It’s not all the time small businesses get a day that’s centered around them. But, that is exactly what Small Business Saturday® is. The government-recognized day began in 2010 and has been a hit since. As a small business owner, you need to know how to get noticed on Small Business Saturday 2017.
One SCORE survey found that 82% of consumers use local businesses. Couple that with the excitement of a major shopping event, and your business is in for one memorable day.
Small Business Saturday 2017
Each year, Small Business Saturday (SBS) takes place the Saturday after Thanksgiving. The day is sandwiched between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It gives shoppers a chance to jump into holiday shopping at their local businesses.
Small Business Saturday 2017 takes place on November 25. Many small businesses can benefit from participating in the festivities. You might notice spikes in customer traffic and sales. And, your business gains visibility and brand awareness by partaking in the national shopping day.
Customers nationwide spent $15.4 billion at the businesses that were open on Small Business Saturday 2016. You stand to make a profit by participating in SBS 2017.
Hopefully, you will be one of the businesses that takes advantage of the benefits of Small Business Saturday. But, deciding to participate in Small Business Saturday is just one step in the process. You also need to know how to get customers in the door.
Getting your business out there
Small Business Saturday is all about shining the spotlight on small businesses. To be successful, you need to do your part. Let customers know you are participating and give them a reason to shop at your store.
Make sure you tell customers about SBS 2017 ahead of time. Don’t wait until the morning of November 25 to start telling people that your business is participating in Small Business Saturday. And, if you aren’t normally open on Saturdays or if you decide to extend your hours, make sure customers know.
First, you must decide what kind of promotions and incentives you want to offer customers. You need something that will set Small Business Saturday apart from every other day. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Buy one get one (free or half off)
- Discounts (e.g., 25% off)
- Bundles (e.g., get a free X when you buy Y)
- Extra loyalty rewards (e.g., double points when you shop on SBS)
- Free products (e.g., free X for stopping in)
- Complimentary food or beverages (e.g., free hot chocolate)
Once you have determined the promotion(s) you want to offer in honor of Small Business Saturday 2017, you need to start advertising.
2. Email marketing
Telling customers who come into your store to visit you on SBS is important, but you should also send reminders through email marketing.
If you don’t already, collect email addresses at the point of sale, on social media, or by offering something of value. Reach out to customers on your email list to let them know about the upcoming event.
Don’t bombard your customers. They don’t want to open the same email every day from you that tells them to shop at your business on SBS. Set a schedule to remind them, like once every few weeks.
When you reach out to customers about Small Business Saturday, include terms like Shop Small® and the Shop Small Movement®. These are nationally recognized phrases associated with SBS.
3. Social media
One source found that 81% of people have some type of social media profile. Not having at least one social media presence prevents you from easily reaching out to potential customers.
Because using social media is free, you have easy access to telling customers about your business. Begin engaging customers on social media before and during Small Business Saturday.
Create attractive visuals or blog posts, upload photos, and share promotions on your social media profiles. Grab current and potential customers’ attention so that they are interested in going to your business.
Don’t forget to use hashtags in your social media posts. Terms like #ShopSmall and #SmallBizSat are used by businesses nationwide.
4. Optimize your business website
Like your social media platforms, your business website should display information about Small Business Saturday. Advertise the promotions you plan to offer, extended hours, and more.
If customers have any questions or are curious about what your business is offering on SBS, they should be able to look on your website. Customers should also be able to use your website to find out how to get to your business. Include your address and phone number.
5. Partner with local businesses and give back
Another way to make sure you get noticed is to join forces with other small businesses in your locality. You can partner up to provide promotions and work together on advertisements.
Be sure to get involved with local organizations. Attend events within your community that build awareness and generate attention. And, you can give back to your community with donations or volunteer help.
For example, you could donate 10% of your profits on Small Business Saturday to a local cause. If customers know where their money is going, they might be more apt to spend.
6. Use Shop Small materials
Small Business Saturday and the Shop Small movement is a nationwide event. Piggyback on the national advertising by taking advantage of SBS marketing materials.
If you visit American Express’s Small Business Saturday website, you will find materials like social network cover photos, Shop Small logos to put on your website, and posters to print and hang up on your storefront.
Make sure to use materials, like the Shop Small logo, to let everyone know that you are participating in the official shopping day.
7. Highlight your uniqueness
How do you compete with the huge deals corporations offer on Black Friday and Cyber Monday? You don’t. Don’t try to slash your prices to the point where you lose money. Instead, focus on what makes you unique.
The SCORE survey found that 77% of consumers think national chains can offer more competitive prices. But, 72% of consumers want to spend more at small businesses due to things like quality service and reliability.
Owning a small business means honing in on the things that separate you from the competition. Draw attention to the originality of your business. Talk to customers about your business’s history. Connect your brand’s story to your customers.
Provide a memorable and personalized experience to customers on Small Business Saturday (and every day). Answer questions customers have. Explain where you get your products from. If there is a problem, you can solve it much faster than a busy corporation.
On Small Business Saturday, remember that you are not a national chain. Show off your company’s originality and get involved in the nationwide event made for small businesses.