Prepare for Small Business Saturday Now

Every Thanksgiving, the media focuses on the madness that is Black Friday. Expensive print and broadcast commercials promote Black Friday sales and local news programs highlight long lines of shoppers waiting to invade the big box stores. As a small business owner, the holiday hype around big business might discourage you. However, the day after Black Friday is evolving and can help spike your sales.

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The first-ever Small Business Saturday took place on November 27, 2010, encouraging shoppers across the country to support small, local businesses. Just one short year later, the day became official when the United States Senate unanimously passed a resolution of support for Small Business Saturday.  2015 was a banner year for Small Business Saturday with 95 million people shopping at small businesses.

Small Business Saturday is now celebrated annually on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Here’s a rundown of how you can prepare for the big day.

Dedicated marketing materials

Check the Shop Small Resource Hub.  Marketing material includes printable posters and images for social posts to help you promote the day.

In addition to the free branded materials, get creative to drive foot traffic! If you have a bricks and mortar location, a simple bunch of balloons outside of your business can catch the eye of a shopper. Consider a fun window display or pennant flags. Be sure to display a QR code on your window so after-hours shoppers can purchase your goods.

Get the community involved

Cross promotions are a great strategy for Small Business Saturday. Working with a complimentary business can help elevate your profile, increase sales and save marketing dollars.

It’s important that you find a natural fit with the business you are cross promoting with – If you own a preschool, you probably don’t want to work with a local sports bar. Take a look at your customer demographic and find similar businesses that aren’t your competitors. For example, a dry cleaner might pair with a hair salon. A healthy snack company could hook up with a yoga studio. Take some time to identify promotional partners and approach them with energy and ideas. For additional information, check out this article from the SmartBiz Blog: Cross Promotions: Ideas for Success.

Create a great offer

In addition to planning and preparing, make sure that you thank your small business shoppers with a special offer. They’ll be glad they shopped with you and more likely to become a repeat customer. Try out a gift with purchase offer, free branded merchandise (water bottles, tote bags, etc.), a discount on shipping or other goodies that won’t hurt your bottom line.

Stock up on inventory

Don’t get caught without popular products! Look at your cash flow analysis over the years and plan accordingly.  Now is a good time to decide if you will need extra funding to get through the holiday season.

For more up-to-the-minute information and advice, follow the Shop Small social media pages linked below. Have a great Small Business Saturday!

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