5 Small Business Saturday Ideas to Make a Splash
Since its inception in 2010, Small Business Saturday has spurred shoppers across the U.S. to buy products and services from brick-and-mortar businesses during the crucial year-end holiday season. As a result, Small Business Saturday is rapidly becoming one of the top shopping days of the year along with Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
To prepare for this year’s Small Business Saturday on Nov. 25, here are five Small Business Saturday ideas to make a splash for your small business:
1. Plan for a great customer experience. This occasion may mark the first time many consumers have stepped foot into a brick-and-mortar retail outlet for quite some time. It's therefore crucial that you make each aspect of their experience a favorable one. This means, among other things, reviewing the security of your payment data process, including end-to-end encryption, compliance with payment card industry standards, and the presence of knowledgeable, helpful employees who can handle any minor payment issues. You may even want to consider expanding your normal business hours. Lengthening your open business hours could mean a critical spike into additional sales and revenues.
2. Review your website experience. While Small Business Saturday emphasizes the in-store experience, many customers may opt for online purchases as well. Review your website regarding easy navigation and how easy the process is between clicking "Add to Cart" and "Buy Now." Perhaps most importantly, be sure your site is mobile-optimized so prospective customers can purchase goods or services through their mobile devices.
This special event also represents a great opportunity to significantly enhance the quality of your existing site or create a responsive new business website that strengthens your brand and turns visitors into buying customers. You should consider using website and online services that offer web hosting and design, as well as a means to interact with your online customers.
3. Boost your social media efforts. If you have an active social media presence already, it’s a great time to rev up your activities, including making use of:
- The Facebook Small Business Saturday page
- Twitter hashtags #SmallBizSat and #ShopSmall
- Instagram Small Business Saturday photos and videos
With these resources, you can build a community of followers and highlight your plans for Small Business Saturday.
4. Don't neglect offline promotional opportunities. If you regularly send customers email newsletters, you may want to include information about Small Business Saturday in them. You can also obtain printed Small Business Saturday signs and posters, and display them prominently throughout your store. Get postcards printed and mail them to your customer database.
5. Explore partnerships with other businesses. You may have ongoing relationships with other brick-and-mortar stores in your community. Many small businesses leverage the goodwill of Small Business Saturday to form partnerships with fellow business owners, co-hosting events on that day that help draw people to their stores.
Such events and activities can include block parties, a kick-off breakfast, an exchange of coupons and marketing materials — anything that heightens a sense of community and the importance of supporting local businesses. Look for partners that offer complementary goods and services, so customers can see how such partnerships can benefit them.
As for the customer experience, make a point of impressing on your employees how important it is on Small Business Saturday to provide customer service above and beyond the norm. Empower them to address any problems that crop up, so that customers drawn to this special event can walk out not only with new purchases in hand, but with a great experience they want to share with others.