Small Business Saturday is just around the corner — Saturday, November 28, 2015. While many business owners rely on Small Business Saturday to “sell itself,” past events have shown that actively involving your business in the shopping holiday can significantly boost sales through the holidays. The national initiative supported by the US Small Business Administration aims to turn consumers’ focus to shopping at locally owned businesses following the year’s largest retail shopping holiday, Black Friday — ultimately boosting the local economy and helping locally owned businesses to thrive.
Shopping at small businesses does more than simply help local owners to keep their shops running. Consumers have become increasingly more aware of the benefits small businesses provide to their communities. And small business owners are reaping the rewards of that awareness by participating in and promoting their business during Small Business Saturday.
- 89% of consumers believe that small businesses contribute positively to their local communities (American Express OPEN Small Business Saturday Consumer Pulse, July 2011).
- Independent retails in communities with a “buy local” initiative reported revenue growth of 5.6% on average compared to 2.1% for those elsewhere (Institute for Local Self-Reliance, January 2011).
- 46% of owners that are aware of Small Business Saturday plan to participate in the shopping holiday (Small Business Saturday Insights Survey, October 2012).
Many of the small businesses that participate in the annual event regularly use social media to attract new customers. Small Business Saturday provides an exceptional opportunity to engage those online audiences with highly relevant content — ultimately driving them to act, engage, buy and further grow your business. Putting a little extra effort into your marketing strategies before the shopping holiday arrives, can help to ensure you see a strong turn out and stronger numbers when Small Business Saturday arrives. Try these tips for making the most out of Small Business Saturday.
1. Plan early and build buzz.
Get started promoting your business well before Small Business Saturday arrives. If customers are buzzing about your business, new customers are more likely to find you and will plan to visit you on the day of your event. American Express offers some fabulous resources (whether you accept their cards or not!) to help get you started. Simply sign up on their website to receive a kit of signs, event guides, social media tools and more.
2. Make sure customers can find you.
One of the best ways to ensure that customers know you’re open for business on Small Business Saturday is to join a local directory or online list. The problem — these can be very hard to find. This Small Business Saturday, MARKETMOX is filling the gap by creating our own directory of must-shop small businesses to help consumers find you. Signing up is simple — just complete the form on our Small Business Saturday page!
3. Volunteer to help with an article.
Local publications and blogs are a great place to turn for inexpensive exposure especially when it comes to major events. Contact them and offer to use your shop for photos, an interview or even a “State of Small Business Saturday” report on the day of your event. Most will be happy to have an easy opportunity to build a story and you’ll receive some excellent shout outs to wide, captive audiences. Get started easily by signing up for our Small Business Saturday directory — some lucky local shops will be spotlighted on our favorite blogs in the coming weeks!
4. Leverage connections to your audience.
Take advantage of the online connections you’ve already made with your audience. Send an email with details about the day. Tweet, post and share regularly to promote your deals and announce your participation. Mail a coupon or flyer to previous customers. Participation in such a largely recognized event offers a great opportunity to pull out all the stops and get your customers excited about being involved too!
5. Think ahead and capture the day.
Think ahead to next year as you plan and participate in Small Business Saturday this year. Save posters and resources so that you won’t have to put time and money into creating them again. Take photos or hire a photographer to capture your event and store while it’s bustling. Being able to show the action and excitement of your shop will give you some great tools for promoting future events! Or, as customers check out, consider asking for their email address so they can be contacted about upcoming announcements and sales.
The possibilities are endless — but with a little planning, you can use a day like Small Business Saturday as a springboard for boosting your business year round. Overwhelmed? Take a deep breath and send us an email. MARKETMOX specializes in making the most of your marketing strategies just like this. Give us a shout to explore our holistic approach to marketing for small businesses and entrepreneurs. This Small Business Saturday, we’re all taking a huge step in an awesome direction — we’d love to have you on board for the ride.
This post originally appeared on MARTKETMOX.Business & Finance Articles on Business 2 Community