Small Business

With Small Business Saturday approaching on November 28th, how have you prepared for it?
Small Business Saturday encourages people to shop small and local. Small Business Saturday is not just about the day or the holidays; it’s about spreading the word about your business and building exposure throughout the year.  By not just focusing on a single day of the year, your business can get even more out of Small Business Saturday by making it part of your year-round marketing plan.

1. Use Small Business Saturday to launch sales promotions and offers.

Create a promotion with special one-day discounts and offers that will increase foot traffic into your store location on that day. However, don’t stop there!  This is also the perfect opportunity to launch a Customer Loyalty Program. One of the ultimate goals of a small business is to build loyal customers who will promote your products. If you haven’t already started a loyalty program, Small Business Saturday is a great day to get started.

2.  Do something special on Small Business Saturday.

Do something different to draw attention to your local small business and you can create even more excitement.  Make Small Business Saturday feel like a special event at your business. Here are some ideas: Display balloons outside your store to draw more attention. Serve free coffee in the morning or create a contest for a drawing that includes prizes or offers from your store and neighboring businesses.

3.  Partner up with other businesses and cross-promote.

The right partnership can make your small business feel even bigger on Small Business Saturday. Build on momentum from other small businesses by combining your marketing and promotions with a like-minded store. Actively participating in Small Business Saturday with promotions from other businesses will increase visibility and attract attention for all local businesses involved. Offering cross-promotions will benefit and help both your fellow businesses and customers make the most of Small Business Saturday.

4.  Support your community and give back.

One of the biggest attractions and advantages of a small business is your community. Typically you live, breath and work in the community in which your store is located.  Make an effort to be active in the local chamber, nonprofits and community activities. The more people know your name, the more they’ll remember you the next time they’re shopping for what you sell. As a small business, Small Business Saturday is also the perfect time for giving back to the community. Consider giving a portion of all your sales during the day to a charity of your choice and then display this for your customer’s knowledge. You might even consider partnering with the charity if it works. Lastly, don’t forget to emphasize the fact that supporting your business and other local businesses is an investment in your community.

5.  Provide added value to differentiate your business.

You may not be able to compete with big retailers on price, you can still offer a tremendous amount of added value in the form of personalized service, expertise, and extras. Remember it is the holiday season.  Consider offering extras like FREE gift-wrapping (everybody loves free!), home delivery and providing experts in the store to advise customers. That added touch will go a long way.

6.  Build your customer base and start a relationship.

The Small Business Saturday promotional event is a great opportunity to build and grow your own customer database for long-term marketing throughout the year. Be sure to capture contacts of new customers. You can use this information for email marketing, to provide customized shopping recommendations, for social media or direct mail communications to continue to engage with local consumers to promote specials after the event. This personal relationship can go a long way to gaining their loyal business.

7.     Use social media.

Social media is a great way to promote your business’s involvement in Small Business Saturday. Getting the word out about your Small Business Saturday promotions through Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and your blog are vital for success. Utilize existing hashtags that are already circulating (ie: #shopsmall, #shopsmallbusiness, #smallbusinesssaturday. etc.), and get involved in the conversation online. Ask your loyal existing customers to share your Small Business Saturday promotions with their friends or colleagues to help spread the word. Encourage sharing on social media sites like Facebook or Twitter, along with good old-fashioned offline word of mouth!

8.    Don’t forget to say thank you.

Lastly, don’t discount the importance of writing thank you notes to everyone who made your Small Business Saturday special. A handwritten note will stay with your customers far longer than it takes to write it, and it’s one easy way to separate yourself from your larger competitors. In addition, this is another way you can include offers or additional discounts for repeat business that will help you leverage your Small Business Saturday marketing efforts throughout the year.

Small Business Saturday is an event. It’s easy to promote because it has a clear date and purpose. But don’t just focus on this day alone. Making it part of your year-round marketing plan you can capitalize on your efforts and create long-term loyal customers for your business.

If you need some help getting started, it’s not too late. Contact us and we can help you put together the pieces of a strong marketing campaign that will help you make the most of your resources.