Latest posts by Rachel Blakely-Gray
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As an entrepreneur, you may know that Small Business Saturday is a big deal in the small business community. And with good reason.
In 2018, participating businesses nationwide raked in a record-high $17.8 billion on the shopping holiday.
Small Business Saturday (SBS) is a national shopping holiday that takes place each year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. This year, it falls on November 30. Sandwiched between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday highlights the importance of shopping small. And, it helps kick start the holiday shopping season.
3 steps to maximize your earnings on Small Business Saturday
If you want to get in on the $17.8 billion cash cow that is Small Business Saturday, you need to put in a little legwork. Here are some tips to maximize your earnings.
- Decide to participate
Millions of customers spend the Saturday after Thanksgiving supporting local small business. But, the benefits don’t stop there. Deciding to participate in Small Business Saturday can have positive implications for your startup even after the day is over.
Ninety-six percent of SBS shoppers said that the day makes them want to Shop Small® all year long.
When it comes to maximizing your potential SBS earnings, you need to make a conscientious decision for your business to participate weeks in advance. Otherwise, you won’t be prepared and your customers likely won’t know that you’re participating.
Ask yourself some questions before deciding to participate, like:
- Will staying open on SBS result in increased customer traffic?
- Are my employees available to work that day?
- Do I have the time to promote my business’s participation well in advance of SBS?
So, is keeping your business open on Small Business Saturday in the cards? If so, you can solidify your decision to participate by preparing your business.
Maximize your startup’s potential to earn big this Small Business Saturday by:
- Alerting your employees (if applicable)
- Stocking up on inventory
- Coming up with promotion and incentive ideas
- Taking advantage of Amex resources
- Working with other local businesses
- Incentivize your customers to shop on November 30
After deciding to participate, come up with some incentives that’ll get your customers in the door. Sure, there are millions of consumers eager to get out and shop for the holidays, but you need to make sure that your local customers target your business on SBS.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday wouldn’t be the huge crazes they are today if it weren’t for the major sales and narrow windows of time. Deals drive sales.
You can replicate the success of these shopping holidays by:
- Offering discounts, coupons, clearances and/or free merch
- Setting a specific timeframe for said deals (i.e., 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.)
- Teaming up with other small businesses (i.e., creating a “shopping passport” throughout your downtown area)
- Selling products customers can only get on Small Business Saturday
According to one study, 56 percent of shoppers said that deals, discounts or sales influence their purchases. Not to mention, offering deals on Small Business Saturday can be a great way to clear out your year-end inventory.
- Promote your involvement
Being part of a nationwide event like Small Business Saturday is a big deal. Once you solidify the incentives you want to offer, it’s time to promote your business’s involvement and deals.
There are a number of marketing strategies you can use to promote Small Business Saturday, including:
- Social media marketing
- Website and email marketing
- Print marketing
American Express offers a number of easy-to-customize resources for participating small businesses, like flyers, social media profile pictures, cover photos, social posts, website badges, signs and the Shop Small® logo.
Social media marketing
There’s a reason why many of Amex’s resources revolve around social media campaigns. When it comes to Small Business Saturday, social media marketing is huge. Make social media marketing work for your business by posting Small Business Saturday-related posts on all of the platforms your business uses.
Share your business’s involvement, like incentives, countdowns to the event, and hours of operation. Don’t just send out one post and hope it’s enough—continually post about the upcoming shopping holiday leading up to the event. You can even change your business’s profile and cover photos to SBS promotional materials.
If you have employees, encourage them to get the word out. Ask your friends and family to participate in your social media promotion endeavors. Work with other businesses to cross-promote your offerings.
And of course, social media marketing is not complete without the use of hashtags. Include #SmallBizSat and #ShopSmall on all of your SBS-related posts.
Website and email marketing
Do you collect contact information from customers and leads? If the answer is yes, you have yet another way to promote Small Business Saturday.
For email marketing, send out messages to your contacts announcing your involvement in the day. List out any special deals or products you’ll be offering that day.
When it comes to your website, you can add website badges, write blog posts about the day, and publish press releases about your company’s participation.
Don’t forget to add a little bit of print to your Small Business Saturday promotional strategy, which is a breeze for brick-and-mortar entrepreneurs. Print marketing (i.e., posters or flyers) can be a great way to notify your customers about the day, especially since they’ll see the posters as they visit your store leading up to the event.
Hang up signs on your storefront and throughout your store. You can also advertise in local papers, your local Chamber of Commerce publication, or in other small businesses willing to cross-promote.
Using the above tips, you’re guaranteed to make Small Business Saturday 2019 a success and maximize your earnings!