The countdown has begun! With the start of November, Small Business Saturday is right around the corner and will be here before you know it. While we believe that supporting local should happen every day of the year, Small Business Saturday is a perfect opportunity to celebrate your business, customers, and community!
We spoke with local business owners and gathered expert tips on how to get the most out of the day and create a plan of action in advance.
Here are 10 easy strategies to prepare your business for a successful Small Business Saturday 2019!
1. Run a Small Business Saturday sales promotion
Small Business Saturday sales promotions can come in a variety of flavors depending on your industry and customer base. You could:
Run a store-wide sale
Offer a special gift basket
Hand out a coupon or discount for their next store visit
Operationally, sticking to 1-2 exclusive promotions will be more manageable than doing a bunch, but you know best about what your business can handle.
2. Launch an exclusive Small Business Saturday product!
Give your products a little Thanksgiving twist! Add some Thanksgiving-inspired flavors or autumnal colors to your existing products and create a limited edition for Small Business Saturday. You could also focus on holiday-themed products to catch the early holiday present shoppers.
3. Extend your promotions through the whole weekend
Who says you can only celebrate on Saturday? With the hubbub of Thanksgiving festivities, not all of your customers may be able to stop by your store on the day of Small Business Saturday. Extending whatever promotions you do through Thanksgiving weekend or beyond will give your customers more opportunities to visit your business and provide you with a longer window to drive sales.
4. Be well-staffed for the day
Chances are, the moment that you open up shop on Small Business Saturday, it’s going to get really busy, really quickly. To be fully prepared for the day, remember to coordinate with your employees and/or hire additional temporary staff to ensure that your business operations run smoothly.
5. Blast your customer email newsletter at least 1 week in advance
Get your customers pumped for Small Business Saturday early! An easy, low-cost strategy to stay top of mind is to send out an email newsletter wishing them a happy Thanksgiving and sharing any promotions that you’ll be doing. Try to send this email out at least a week in advance so that your customers have enough time to plan their Saturday with you in mind.
6. Set up a Facebook event for Small Business Saturday
Another low-cost strategy to keep top of mind is to create a Facebook event (or Eventbrite) for Small Business Saturday. Start by inviting some personal friends and asking them to share it on their personal accounts to build some organic reach. You could also promote it in Facebook groups, community newsletters, and your own email newsletter.
7. Launch a storytelling social media campaign
Small Business Saturday is the perfect time to share your story and remind your community of the importance of shopping small and supporting local businesses. With all the hustle and bustle of your daily grind, it can be easy to forget that your customers are here to support you and genuinely want to hear about you and the people behind the business.
You could post:
Throwback photos of when you first started your business, as well as other important moments in your business history
Messages of gratitude to your customers and supporters
Shoutouts to other local businesses and organizations that have supported you on your journey
8. Run a social media giveaway
Create a social media giveaway and give your followers the chance to win a few of your products or a gift card to your business. The ask for the giveaway entries should be framed around what will be most valuable for your business.
If your goal is to increase your brand awareness, asking your fans to enter the giveaway by tagging a friend in the comments or sharing the post will effectively increase your reach. If getting email addresses will be more beneficial to your business, building a giveaway landing page to capture emails is the way to go.
You can also partner with some of your local business friends to raffle off a joint gift basket and ask your fans to follow all of your social media accounts.
9. Host a pop-up shop at your location
If you have a brick-and-mortar location, invite a fellow local business or two for a Small Business Saturday pop-up shop at your place. This could be a great opportunity to invite vendors who don’t have a physical location or are based in a different part of town. With your joint customers bases, you’ll be introducing both of your businesses to more fresh and curious eyes.
On the other hand, if you’re a business without a physical storefront, try to find a local brick-and-mortar business with complementary products to co-host a pop-up shop at their location.
10. Create your own community event!
Get in contact with your local community development corporation, neighborhood association, or chamber of commerce to see if there are already plans in motion for a Small Business Saturday neighborhood event. Getting local organizations to promote your event or in-store promotions will greatly increase your reach and bring more people through your doors!
They say three’s a crowd, and the same goes for Small Business Saturday. Even without the support of a local organization, you could join forces with fellow local businesses on your street to create your own community event!
This could be as simple as setting up a joint Facebook event with the other businesses and inviting your collective customers, as well as other community members.
You could also make the event fancier and more interactive with a Small Business Saturday passport. With a passport, you could:
Create a walking guide of all the local businesses in your commercial corridor
Ask customers to collect stamps at each business and receive a prize at the end
Offer free little gifts or rewards at each business
Host local musicians
Do in-store demos and other mini-events throughout the day
Have a wonderful Small Business Saturday!
With these strategies in mind, we wish you a happy and successful Small Business Saturday 2019! But of course, the spirit of Small Business Saturday is about celebrating your triumphs and struggles and all that you bring to your community. We sincerely hope that you feel loved and supported on this special day—you deserve it. Now go get ‘em!