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5 Ways to Have the Best Small Business Saturday

Saturday shopping  .

This November might have Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but shoppers cannot forget about supporting their local businesses. First promoted back in 2010, Small Business Saturday has given small business owners yet another day to look forward to in November. In 2016 alone, more than 112 million consumers “shopped small” and dined locally, collectively spending over $15 billion, according to American Express. More than 6,700 business across the U.S. participated, working together to promote the day through events, activities and more than 135 million social media mentions.

Thanks to Black Friday and Cyber Monday (and the millions of advertising dollars that large companies spend promoting these two important retail days each year), your customers are already primed to shop ’til they drop in late November. As a small business owner, your goal is to keep consumers’ attention focused on the local. Here are five ways to optimize Small Business Saturday.

1. Communication Is Key

We can’t say it enough: When it comes to promoting your business on Small Business Saturday, you’ve got to get the word out. In the run-up to the day itself, remind your customers at as many touch points as possible, from your storefront to your website and your social media posts to in-person customer interactions. Your message should be simple and to the point: “Don’t forget to shop and dine local on Small Business Saturday this November 25.” Incorporate this message in all of your marketing efforts, starting two weeks before the event.

2. Go Social and Cross-Promote

Utilize the power of social media and cross-promotion to increase your reach and get the word out. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel; take advantage of pre-existing tools and campaigns that can help you boost your social media impact and cross-promote. The American Independent Business Alliance, offer online tool kits to make it easy. When you post on sites like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook (which you should do at least a couple times per week leading up to the big day), use hashtags like #SmallBusinessSaturday, #SmallBizSat or #ShopSmall to ensure you’re in the conversation.

3. Offer Special Deals

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are known for discounts, so why not lure customers in with a few deals of your own? Special one-day sales, promotions and limited-time offers will drive traffic into your business. Be sure to analyze your profit margins before setting your strategy to ensure that your business can handle a day of door-busters. But what if your business isn't the type that can offer a discount or deal? You can still give clients that little extra on Small Business Saturday; even if it's something as simple as bringing in bagels and coffee, offering extra special customer service on SBS will make a difference.

4. Make Small Business Saturday an Event

If you really want to bring in the customers — and wow them once they arrive — consider setting up a special event in your shop on Small Business Saturday. A live musical performance, a poetry reading, a dance competition, a tortoise race… the possibilities are endless. Even if your event is as simple as balloons for the kids, or holding a drawing or contest for a prize, adding a special event to the day will make your business memorable. You may also want to extend your hours on Small Business Saturday to make it even easier for customers to patronize your business.

5. Double the Fun: Form a Partnership

Double your impact by partnering with other like-minded local businesses in your community. For instance, if you own a car wash, partner with an auto-repair business for discounted services in conjunction with Small Business Saturday. Run a bookstore? Partner with a nearby coffee shop to sweeten the deals… and drive traffic. Or partner with a local spa to offer chair massages to customers. Setting up strategic cross-promotional partnerships can increase your reach and help get the word out to a new audience of potential customers.

The key to Small Business Saturday lies in getting the word out early and often, and then ensuring that your customers find great deals and service once they arrive. Also, taking advantage of cross-promotional tools and opportunities will help you create a successful Small Business Saturday.


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