and lobbying for our voices to be heard, acknowledged and for action to be taken is our main aim. We want to be given financial parity with others who have got help and we need that to be backdated.
However we can also, each within our own communities, seek to help each other where we can and therefore we have launched a mini campaign ‘BUY LOCAL, SUPPLY LOCAL’.
One thing this awful situation has shown is the power of community, both geographical and professional, and if we all try to help each other where we can, more of us will have a chance of survival.
Here are ten things we’d ask you all to consider over the coming weeks and months:
- Are you buying products or services from local independent suppliers? – if not, can you? If we need people to support us, we must try to support them and buy locally where we can. It’s as much about walking the walk as talking the talk.
- Are you avoiding local suppliers because you consider yourself as a business offering something which is ‘national’ or even ‘international’? – get rid of this mindset, you are a local person, perhaps with a local team, based in a locality regardless of who you serve. Own being a local business, don’t avoid it.
- Are you ensuring you are connected to as many small business owners as possible in your own community, even in your own street? – no matter what their business – across your social media? Connections are powerful. Please make a conscious effort to follow more local business owners.
- *When you buy local – product or service – and you have a good experience, share that experience on social media. Like their Facebook page, leave them a review, share a picture on your own social media. The incremental effect of this is immeasurable to a small business. Make this part of your experience and their experience of you.
- *If you are, as many of us are, short on cash – are you sharing as many posts as you can around your suppliers or customers even if you are unable to deliver your service or product at the moment? It’s a great way to keep a relationship going when money is unable to change hands.
- *Are you engaging in any local debate or discussion – often involving councillors, local authorities and MPs – around the future of retail, the economy or business in your area? – make yourself known, your views do count and being visible in this way has untold benefits down the line.
- *Are you saying ‘thank you’? It can be difficult to say this when you are having a hard time and you cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel. However those two little words can make such a difference in business. Thank those who have supported or helped you, however tiny that contribution may have been. It will be remembered.
- *Are you reaching out for ideas or help? – for some business owners the ability to ‘pivot’ or ‘change’ is just hard, if not impossible. However it’s necessary for the new world that’s coming. If you can’t do this or if you are ‘stuck’ in the negatives – reach out for help and ideas. It’s not weak to do this, it is in fact the only thing to do.
- *Are you celebrating local business success stories? – this is a very difficult thing to do when you are having a difficult time. Yet in doing so it may not only make you feel more positive it could also lead to a positive business relationship. Celebrate the fact that sometimes good things happen in the darkest of times.
- *Are you sharing your story in your local community – through the media, your social media, your website, a podcast or YouTube channel. This can be emotive however it’s often the case that he/she who does share (and often takes the flak for doing so) empowers and inspires others who are suffering in silence.