As Thanksgiving approaches, many of us begin to get in gear for one (if not THE) of the biggest shopping days of the year: Black Friday. Also, with the rise of ecommerce and the success of sites like Amazon and other online retailers, Cyber Monday has become a hot day of those internet-savvy individuals who like to grab amazing deals. Between these two, however, exists a holiday that celebrates the backbone of America: Small Business Saturday.
First celebrated in 2010, SBS draws attention to the importance of shopping at small businesses that serve your local community. Since its inception SBS has drawn people to main streets across the country with amazing deals! Of course this year will certainly bring some new challenges with COVID-19 restrictions, that does not mean that you cannot have a successful Small Business Saturday.
Thankfully this is something that, if you are a small business, you don’t need to register for; it’s essentially free advertising! There are some benefits and resources you can access though. American Express, who has done much to get SBS to where it is today, offers free resources and marketing materials for small business owners.
The Road to Small Business Saturday Success
Obviously every business is different, from their employees to what they offer. So there is no one sure-fire way to be successful on Small Business Saturday. Read some of these ideas and think about which ones would work best for you and your business. As with anything, make sure you consider what limitations, both internal and external of your business, may prevent you from executing a SBS event well. Also, think about how your idea will increase sales or build a loyal customer base. Here are some ideas that you can implement to be successful on SBS.
Join in SBS Events
SBS is all about celebrating your local community and local businesses, so it stands to reason that you should look into events that are being held for SBS in your community. The first place you should look is your local Chamber of Commerce, and if they don’t personally hold an event they may still be able to point you in the right direction to another. Asking around to other local businesses is also a good way to see what will be happening on the Saturday. If there is a good event already in the works, see if you can join in. If there isn’t anything, maybe its up to you to get the ball rolling!
Host Your Own Event
Speaking of, if there are no events being hosted (and even if there are), there is the option of holding your own event. Reach out to other small businesses and coordinate efforts to make it easier on everyone. And the event certainly does not have to be a grand function where 15 or more small businesses are in the same place. An event can simply be creating a map that has all the participating small businesses for SBS, with information on some of the deals that will be offered. This is a simple but certainly effective event that will bring people, and
Advertise on Social Media
This way of promotion is just as important as in-store promotions. Since the pandemic began, we have all become accustomed to looking at all forms of social media to keep tabs on our favorite small businesses. That trend does not seem to be slowing down; in fact it grows bigger every week. In that strain, make sure to keep your online followers updated on the goings-on of your store when it comes to SBS. It also helps to share fellow SBS posts from fellow business owners, as well as using the hashtags of the day (#SmallBusinessSaturday and #ShopSmall) to connect with the larger community.
Keep Loyal Customers in the Know
Regular, loyal customers are the key to a successful small business. As such you should keep them informed of how you’ll be celebrating SBS early. How early is up to your discretion, but certainly keep them in the know. That way they can make sure to come by your business when the deals are going on. Posters on your windows and hand-outs are both excellent ways to achieve this.
Plan Your Deals
While you plan your event, or coordinate events with other businesses, make sure you think about what deals or offers you will give during SBS, or even if you will give out deals! There are the tried and true deals like buy-one-get-one-free, percentages off, and free items with a certain purchase amount. But don’t feel nervous about thinking outside the box when it comes to deals. People are always looking for good and interesting deals, and if yours stands out from other businesses then they may stay there longer, or even come back. It could also help you after SBS in implementing deals in your business.
So there you have it! These are just some of the ways that you can have an effective and successful SBS this year. But remember these are by far not the only things that you can or should do for your business. Think hard about your community and how your business fits into it. It’s oftentimes in these moments where you can come up with fantastic ideas for yourself!
Small Business Saturday is on November 28, 2020.
Adapted from an article by Nicolas Straut on Sep. 24, 2020.