Make every Saturday SBS
Small Business Saturday was a success!
Small Business Saturday started a few years back, giving small businesses across the country a special boost and a way to get shoppers’ attention between Black Friday and Cyber Monday
Companies such as Brother Printers are encouraging customers and brands to support their local businesses on Small Business Saturday and throughout the year! Brother Printers have been at small businesses sides with home office equipment to help keep their business running smoothly and efficiently year-round.
Since its SBS was founded, it’s been a powerful opportunity to reconnect with customers -- and boost sales. Last year, millions of shoppers participated in spending billions which in turn went right back into their communities.
Small businesses, like your own or other local businesses, benefit the local economy and impact the lives of those in the community by creating jobs and supporting neighboring areas. So let's get your small business on this train.
Think strategically and find approaches that hopefully can help you strengthen relationships and business all year long.
Here are 19 Small Business Saturday ideas to use throughout the year.
1. Get Internet ready
Don’t forget the easy stuff. Make sure your address and contact info is correct on your website and all your social media profiles. You’d be surprised how many small businesses forget to update all their accounts as their business evolves -- and busy shoppers might not know you’ve opened a new location or have new hours.
And while you’re at it, review your site as if you were a customer, ensuring that all promotions are prominently displayed and that your payment process is working properly. You should do these checks regularly -- and an annual holiday sale like Small Business Saturday is as good a prompt as any.
2. Create Flyers and Posters to raise awareness.
Companies like Brother printers have been supporting small businesses since the very beginning and have a ton of products to help you print promotional materials to raise awareness. Create flyers and posters to help your customers know all about SBS, you would be surprised how many people don't even know it exists.
3. Extend your hours.
If you usually close at 5 p.m. on Saturdays consider staying open till 8 or 9 p.m. Check out the events going on in your town that night and plan accordingly, so you can make the most of the foot traffic. And if you change your hours for the shopping event make sure to tell shoppers on social media, via a printed sign on your door and on your website.
4. Prioritize customer service.
Your ability to connect with customers and create more personalized experiences can help you stand out amongst the competition. Run through scenarios that might occur at your store during a busy weekend and give your staff the tools they need and the words to say to solve problems and help customers who might not have visited your store in a while.
5. Plan some incentives
Give people reason to come to your store or your events. Consider your own in-store incentives, such as raffles, collecting contact information for your own upcoming events and promotions throughout the year.
6. Don’t compete with the Big Stores.
You might be tempted to slash prices ‘Black Friday-style’ -- but don’t. Doorbusters might work for major retailers but Instead, remember your market is coming to you for a different reason -- to support local businesses.
7. Join forces
Work together with neighboring shops to give shoppers more reasons to visit.
By joining forces with other merchants, you’ll likely get free.Find out what your local community has planned and be part of it. Those relationships can help you throughout the year.
8. Join online groups associated with the holiday.
Americans love supporting small businesses and some have even started online communities to help promote Small Business Saturday. Go to meetup.com and do searches with terms such as “small business meetup groups,” and “Small Business
Saturday groups” in your area. It’s free so get joining to connect your name and business with motivated, enthusiastic people.
9. Celebrate other small businesses.
Small Business Saturday is a community event, so go out of your way to celebrate other small businesses participating in the shopping day. Re-tweeting them and sharing their social content is a great way to show your support. It’s likely, they’ll return the favor too.
10. Support local charities.
Customers love knowing where their money’s going -- especially if it is for a good cause.
11. Don’t be left out.
Even if you have a product or service that doesn’t necessarily fall under the “holiday" category still GET OUT THERE. By associating with the shopping event, companies can benefit from some of the free marketing happening online and in local media.
12. Use social media -- and hashtags.
Tell your store’s story on social media. Document your preparation for the big day and get your customers rooting for you. Take photos of your displays to whet appetites and on Saturday share images of your fastest selling products and the ways excited customers are enjoying your store.
13. Reward check-ins.
To get customers to spread the word about your small business to their friends, ask them to check-in through social media. Offer discounts or promotions for those who show they’ve checked in on a platform like Instagram, Yelp or Facebook.
14. Small business selfies
Ask customers to take photos of themselves enjoying Small Business Saturday and have them post the photos to their social accounts and tag your store. To keep the Small Business Saturday momentum going, select the most creative, most liked or most fun photos to win a special prize afterward -- one the winners can only get by returning to your store later in the holiday season.
15. Make your website mobile friendly.
Make sure your website is mobile-friendly so Saturday’s shoppers who can’t make it to the actual store are able to buy your products on their smartphone.
16. Hold an event.
Start off the day-long shopping phenomenon with a kickoff event. Invite VIP customers and even local notables to your store, offering them snacks, beverages, and a special discount or freebie to show your customers they are special and get them excited for the day.
17. Offer a scavenger hunt.
Make Small Business Saturday and adventure. A scavenger hunt can incentivize customers to explore their towns -- and discover stores like yours.
18. Become a holiday tradition.
Combine Small Business Saturday with other festive events going on in your city.
19. Think beyond Saturday.
Although it’s important to utilize Small Business Saturday to boost sales and drive traffic -- but your thinking should go beyond this day of shopping and into your every day marketing plan.
After the holiday season has ended, take stock of what worked and what didn’t. Chances are, many of these strategies can be repurposed beyond the holiday season, allowing you to strengthen the relationships you created with customers and partners all year long. Remember you can keep the spirit alive by making every Saturday a small business Saturday.