While creativeON provides e-commerce solutions to mainly local vendors in Pakistan, we learned that startups and small businesses are losing clientage during the current inflation spell. Some of our small business clients wanted to downgrade their packages, and some startups closed as they could not meet the sales threshold to get going. So we decided to write about why we should and how we can support local vendors to support the Pakistan e-commerce industry.
The world has become a global village. We live in an integrated hub where distance does not bother the relationship between people and countries. Trade between countries has become the backbone for establishing foreign relations among them. Moving goods across the border has become easier over the past few decades. Growing relationships between countries have also encouraged people to expand their business in different countries. Thus, we have Multinational companies these days. Some examples of larger chains of MNCs are KFC, McDonald’s, GlaxoSmithKline, Levi’s, Mango, Uber, etc. The advent of these bigger International chains always has a positive impact on the economy of the country. It provides job opportunities to the locals and enhances the relationship between the countries. But with all this positivity, there are always some drawbacks. And in this case, the local community has been affected to a great extent. The local people with small businesses and small shops are affected the most. Shopping or eating from big businesses or International chains takes the audience away from the local vendors. Many NGOs are working to promote the trend of shopping from local small businesses to help them grow. Following are some steps you can take to support the small businesses in your town.
Prefer Local Shops for Routine Chores
We come across small shops on our way to school, university, office, gym, etc. These small businesses are holding onto the bare minimum; for them, every penny counts. When organizing a list of routine chores like buying bread for breakfast or shopping for stationary for school, always try to prefer these local vendors from your community. This will help them survive. It will make a significant difference if we start including them in our daily routine. Own your community businesses and play your part in supporting them. They have been struggling to survive, and the past couple of years have proved fatal. As we know, shops were closed or had a curfew time due to lockdown policies during the pandemic. This has been very hazardous for the local businesses as they had not planned for situations like these. Times have been difficult for them. Be a good citizen and help them in whatever way you can.
Support Local Businesses
Supporting your local businesses revive a spirit of community and this, in turn, helps in bringing the small shops up. There are multiple ways in which you can support local businesses. We live in the Internet era, where a single click can promote everything. Encourage local business owners to create their Internet presence if they have not already. Give them shoutouts, tag your friends under their posts, and comment to promote their page as much as possible. You can also support them by buying one product at a time. This will not burden your pocket and will help them grow. For example, if 100 people live in your community and half of them shop from local stores every day. Imagine how much revenue the shops will generate, which can be used for their growth.
Accept and Utilize
We should learn to accept and accept the facilities provided to us by our local shops. Not all of them can afford to provide you with luxurious options that will fit your level of standards. Some of them are clinging to the verge of extinction. For example, we come across many food spots which do not have a good sitting area and usually have the option of takeaway or delivery. Please do not ignore them because of this. Help them out—order takeouts from them. You can also ask them to deliver to your doorstep. It may not be a big deal for you, but it will help them thrive. Adjusting your desires accordingly will undoubtedly allow them to grow and provide them with the opportunity to exist. Every step, whether you consider it big or small, matters! Adjusting does not mean compromising on quality, but it means letting go of the high standards we have created in our minds. These standards can never decide the quality of the service, but it just reflects your mindset.
Encourage Online Small Businesses
We have come a long way, and now modes of business have been changing. People are coming out of the traditional brick-and-mortar shops and utilizing the Internet to start their businesses. Many people in your community must also have been trying to start their online businesses. It is equally important to promote them as well. The best way to support them is to purchase from them. I prefer them when it comes to buying things online. Shop for books, home decor products, equipment, etc., from these small businesses online that are trying to make a living out of it. For instance, when using food delivery apps, try to order from home chefs because they are small businesses that need your attention. And always leave a review so they can use your feedback to grow. Your positive review can help improve their ratings, which will help advertise it to other people. This is how your effort makes a huge impact.
Grow any business requires advertising its products and services so that people can get to know about its existence. But as you know, advertising is not easy because it requires a huge sum of money and not everyone can afford it. The small local businesses that barely make enough money to carry out their expenses cannot spend money on advertisements. But it does not mean there is no other way. As a helping citizen, you can become their advertiser. Spread the word among your friends and family. Tell other people about their products and services. Highlight the positive sides of their businesses. Word of mouth is still reliable for many people, invoking them to shop from these small businesses. Your words can help attract customers to these local shops. Never underestimate any step you take to help them.
People nowadays have been struggling more than ever. The pandemic has taken a toll on small businesses as they were unprepared for something like this. Even if they were prepared, they might not have enough resources to prevent themselves from this ill fate. But it is still not too late. We can save the local businesses in our community by simply following the steps mentioned earlier. Buying from big businesses and then flaunting it has become the trend in our society. The local business owners are suffering the most because of this. Therefore, it is on us to support them and help them grow. Two steps forward, one step back is still one step forward.