If you haven’t heard about Small Business Saturday it is definitely high time you familiarize yourself with it and start preparing. Small Business Saturday (which falls on November 26th this year) was started back in 2010 to help small businesses compete with larger companies during the long weekend of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Reports show that U.S. consumers who were aware of Small Business Saturday spent over $16.2 billion in 2015, a 14 percent increase over the year before. Small companies are a crucial part of the world economy and Small Business Saturday has helped them sell more and gain new customers.
As an example, in 2014 Kidz Enterprise Toys, a small company in Massachusetts, saw their sales increase by 126 percent on Small Business Saturday. BeBodySmart.com, an online retailer of fitness equipment, gained 900 new customers on the same day.
In 2015 there were over 95 million shoppers on Small Business Saturday and that number is expected to rise in 2016. Make sure that your business is not lost in the chaos on one of the busiest shopping days of the year: follow some of our tips to prepare your company for Small Business Saturday.
Promoting Small Business Saturday
If there is one thing that big holiday shopping days have taught us it is that people love promotions. You see promotions all the time on Boxing Day, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday — and Small Business Saturday is no different. Bundling products together or offering a “buy one, get-one half off” incentive can entice potential customers to check out more of your products.
Don’t neglect your online store either. You can offer shoppers free shipping or a discount when they buy in bulk. To get an idea of what other small businesses are doing you can check out this video from American Express:
Advertising for Small Business Saturday
Just like any other sale, it is important to advertise specifically for Small Business Saturday to garner the attention of new and existing customers. Social media is a fantastic tool that you can use to get your message to customers. Most social media platforms are free and if you tag your posts properly more people will see what you have to say (you’ll want to be tagging your posts with hashtags like #SmallBuisnessSaturday, #SMBS, #ShopSmall and #SmallBizSat.
If you want to reach an even broader audience a lot of social media platforms offer paid advertisements. Companies like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat all offer you the opportunity to buy advertisements that will appear in users social media feed.
These ads are relatively inexpensive, depending on how many you want and how often they appear. Ads on social media can help you branch out to a much larger audience, as people who may have never heard of you before could see your advertisement appear on their social media feed.
Another place you might want to look for advertising help is Shop Small. Small Business Saturday was originally created by American Express in 2010 and to help small businesses the credit card company offers many free marketing tools through Shop Small. With the help of Shop Small many small businesses have the ability to speak as loudly as their bigger competition. Also, if you are an American Express merchant you can use the Shop Small Map, which will make it easier for people to find your business on a map.
Collaborating on Small Business Saturday
Partnering with other small businesses is a great way to increase your customer base. If there are other small businesses around you, consider partnering with them to create campaigns in which you can both benefit from. Some examples of this include co-hosting an event, cross-promoting on social media and giving discounts or coupons to shoppers/clients of the other company.
Working with another company can translate directly into extra in-store and/or online sales. For example, if you run a cooking class you could give a coupon for cooking supplies from a local business and they could do the same but vise-versa. There is a large revenue opportunity when you work other companies. Look for other businesses around you and see how you could possibly work together.
There are over 23 million businesses in the United States alone and supporting them is incredibly important to the world economy. Since 1990 Small Businesses have created over 8 million jobs and 54 percent of U.S sales take place at small businesses. Make sure that your business is prepared for all of the shoppers and money being spent on Small Business Saturday and you’re sure to get more than your fair share of the profits.