8 Tips for Small Business Saturday
Small Business Saturday falls on November 25 this year. It’s an international program started by American Express that encourages shopping at small businesses and has been growing since 2010.
Supporting small businesses is essential to economic growth in your community. It is estimated that almost 68 cents of every dollar spent at local small businesses stays in the local community.
Preparing your company, employees and your website for Small Business Saturday should be top of mind in the coming weeks. You should already be thinking about preparing content to improve your site’s traffic leading up to the day.
In this article, we’ll take a look at some different tips for your small business to help you increase your exposure, leads, and sales.
What is Small Business Saturday?
As alluded to above, Small Business Saturday (SBS) is an initiative created by Amex to help encourage consumers to shop small and help out local businesses. The hashtag #ShopSmall has been growing since the inception of SBS in 2010.
Over the years, SBS has become a part of the American consumer culture. In 2022, 72% of American adults polled said they were aware of the event, two-thirds of those surveyed plan to shop small businesses throughout the holiday seasons and Small Business Saturday drove $17.9 billion in revenue to American businesses.
To help you successfully participate in Small Business Saturday this year, here are our eight tips.
Digitize your business
The pandemic served as a catalyst for some businesses and a wake-up call for others. It highlighted the importance of building an online presence and having new channels for your customers to access your products or services. From the ability to order curbside pickup, new delivery options, bookable appointments, or an online shop, we’ve seen small businesses adapt to our online world.
Ensuring you have an up-to-date and modern presence that allows your customers to buy online is vital to future business, even if you’re currently running a physical brick-and-mortar store.
One of the best strategies to allow customers to access products or services digitally and securely is to host your eCommerce store in the cloud. Cloud storage providers can offer several significant advantages when it comes to eCommerce, including greater security with PCI-DSS certified hosting, greater scalability, and faster upload times.
Focus on Your USP (Unique Selling Proposition)
It can be tough competing with big brands and stores, but your differences can be your strengths. For example, focus on the fact that you are small, family-owned or that you have local products.
Let your customers know why you are special and what makes your small business unique. One example is telling your brand’s story in your marketing efforts. You’ll be surprised how effective this can be. Understanding your selling point and marketing is critical to succeeding as a small business. Make sure you scream it from the metaphorical rooftops.
Having a consistent brand presence can work wonders for your business. Using the right social media tools, such as Hootsuite or Buffer, you can integrate with each of the major social media platforms and automate your posts to help maximize your social ROI and increase sales.
Broadcasting your involvement in SBS and creating promotions can increase sales and is a great social media strategy for this sale day. In addition, using the hashtag #ShopSmall on your social channels in the coming weeks will increase awareness and help potential customers find you easily.
Consider Gift Cards
One thing that increases exponentially from consumers around the holiday season is the purchase of gift cards/certificates. With this in mind, there’s a huge opportunity for your business to develop gift cards to entice future purchases.
One of the major benefits of gift cards is they take the pressure off customers so they don’t have to pick an item right away. Offering an additional promotion on buying gift cards can also help increase your exposure and sales. An example could be when someone buys a gift card you can give them $5 additional gift credit for free. This can create a buzz around the promotion and spark more shopper’s interest.
Supporting our communities is always essential. Finding ways to partner with other small businesses in your area can be a great way to improve your exposure and allow you to support other local owners.
You could also partner with a local charity. Working with these charities can create positive ripple effects and aid your local community in many ways.
Get Ideas From Your Team
The beauty of smaller teams is that they are normally pretty tight-knit. Have a couple of meetings with your staff to get ideas and strategize how you are going to approach Small Business Saturday.
Making SBS a win for your team and a part of an overall group effort will help improve your chemistry and morale. A further incentive could be a staff bonus or a prize for whoever has the best idea.
Creating awareness for Small Business Saturday can be done in a range of different ways, whether it’s via word of mouth, flyers, social media posts, or a mailshot.
Interestingly, in recent years, we have seen an increase in the successful use of email in small-business awareness campaigns. With almost 350 billion emails sent every day and a ton of tools to use them effectively, it shouldn’t be hard to see why email marketing should have a place in your strategy. If anything, email marketing can be more effective than social media.
Regardless of your chosen method, ensuring your customers know you are part of Small Business Saturday is critical to improving your exposure and sales.
Extend Your Business Hours
Having more availability on the busier days of the year is nothing new, but small businesses can overlook Small Business Saturday’s importance to their detriment.
Regardless of the industry you’re in, having extended hours or staff availability on SBS can be profitable for your business. Even if you’re an online-focused business, you can get your support staff to work longer shifts to pre-empt the influx of sales or customer service needed.
Remember, for many small businesses, SBS is the busiest day of the year.
Small Business Saturday can have a positive impact on small business success. Using these eight tips, you can help your business prepare for Small Business Saturday 2023, a great holiday season and a prosperous 2024 and beyond.
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Funded, in part, through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, and/or recommendations expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.