Years ago, American Express started this initiative called, “Small Business Saturday” to encourage shoppers to “shop local.” As part of an incentive for small businesses to participate, the credit card company offered statement credits. Although this particular incentive was removed this year, American Express claims to be supporting small businesses in other forms. No worries though, true supporters of small business are the customers themselves.
Did you support a local business favorite over the weekend?
If so, did you have a good experience? Let me tell you, leaving that business a positive review is one of the most rewarding things you can do for them! Think of it as a little, “thank you,” and “we appreciate you being part of our community.” A little something personal can go a very long way, and don’t feel like you have to leave your full name if you don’t want to.
Best places to leave a review for a local business, restaurant, or coffee shop you love:
#1 Google. Obviously, anything Google will be great for Local exposure and search engines. Only drawback is that there’s no opportunity to be an anonymous reviewer here. (Tied to personal G+ page)
#2 Yelp. Also good for local exposure, especially now that these reviews are also syndicated to Apple Maps, Bing, and others. Can be anonymous if you choose. Yelp goes much further than restaurants these days…50 Amazing Yelp Statistics.
#3 WI BBB. The Better Business Bureau is a dependable source of reference for most people, so your review can be very beneficial here. If you have a dispute that can’t be handled directly with the business, it’s typically a good place to get things settled.
#4 Industry Specific or Local Review Sites: If you found your business on one of these sites, it may be a relevant place to leave a nice review.
Patrons: Please, if you have a gripe about a business, take that straight to the owner and give them a chance to make it right. This is a much better way to handle a discerning situation, and you’re more likely to get it resolved to your benefit. A negative online review could truly hurt a small business for years to come, and why would you want to do that? We’re talking about supporting small business here!
Business Owners: Customer reviews offer some free advertising, extended word of mouth …an avenue to build your positive brand image, and even opportunities for local search engine optimization. As you go through your busy day of activities and responsibilities, it’s important to place a mental note in your mind to “ask for reviews.” Don’t be shy, when a customer is saying wonderful things about your business; ask them if they would like to share!