Are You Ready for Small Business Saturday?
Happy Small Business Saturday, a day for entrepreneurs! As the Voice of Small Business™, we here at FreedomVoice think small businesses and entrepreneurs should be celebrated and promoted every day. However, we still think Small Business Saturday is a really great chance for small businesses to gain much needed exposure within their communities.
According to American Express, last year an estimated $14.3 billion was spent at small independent businesses on the big day. This year, Small Business Saturday is on November 28. So is your business ready to share a portion of the small business pie this year?
We have some tips that will not only help your business score big on Small Business Saturday, but also assist your business throughout the upcoming year.
Get your website “storefront” ready:
A lot of holiday shoppers have now turned to the internet to make their big buys. So if you want to close some big sales, make sure all of your inventory has been updated on your website, and that any Small Business Saturday and/or holiday promotions you have going on are easy to find. You can also help busy shoppers by making sure your website is fast and easy to navigate by phone.
Use available resources:
American Express (who first started Small Business Saturday) provides many free, personalize-able resources at www.shopsmall.com, including the Shop Small logo for your website, event guides, save-the-date cards, and signs for your store. You can also get your business showcased on the ShopSmall.com homepage for free!
Many cities now offer local resources as well to help promote small businesses within their community. Contact your local Chamber of Commerce to see how they might assist you in spreading the word about your business.
Show your customers why you’re different:
Your target customers will see many, many advertising campaigns, sales, etc. leading up to Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday. You can avoid getting lost in the noise by explaining why you’re the best choice. Connect with your customers via your website, social media, and in traditional marketing with unique selling points – explain what sets you apart from the rest. Instead of advertising 25% off a certain toy, let your customers know you will have free hot cocoa for shoppers, or personal shoppers on hand to help with those difficult to buy for people on every shopper’s list. It’s differentiators like that which will really steer them towards your business over a big box store offering a slightly lower discount.
Keep your customers up-to-date:
Most shoppers now do a lot of their research online and on social media before (or while) shopping. You can post pictures of products you’re selling, updates on products availability, and fun behind-the-scene photos to pique your customers’ interest. American Express is asking that small businesses use the hashtags #SmallBizSat or #ShopSmall on Twitter and Instagram to highlight special offers or discounts, and if those hashtags trend, you’re bound to catch many shoppers’ attention.
Additionally, if you have an email list for your customers, be sure to send them a friendly reminder of all the special deals they can receive when they shop at your store on Small Business Saturday.
Run contests and/or giveaways:
Even if you have some really great deals – a lot of other stores do too! Give your customers an extra incentive to come into your store on Small Business Saturday by offering a special giveaway, samples, or a contest. A great way to get more dedicated social media followers is to feature your contest in-store, and then offer extra entry opportunities by sharing via social media. You will gain new followers and also get extra advertising for your business!
If all else fails, remember to have fun with your employees and customers! Because when owners and employees are personable, helpful, and friendly with their customers, they build a reputation that will keep customers coming back again and again, long after Small Business Saturday.