If it feels like Small Business Saturday snuck up on you and smacked you in the face with a “Yes, we’re OPEN!” sign, don’t worry. Here are some tips to help you make the most of this opportunity.
Small Business Saturday lands on the weekend after Thanksgiving. This year, that means November 28th.
Not only are many of these small businesses our clients, but we feel especially thankful for all the small businesses across the nation because they are the heart of the American Dream, and the pulse of our economy.
If you spend $100 at a local business, roughly $68 stays in your local economy. If you spend the same at a large business, only $43 stays in the local economy.
Small Business Saturday 2015 is not only a great day to say thanks to small businesses, it’s a great opportunity for small businesses to win some new customers. Here are a few ways to get your business ready and make sure you don’t miss out on the fun.
Stand out of the Crowd
Small Business Saturday has grown into a nationally known campaign. It may be growing in popularity, but how do you get people into YOUR business?
Consider making a mock “Black Friday”. Here are a few reasons people are ditching the Black Friday sales:
- Stores are overcrowded.
- The deals are never as good as you expect.
- Most importantly, it pulls people away from their friends and family on a special holiday and it takes away from the true meaning of Thanksgiving.
So, offer discounts and promotions on this special day instead of hosting a Black Friday sale.
Americans spent an estimated $14.3 billion at small independent businesses on this day last year.
Go above and beyond expectations. Do you own a bookstore? Get a local author in for a book signing. Online retail? Advertize extra product samples in every Small Business Saturday purchase and offer a minimum purchase bonus item.
New customers will be hitting multiple shops throughout the day so it’s important to make sure they will remember you. Host a raffle or contest! This is a great way to bulk up email subscriptions to a newsletter. Offer a coupon or raffle ticket for signing up for your newsletter.
Quickly send out a thank you email for subscribing and provide your website social media information. It’s also great to throw a coupon into that first ‘Welcome’ email.
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Other than contests and coupons, what is the best way to ensure people remember your store? Give them a stellar shopping experience! Provide refreshments and fun prizes. In this case, a little investment can go a long way.
Promote Promote Promote
Social media is your friend, especially on a day like this. “Like” the Small Business Saturday Facebook page and follow @ShopSmall on Twitter. Change your cover photo and profile pictures to promote the event. You can use images already made for the event, or create your own using Canva.com.
Make regular posts about the discounts and giveaways you’ll be hosting and make sure you use hashtags like:
#SmallBusinessSaturday #ShopSmall and #SmallBizSat
Make sure all of your online business information is up-to-date and accurate. Your address, hours, website, phone number, social media handles, etc. You also need to ensure your site is mobile friendly. Most shoppers will be on their phones looking for their next stop.
On Small Business Saturday 2014, over 126,000 tweets were sent in support of small business. A 10% increase from last year, and this year will probably see another bump.
Promotion through social media takes a small effort but can be effective for your business. Consider offering a discount to customers who check-in to your business on Facebook and Yelp. Or, for giving your business a rating or review on those sites.
Share the Love
You gotta love in order to be loved. Support, share, and retweet promotions for other small businesses, especially the one’s in your area. Remember, this day is all about shopping local and supporting ALL small businesses. Show your community support and you’ll probably get the same treatment in return.
See if you can get the businesses around yours to band together and create an event out of the day. Agree to all participate in deals, decorations, treats, and cross promotion.
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Thanksgiving is right around the corner. If you’re feeling pressed for time, take one of these tips and focus purely on that. Maybe your neighborhood businesses are already planning Saturday festivities? You might be able to jump in on those activities just by hanging a few balloons.
In our attempt at giving thanks to the small businesses that make the American Dream possible, we hope these tips have helped you make the most of Small Business Saturday. Let us know how the day turned out for you and your business.