Since 2010, small businesses have been officially involved in the post-Thanksgiving holiday shopping frenzy with Small Business Saturday. As a local, small business this day may be daunting and intimidating. This year, the annual day to promote local businesses falls on November 24th – after Black Friday and before Cyber Monday. Whether it is your first Small Business Saturday or your eighth, here are 7 helpful tips to best prepare your business.
- Be prepared with signage. American Express offers free downloadable marketing materials in English and Spanish. Social media posts, email templates, Small Business Saturday logos and posters are all available to help you promote the day and your business. Businesses also have the opportunity to customize these materials. To access them, head to the American Express Shop Small Studio.
- Communicate with existing customers. While your loyal customers visit your store throughout November, hand out Small Business Saturday flyers with receipts or pre-stuff your bags with inserts promoting the event. Remind your existing customers that you will be participating this year and would appreciate their continued support.
- Communicate with other small businesses near you. If you are located in a local shopping center or have relationships with other local businesses, team up to spread the word about Small Business Saturday. Use these relationships to promote each other’s stores on that Saturday. In doing so, you will gain awareness and potential customers while also promoting neighboring businesses.
- Create an incentive. Large brands lure consumers in by advertising deals; your business should do the same. Offer to buy one, get one half off deals, 10-15% off certain items, or hand out coupons that can be redeemed at a later date to entice customers to walk in your door. Make these deals known by displaying signage in your windows, on social media and your website.
- Make sure your staff is ready to impress. Customer service is equally important as the purchase is for consumers, so make sure your staff is trained and ready to take on the day. Actions that go the extra mile are additions like offering free gift wrapping or assisting customers carry their purchases to their car.
- Update your website. If you sell products online, make sure your inventory is up to date and your current deals are reflected on your website. Online shopping satisfaction is still important on Small Business Saturday.
- Avoid “what’s your WiFi?” If you own a business where your customers intend to spend a lot of time, like a bookstore or café, make sure your WiFi network and password are prominently displayed. This way, you will be able to spend more time on meaningful interactions with customers than simply reciting your WiFi name and password. Do this by printing out multiple flyers and strategically posting them around your store. If you’re having trouble with your WiFi, click here first.
Guest blogger: Sydney Kelly