Nestled in between the consumer crush of Black Friday and the digital madness of Cyber Monday, lies the hidden gem of Small Business Saturday. Started in 2010, the idea behind this grassroots campaign is to shift focus during the Christmas rush away from big box stores and online shopping. Instead, this day aims to celebrate local businesses in our communities, and keep our dollars closer to home.
For small businesses, this is an excellent way to kick off your holiday season and end your year on a high note. We’ve got some tips and tricks to help you make the most of your Small Business Saturday.
1. Offer a Deal
The best way to draw people to small businesses is to show them you can offer them something at a better value than the big guys. Run promotional on special items, or run a store-wide sale. Do you have an online shop? Consider cutting shipping costs for orders purchased on that day to appeal to a broader market.
2. Sidewalk Sale
This is a great way to score customers who don’t know you’re around or wouldn’t naturally come into your shop. Set up a table with a small selection of what you have to offer on the sidewalk outside your store, and have an employee outside to chat and engage with people. Even if customers aren’t interested in the items available outside, it’s a great opportunity to direct them inside to look at the rest of your products.
3. Get Social (Not Just Online)
Promoting yourself on social media during Small Business Saturday is definitely important. However, don’t forget to be social in person as well! Make sure you and your team are in your store and ready to engage with people. Be friendly and inviting, and talk to your customers outside of the regular sales pitch. You might even consider having some ice breaker thumb balls lying around, to start off conversations with new customers.
4. Launch Something New
Take this opportunity to launch a new product! Not only will you be able to capitalize on all of the small business buzz to help your launch succeed, but you’ll have a new talking point to engage with your customers. From the customer’s point of view, rolling out a new item on Small Business Saturday makes it feel a little more special.
5. Plan an In-Store Event
Running an event in your store is another great way to get people to come and engage with what you have to offer. Having child-friendly activities for families to do together is a great way to set yourself apart from other businesses. Enhance your sense of community by inviting your guests to celebrate your city by helping decorate a mural!
6. Celebrate Your Regulars
Take this opportunity to say thank you to the people who keep your business going all year round. Consider offering a promo code to anyone who comes in more than once in the week leading up to Small Business Saturday. Not only will it encourage people to come in on that particular day, it will make them feel appreciated for the rest of the time they give you.
7. Sell Less, Share More
This applies to social media in addition to in-store conversation. Rather than highlighting your products, share the experiences your customers are having. Allow people to try products in the store, let them play around a little. Post pictures of your in-store events to social media, and allow other people to see your products in action.
8. Partner Up!
Small Business Saturday is also a great opportunity for the little guys to band together! If you run a small boutique, consider asking a local coffee shop if they want to partner up. You sell some items in their store, they sell refreshments in yours! Find like-minded businesses in different markets and see what you can come up with together. Costumers looking to support their local communities will love this interconnectedness.