Black Friday may be the day big-box retailers make the big bucks, but Small Business Saturday is when small and local shops get a chance to shine. And why shouldn’t they? After all, there are 53 million small businesses and independent workers in the United States, making this sector an economic force to be reckoned with.
Small Business Saturday was first introduced by American Express back in 2010, but since then, it’s taken on a life of its own, thanks to wide social media attention. You may think you have to be a retailer to take advantage of the holiday, but that’s not the case. Let’s take a look at how you can make this upcoming Small Business Saturday a profitable day for your business on November 29, 2014.
Tips for Winning Small Business Saturday
Before we get into the ways you can draw potential shoppers and clients to your door, keep in mind that sales may not be the ultimate endgame of this holiday. In fact, if you don’t own a retail business, perhaps the mark of a successful Small Business Saturday is networking with others in your community.
Having said that, here are some ways you can capitalize on the occasion and get the word out about your business.
- Post signs and logos on your website or in your store window. American Express’s Small Business Saturday website offers customizable materials you can print for free or post on your website and social pages. If you own a brick-and-mortar storefront, hang these on your shop doors and post them on local community bulletin boards.
- Tell your story. People like doing business with other people, so use the holiday to share your story and how your business came to be. This personal touch humanizes your business and makes people feel connected to it. You could write a blog post about why you started your business and how you got it off the ground. Be sure to share your story on your social media channels and to…
- Step up your hashtag game. Let your followers on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram know about Small Business Saturday and use the hashtag #smallbusinesssaturday or #smallbizsaturday to join the social media conversation. (Related reading: our social media marketing blog series.) For instance, post a picture of something you’re offering at a special Small Biz Saturday price and put those hashtags to work! Be sure to ask your followers to share your post, too. And speaking of special deals…
- Offer freebies, discounts, or special products. This is where businesses of all walks can shine. If you own a retail business, use November 29 as a day to have a big blowout sale that customers can’t resist. If you own an ecommerce business, host a site-wide sale on your products. Restaurants and food businesses can offer free coffee or treats for anyone who stops by for a bite. And if you sell services, offer a discount for those who sign on with your business on Saturday. Don’t forget to send out emails or newsletters about the promotion.
- Lend a hand. Use the occasion as an opportunity to network with your community by offering a helping hand. Ask other small businesses if there’s anything you can do to help them promote their sales or services on November 29, and they just might offer to do the same for your business. It’s a great way to get your business’s name out there.
- Foster a sense of community. Don’t just use Small Business Saturday as a way to promote yourself – share the glory with other small-business owners! You’ve probably had considerable help getting your business where it is today, so take the time to share the thanks and help out other new businesses when possible. That might mean sharing your tips and resources for successful SBS promotions or tagging other businesses in your social media posts to let your followers know about your community.
As you can see, you don’t have to be in the retail industry to get in on the spirit of Small Business Saturday. Even if someone might not buy your services as a Christmas gift for a family member, you’ll earn considerable goodwill by helping out others and raising awareness about the ways small businesses have a real impact on communities.