Young Entrepreneur Council members discuss how small businesses can support each other and help each other grow.

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As a business owner, it’s important to know who your competitors are so you can keep up with the market. However, it’s just as beneficial to show your support for other small businesses, regardless of their industry. This is especially true in today’s economic climate, when many entrepreneurs are struggling to stay afloat.

We asked members of Young Entrepreneur Council why it’s important for small business owners to support one another and how to do it. Here are 10 practical ways they recommend lifting up your fellow entrepreneurs.

1. Let Them Know They’re Not Alone

I mentor several other entrepreneurs. Sure, the knowledge I’ve accumulated after 20 years as an entrepreneurial CEO is occasionally useful, but the real value I think I offer is the reassurance of an experienced voice saying, “Yes, it’s OK that you feel like you’re in over your head and out of control. You aren’t alone. It’s supposed to feel that way.” – Gabriel

2. Always Start Small When Purchasing New Products Or Services

Supporting small businesses is so important to the economy. It’s hard to imagine life without small businesses even when so many larger corporations seem to be taking over. I especially love supporting local small businesses to help strengthen my community. One way small businesses can support each other is to always start small before seeking out products or services elsewhere. – Diego OrjuelaCables & Sensors

3. Hire Small Businesses As Your Vendors

I personally love supporting small businesses. The Small Business Administration says there are around 30 million small businesses. I feel that as long as you are careful in your selection you can get great consultants and specialists who are able to help you grow your business without having the same overhead of bringing a team in-house. Great examples of where they could help would be with product design, SEO/web, legal and, of course, accounting. – Alastair SandersonLFA Machines DFW LLC

4. Collaborate With Each Other On Local Initiatives

It’s paramount to support other small businesses, especially at the local level. All of my companies collaborate often with other local Las Vegas businesses. Whether it’s hosting as a drop-off point for charity clothing or canned good drives or sharing booth space at the Nellis Air Force Base Fall Harvest Festival, we love to collaborate and connect with other small businesses to help the community. – Lisa Song SuttonSin City Cupcakes

5. Create And Join Entrepreneur Groups

We are in the business of helping our partners grow, and that means we engage with them at the community level. Create community groups on social media and other platforms where you can exchange experiences and ideas. You’ll be surprised at what you can learn and how much it helps others grow! – Solomon ThimothyOneIMS

6. Boost Small Businesses On Social Media

I support other small businesses by not only purchasing their products, but also by showing them off as well. Whenever I find a small business product or service that I love, I rave about it on social media and tag the company’s account. It’s important, though, that you don’t come off too pushy or else your followers might confuse your post for a paid ad. Supporting small business is sometimes a delicate art. – Tyler Gallagher, Regal Assets

7. Mentor Up-And-Coming Businesses In Your Field

We have an accelerator program where we help other awesome plugin developers take their products to the next level. I think that other SME owners can offer similar mentoring support in their own fields. They can approach a trade association and offer to mentor new business owners or create their own accelerator program. In this way, they’ll leverage their expertise to help others. – Syed BalkhiWPBeginner

8. Refer New Customers To Small Businesses You Know And Trust

Small businesses could be small in the scale of their operations, team size and revenue, but not in connections and networks. Owners should start referring more customers to other small businesses, either by a direct handshake, email introduction, phone call, affiliate marketing or outreach. This can really help them to augment their revenue and grow their business. – Vikas AgrawalInfobrandz

9. Offer Discounted Services To Local Businesses

We’ve been offering discounted digital marketing services to local businesses in order to help them cope with the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting fallout. Offer free services for 90 days, deliver results and then ask them to become clients at a discounted rate. You’ll win in the long run. – Amine RahalIronMonk Solutions

10. Pass Around Each Other’s Business Cards

It’s crucial for small businesses to support each other. They have to compete with the big guys who get most of the attention, so it helps to have supporters who have your back in that way. Small business owners can promote other small businesses using business cards. If you have a brick-and-mortar store that’s open right now, you can leave other business’ business cards by the front door. – Stephanie WellsFormidable Forms

Credit to Forbes.