By Jamie Hooker
Things to invest in: college, stocks, bonds, hedge funds… Let’s be honest, those are very boring. We’re here to tell you there are more exciting things you can (and should) invest in!
Small businesses especially need investment, whether it’s money, time or even just thought. Investing in a small business owner by inviting them to bid on projects and giving them a chance to pitch themselves against larger players can empower and encourage them. Woman-owned businesses especially need investment. Traditionally, women are not given as many chances as men when it comes to pitching themselves, even if they’re far more qualified for the job. Inviting small and woman-owned businesses to the “adult table” can empower them to take chances that will pay off.
An obvious way to invest and empower small businesses is to favor them when you’re shopping, whether it’s for gifts, groceries, clothes, etc. The sad truth is money makes the world go ‘round, so when you’re choosing where to take your hard earned dollars, consider small business, too.
Pop quiz! How much do you know about the businesses you buy from? Do you know their story? How they got started? Investing time in learning about the background of a small business can empower them in a couple of ways. Letting small business owners know you took the time to learn about their most prized possession can go a long way. Also, by knowing about the business, you can share that knowledge with others around you to encourage them to check it out. Word-of-mouth across customers is one of the best ways for small businesses to gain exposure.
There are more things to invest besides money, although that’s a good place to start. On your next “Sunday-Funday,” take the time to explore a new business. If your own business is in the market for a new service, consider the smaller guys before spending on a larger company.
One more thing: small businesses unite!