You’ve heard of Small Business Saturday, but you’ve never joined in because you’re not an American Express merchant. Or perhaps you’re a late bloomer and missed the deadline for signing up with American Express. Not a problem! You don’t need to accept American Express or use their merchant materials to participate in this movement, but you’ll need to be quick and creative. Get started preparing for Small Business Saturday now with these tips:
Set a Goal
What will you consider success? Generating sales and bringing in customers are obvious wins, but what else will spell success for you?
Examples of goals could be:
- I would like to make X number of dollars in additional revenue
- I would like to draw in X additional customers into the store on November 25th
- I would like to add X number of customers to my existing email list
- I would like to draw in X number of new customers by partnering with another local business with services that compliment mine
Whatever your goal, once you’ve set it, then determine your offer and strategy.
Define Your Offer
When deciding what to offer your customers, first determine which products or services you provide to your customers that make their lives better? What things make shopping with you more valuable than shopping elsewhere? From those thoughts, choose what you would like to offer your customers on Small Business Saturday.
And remember, not everything you offer customers needs to be in the form of a flat-out discount or freebie. For example, consider offering free coffee and a donut just for stopping in to say hello. Complimentary gift wrapping, bags, a free stocking stuffer with purchase. A discount for bringing a friend who is not an existing customer, or a percentage off if they spend more than $30, etc. Your promotion can even run past November 25th, 2017.
Use In-Store Signage, Networks, Social Media, And Email To Your Advantage
When you decide what you’re going to offer, promote it through your social media, email list, and business networks. Reaching out to your existing base to inform customers of your special Small Business Saturday promotions is critical. Invite them to bring a friend. Remember to ALWAYS have a clipboard and forms handy; ask each customer to sign up for your mailing list or to like your business on Facebook. #shopsmall
Quickly print up any offers and display them in your store. Also, don’t forget the power of being face to face with customers. When they’re in your shop, tell them about your Small Business Saturday offer, then slip a reminder into their bag at checkout. If you have decent foot traffic, set up a Sidewalk Sign outside your entrance to grab attention as the people pass by on the sidewalk.
If you’re a member of your local Chamber of Commerce or other networking groups, contact them to see if they can add your offer to their distribution list.
Put Your Customers First
Coach your staff and ensure they know your products, and more importantly what your offers are for Small Business Saturday and beyond. Encourage them to see past more than just what the customer is purchasing and make suggestions for add-ons. Upselling in this way will have a positive impact on your bottom line.
Finally, don’t expect the roof to blow off. Small Business Saturday is often just an opportunity to raise awareness of your business and remind customers of all you have to offer them. Small Business Saturday is a chance for you to connect with your customers and build relationships; ones that will last for the other 364 days of the year. And remember, have fun, enjoy it, and remind yourself of all the positive reasons you became a local business owner. Preparing for Small Business Saturday now, will be the business gift that keeps on giving back all year long.