It’s the most wonderful time of the year - especially for small businesses. Small Business Saturday is a wonderful opportunity for local businesses to benefit from the holiday sales boom. Unlike big box stores with huge marketing budget and thousands of employees, small businesses make do with small budgets and small teams. However, it’s amazing what small businesses can accomplish when they connect with their local community and offer a unique shopping experience to their customers. All it takes is a little creativity to make your holiday shopping season a success. Follow these tips below to make your Small Business Saturday the best yet!
1. Get Social. Social media is such a powerful tool for small businesses. Social media makes it easier than ever to connect to your local community without breaking your budget. Instagram’s image based platform is a great place to showcase your inventory. Facebook’s advanced targeting tools will allow you to reach your customers by targeted demographics, as well as create an event for Small Business Saturday that can be easily shared and promoted. Make sure to use hashtags like #SmallBusinessSaturday and #ShopSmall for maximum reach - especially on Twitter. Utilize your social channels as well as email marketing to inform potential customers of sales and savings they can expect to find at your business come Saturday.
2. Teamwork. Having a great team can make or break your Small Business Saturday. Extra business means you need all hands on deck to make the day a success. Enlist extra help to ensure that your customers still receive the hands-on, personalized experience that they’ve come to expect from your store. Bring your team together before Saturday to organize and plan your day so that you can combat the chaos holiday shopping can sometimes induce.
3. Extend Your Hours. Nobody likes to work late, but during the holidays, extending your hours can open you up to new sales opportunities. Make the most of your extended hours. Offer food and hot cocoa for your customers and coworkers, play some music, and turn the work day into a party. Creating a fun atmosphere will make the longer evening go by faster and create a great shopping environment for your customers, as well as keep your employees happy. Treat your employees to dinner afterwards to let them know how much you appreciate their extra hard work.
4. Holiday Giving. Utilize the spirit of giving and make a difference in your local community. Offer your customers an opportunity to buy a gift for a local charity when they purchase from you. Or set up a donations box in your store. Offer special incentives to encourage your customers to donate, including discounts and gift certificates.
5. Reward Your Customers. Customers love rewards for shopping with you. Rewards encourage brand loyalty and repeat business. Offer your customers rewards for checking in on social media, taking photos and tagging your business on social media, purchases, and more. Reward your customers with gift certificates to your store, coupons, and special gifts with their purchase.
6. Offer Excellent Customer Service. One major thing small businesses have to offer that big box stores just can’t compete with is customer service. Make sure you’re offering your customers a unique, personalized shopping experience. Take the time to get to know your customers and let them know that you appreciate their business. Customers of small businesses are more than just a dollar sign, they’re your neighbors, your friends. Treat them as such and make sure they have a wonderful experience in your shop so that they keep coming back year after year.
Check out these free resources from the Shop Small® Studio to promote your business and make this year’s Small Business Saturday a complete success.