Shoppers spend nearly $20 billion every year on Small Business Saturday.1 If you’re not familiar with this particular holiday, it takes place in the U.S. the day after Black Friday in November, and a few days before Cyber Monday.
American Express created the Small Business Sunday campaign in 2010 as a way to promote the products and services of smaller ventures, and encourage people to shop locally in between Black Friday and Cyber Monday.2
Over the last decade, the day’s intentional focus is to divert attention away from customers taking part in big-box store blowout deals. This event has turned into an excellent opportunity for smaller companies to attract new customers and let existing shoppers feel good about helping ‘the little guys’ in their own communities.
If you own a small business, it’s important to make sure you’re able to attract notice so you can have a share of the day’s revenue. You may not have the promotional budget of a national retailer, but there are still creative ways to get the word out. Here are five strategies to get you started.
1. Start planning early
If you want to make the most of Small Business Saturday, it’s a smart idea to start planning in summer, if not earlier. For 2022, the event is November 26, the last Saturday of the month. When coming up with your plans, figure out what resources you have on hand and what goals you want to accomplish in terms of marketing and inventory. Do you need to place orders for new products so you’ll have them in time? Do you need to make more space? Do you need more people to help get everything ready, or reprioritize tasks so they can start focusing on November? Do you need to create and launch a multi-week marketing campaign or online promotion? Smart planning can also include looking at past year’s notes including sales figures and overall costs. Past data can help you predict what customers liked.
2. Raise awareness on social media
You could have excellent items and great deals available, but if people don’t know about them, they won’t know to come and shop with you. Start planning your social posts to offer teases, building up to Small Business Day. This will start to grow anticipation and increase demand, especially if you share what deals and offers are coming up or other reasons to visit. Increase your postings as the day approaches, and consider even ‘going live’ on Friday or Saturday.
3. Offer freebies
Small Business Saturday isn't just about selling things: it’s about building community. Show people that your business is a place where they can get comfortable, browse, and find products that put delight into their lives. Offering items for free/special gifts can be a great way to get them through the door to check out your sales, but also build camaraderie.
It’s easy to set up a buy-one-get-one-free sale, or you may just want to put out snacks and drinks. Keep in mind that freebies don't have to be tangible items either. You may want to offer experiences for visitors such as cooking demos, fashion shows, how-to sessions, or whatever resonates with your target clients.
4. Partner with other small businesses
To be successful as a small business, it helps to create strong connections with other small businesses in your community. Reach out to your neighbors before the event or any kind of business association. If you don't have a small business coalition in your area, such as a chamber of commerce or even a simple networking group, this may be the perfect time to start one.
You can partner with other businesses in all kinds of ways. For instance, multiple businesses can buy advertising space together, or give out coupons for each other to build synergy.
Even displaying products from other local merchants can be a great way to build awareness without significant costs involved. For instance, imagine burning a candle, displaying a piece of art, or offering food samples provided by other local businesses. You enhance your space, while also boosting attention for them. Of course, they’re encouraged to do the same for you in return.
5. Have fun
Fun is infectious. If you're having a good time and enjoying this new-ish retail holiday, your customers will more than likely get into the spirit too. If they feel better, they’re also more likely to want to buy something and remember the positive experience you offered them.
Along with enjoying planning an enjoyable event and offering freebies, you also could expand your inventory selection with a few ‘just for fun’ smaller items that aren’t your usual goods. Or throw in door prizes, live music, or entertainers can add to the excitement and enthusiasm.
1Small Business Saturday, Investopedia, https://www.investopedia.com/small-business-saturday-5085723
2The History of Small Business Saturday, Farm Bureau Financial Services, https://www.fbfs.com/learning-center/history-of-small-business-Saturday
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.
All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however LPL Financial makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy.
This article was prepared by WriterAccess.
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