Support Small Business Challenge

It goes without saying, the coronavirus / COVID-19 is having huge impacts on everyone. Small businesses, including vendors, organizers, and stockists (shops) are among the hardest hit. So many have seen their revenue streams constrict to a point that threatens their long term existence. It is truly sobering to consider our region and world without these small businesses that lend so much colour, variety, and love to our lives.

So, what can we do? We’re sequestered within our homes in the name of social distance and flattening the curve. Shows have been cancelled or postponed, shops are all closed…but there’s still so much we can do. If you’re up to it, consider joining our 14 day challenge.

Over the next two weeks, every day we will be posting a prompt/challenge on our Facebook and Instagram along with an explanation of why that action is so valuable.

We’ll be updating this post as the week goes on, adding the explanations so that it can stay as a reference for folks who join mid challenge!

The best part about this challenge? Everyone wins.

Day One: Post One Picture

Do you have something you purchased from a small business that you use every day? What about something that has lasted you waay longer than you expected? Anything you’re using during these days of social distance to keep busy, stay cozy, or stay clean?

Snap a picture! Post that picture on social media and gush about it! And don’t forget to tag the awesome folks that got it into your hands!

(Bonus points if it happens to be an item from a local small business that you bought at another local small business stockist! Tag them both!)

Day Two:

Today’s challenge is to shout out to two businesses!

There’s a lot of flexibility here, maybe you’re seeing a small business do a great job handling the obstacles of the virus and want to give them credit for that! Maybe a product you bought is making your life so much easier…share that gratitude! Shout outs make everyone’s day better! They also help with our little friend the algorithm!

Day Three:

Today’s pretty simple (Wednesdays are hard). You (hopefully) follow some pretty amazing small businesses already, who likely have posted some awesome products or services they offer. Go check out their posts and tag 3 friends (on 3 separate or the same, we’re not taking up homework) on things you think would interest them.

Day Four:

Today is all about reviews.

The importance of reviews cannot be stressed enough. Not only do they give a boost on many of the sites small businesses are featured on, but they also provide an amazing little boost to the owner’s day.

Nothing feels better than knowing your work has been appreciated.

Your task today is to go leave 4 reviews or recommendations!

Remember that there are review and recommendation opportunities in numerous spots! Etsy (if you’ve made a purchase), Facebook pages, Google, Yelp (if brick and mortar), Trip Advisor, and more!

If you wanted to include ShowWiz as one of your reviews (or as a bonus one), we’re on Google and Facebook! 😉

Day Five:

Our challenge to you today is to go lurk your favourite small businesses and comment on five photos.

Straightforward, simple, but amazing for both the heart and the algorithm.

You may have noticed, the algorithm is a trend with this challenge. That trend is going to continue. eCommerce requires constant work in order to be determined relevant in feeds and search results. There’s constant work tweaking tags, descriptions, and more for the benefit of SEO. For social media platforms, relevancy can also be influenced by the level of engagement with posts.

Long story short, your comments matter. Your interactions with posts make it more likely that even more people will see the content. So, thank you.

Day Six:

Today is similar to yesterday: nice and straightforward.

In our continuing desire to help shape the algorithm in favour of the awesome small businesses in our community: go like six pictures or posts!

Day Seven:

We’re halfway through!

Building on yesterday – but amping it up from likes to reacts!

Did you know that reacts on Facebook affect the algorithm differently?

Well, now you do! So go spread some well-placed heart, surprised, and laughing reacts!

Day Eight:

There’s no better way to help spread someone’s message and business than sharing their post! And that’s today’s challenge: find a small business you love and a post of theirs you particularly love and share it (maybe along with the reasons that you love it?)

Day Nine:

Did you know know that some of your favourite small businesses are on a range of social media platforms – with the goal of reaching as many folks as possible? Heck yes they are.

Today’s challenge is to pick three businesses you love and follow/like/subscribe to them on other platforms (think Instagram, Etsy, Pinterest, YouTube…)

And yes, this also helps the algorithm!

Day Ten:

Speaking of growing numbers (I’m the queen of smooth segues, right?) today’s challenge is all about broadening your networks!

Find three small businesses close to you that you don’t already follow and give them some love.

Not sure where to start?
Check out our vendor directory!

Day Eleven:

Today’s challenge is a choice! Both leaving a review (if applicable) or commenting on posts/pictures is a great way to help small businesses out from the comfort of your home. You’ll remember both of these from week one, so you’re well practised!

Day Twelve:

Today’s challenge is a mental exercise. No crafting comments or reviews – you can give your typing fingers a break.

Instead, today we’d like you to think of 5 items that you’ve been purchasing from big box stores that you could instead purchase from a local small business, maker, or vendor.

Maybe your vegetables could be sourced from a farmers’ market (when the virus has passed and they’re open, of course)?
Maybe your new scarf or hat can be from a maker?
Maybe your chain restaurant coffee can be replaced by one from a local shop?
Maybe the gift for the next baby shower you’re invited too (there’s going to be a coming boom with all this quarantine!) could be from a local small business?

What could you sub out?

Day Thirteen:

Over the last almost two weeks, you’ve been exploring, commenting, leaving reviews for, and loving a whole lot of small business awesomeness.

Today’s challenge is to make a wish list of products and services you’d love and appreciate from these businesses!

Pinterest is great (especially if you link them!) but pen and paperwork just fine. Starting with your list of 5 big box to local swaps from yesterday is a great place to start.

Day Fourteen:

We’ve done it!

Thank you so much for following along with us on this challenge! We’ve had a lot of fun featuring small businesses that resound with us. We also hope you’ve learned how your seemingly small interactions can have a huge impact on the almighty algorithm. (We all have a love/hate relationship with that beast, trust me.)

Today’s challenge:
If you are capable, purchase something from a local small business.

Maybe it’s something on your wish list, maybe it’s something you know would be a perfect pick me up for a friend, maybe its a (super) early gift for the holidays. Maybe it’s a gift card for future use. Every purchase makes an incredible difference to the owners who are white-knuckling it through this incredibly hard time.

That being said, if you’re not in a position to, that’s more than okay! This virus, and the related economic consequences, are affecting everyone. Please do not feel pressure to overextend yourself. You cannot pour from an empty cup.

If you’re a completionist and *need* a challenge to complete the day, choose a small business, go to their Facebook page, click the “Following” button and select “See First”. Never miss out on an update from that business again!

Thanks again for taking part in this challenge! Like freely, react often, and interact with posts with abandon. 

ShowWiz.ca is an online resource that offers a comprehensive calendar of craft and vendor shows and a vendor directory. Currently serving Eastern Ontario and the National Capital Region, ShowWiz.ca works to connect vendors, organizers, and shoppers with opportunities that work for them.

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