Gear Up for Small Business Saturday & the Holidays
By Team Bankmybiz.com
It's that time of year again! After finishing the Thanksgiving feasts and braving the Black Friday crowds, many Americans look forward to the annual Small Business Saturday. This year, November 28th marks the day where we all "shop small." Last year, nearly one in four Americans participated in Small Business Saturday and many say that it is a great opportunity to not only find unique gifts, but also form a connection with the local business community.
There are a few things you can do to help ensure your Small Business Saturday is a success:
1. Market your business
Believe it or not, a majority of the small businesses in this country do not have a web presence. Business owners often cite the complexities of starting a website or Facebook page, the fact that they are "too small" for a web presence, or the perceived cost of a website. In reality, no business is too small for a web presence and there any many free or very-cost effective ways to generate buzz online.
If you don't have a site already, create one! It's an easy way to engage with customers on the most-utilized channel. A website, Facebook page, or social media account (Instagram, Pinterest, etc.) is a simple addition to your business card and way that consumers can get to know your business. When starting out, start simple and start small. Make a new set of business card with your web address and spread them throughout your local community.
If you have a web presence, consider doing some marketing around Small Business Saturday. There's no better time to offer special promotions, launch a new ad campaign, or create a loyalty program for your customers. Create a mix of physical marketing like business cards or flyers as well as digital marketing like email blasts or special landing pages highlighting your Small Business Saturday promotions.
2. Support your community
There's no better way to celebrate Small Business Saturday than with your fellow business owners! Many local retail districts and chambers of commerce support Small Business Saturday by hosting events and spreading the word through marketing campaigns.
If there are no official events in your area, talk to other local business owners about joining forces for Small Business Saturday. Their customers could be your customers, and vice versa. Spread the word, empower each other, and encourage your community to "shop local" on November 28.
3. Engage with your loyal customers
Many businesses focus too much on new customer acquisition and lose sight of their existing, satisfied customers. A loyal customer is a great customer. For Small Business Saturday, dig out your old customer records and let them know that you are excited about this celebration of small businesses!
Consider offering a special promotion for your loyal customers. Invite them back for Small Business Saturday. When they're in the store, make them feel welcomed and part of your business and local community. A loyal customer in the door creates a high likelihood of a repeat purchase!
4. Celebrate your employees
Don't forget to thank those who make your business run smoothly every day. Whether you have one employee, ten employees, or 100, always remember that their "word-of-mouth" is often your best (or worst) marketing within the local community! Host a "friends and family" event on Small Business Saturday and encourage them to get excited to share the business with those who are closest to them.
If you are able to, consider using the success of this day to reward your employees for their hard work throughout the year. Can you offer a discretionary bonus? A paid day off? A special discount for your employees? A happier employee is a more productive employee, and their excitement about your company can spread virally throughout the community.
What better way to celebrate Small Business Saturday than by hosting an event at your business? Depending on your location and type of business, decide whether you can host the local community onsite. The possibilities are endless - a wine tasting? a class or informational session? an onsite coffee bar in partnership with a local coffee shop? Whatever you decide, it's all about getting potential customers, current customers, and members of your community inside your business for a good time. A special event brings customers in the door, which increases the likelihood of onsite purchases.
Small Business Saturday is a great way to not only promote your business, but also to support the local business community. While there are many things you can do to make your business shine on this day, don't forget to support your fellow business owners and shop local yourself! The best way to create a strong business community is not just strengthening your own business but also by empowering your peers. When one business thrives, the entire community becomes stronger!
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