Make sure your small business doesn’t miss out on local sale.
Many people make it a point to shop small businesses, including, of course, Small Business Saturday, which is November 30 this year.
Small Business Saturday (SBS) is turning three this year. It was started in 2010 by a not-so-small business: American Express.Their intent was to “honor” small businesses on the Saturday between Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
The following year, the US Senate made it official and “Resolved, That the Senate–
(1) designates November 26, 2011, as “Small Business Saturday”; and
(2) supports efforts–
(A) to encourage consumers to shop locally; and
(B) to increase awareness of the value of locally owned small businesses and the impact of locally owned small businesses on the economy of the United States.”
Shopping small, as it’s called, appeals to American consumers. During times of economic hardship, consumers tend to shop local as a sign that they are actively helping their community.
Executed properly, SBS can be a real game changer for a struggling business.
If a small business is going to reap the maximum rewards possible on this single-day event, however, it must prepare in advance.
It’s not enough to simply hope customers will visit your business on this day. A plan must be carefully designed and enthusiastically executed.
The US Small Business Administration’s website provides links dedicated to helping you make your business stand out on Small Business Saturday.
As the company that designed and implemented this project on a national scale, American Express provides these tremendously helpful tools so that the event is hugely successful at individual establishments like yours.
Help attract customers to your business with specific marketing tools offered as free downloads:
1. Printable and customizable signage
2. Sample social media posts and emails
3. Online banners and Shop Small logos
DJ Crater Clothing Boutique in Chatham, NJ, used the some of these marketing tools in 2011. The owner, Doris Crater, offers the following recap of her efforts that yielded an extra $10,000 increase in sales from the same Saturday the prior year:
1. E-mail Campaign: For the three weeks preceding SBS, she sent emails to customers encouraging them and eventually reminding them to Shop Small.
2. In-Store: Created and posted well in advance flyers created from the SBS tools.
3. Opened Early: To accommodate shoppers, the shop opened at 7 AM.
4. FREE Incentive: Homemade muffins and coffee were given to the early birds.
5. Sale: In addition to other sale items, an additional 20% was offered on certain items for a period of time.
Doris Crater advises: “Be creative. Promote yourself in advance. Reap the rewards.”
You have plenty of time to plan for your Small Business Saturday plan of action. Get everyone involved by letting staff members help you create your plan.
But in the long-term, you should consider developing a presence on the web. Enlist the help of an experienced web marketing and SEO firm to help you take advantage of the opportunities of being online.