It’s no secret that Small Business Saturday is a monster holiday that can lead to big profits and attract new customers. The SmartBiz Loans team recently reached out to two small business influencers on Twitter to find out how the day went and how best to prepare for 2017.
Small Business Saturday is growing and growing, setting a new record this year. According to CNBC, an estimated 112 million shoppers showed their support for Main Street on this seventh annual Small Business Saturday, a 13 percent increase over the year prior.
To put Small Business Saturday in context, it’s helpful to understand just how vital small businesses are. There are 23 million small businesses in the country and small businesses have created 8 million jobs since 1990, helping to strengthen and grow the US economy. It’s important that these small businesses get financial support from consumers, especially during the holiday season.
Thank you to NAV and Manta for sharing their Small Business Saturday insights. These two organizations strive to help entrepreneurs start and grow a business. Over 100,000 small businesses use NAV to help build credit, get funding and protect assets. NAV tweets at @navSMB. Manta.com is an online small business service directory and search engine providing small businesses with networking information and a robust community. Their corporate slogan is “The Place for Small Business”. They tweet here: @Manta.
Here’s information Nav and Manta shared with us on Twitter about last weekend’s Small Business Saturday. (Edited for clarity and length)
SmartBiz: What are the biggest challenges small businesses faced this year when preparing for Small Business Saturday?
Manta: The biggest challenge faced was the time it would take to create and implement a strategy. Small business owners also cited the cost of promotion and loss of revenue from free and discounted goods as other barriers to participation.
SB: Was there a lot of discussion about Small Business Saturday in the Manta community? What was the hot topic?
Manta: Small business owners showed up with great ideas like enrolling help from local organizations and connecting with other small businesses in the community.
SB: What do small businesses have to offer that big box stores or other large retailers can’t?
NAV: Small businesses offer a personal connection that big box stores don’t. They have the community’s best interest in mind.
SB: What is the best advice you heard from your community about how to prepare for this important shopping day?
Manta: Host performances, hold a scavenger hunt, offer tasty samples. Make it memorable by making it an experience. Another idea: throw an open house party that goes over-the-top to make customers feel welcome and part of the family. One of our community members suggested packaging products for the season, “Take what you have and dress it up for each holiday.”
SB: What is the best way a small business can prepare for Small Business Saturday 2017?
Manta: Don’t wait until the day of to start advertising your promotion. Send a series of emails about the weekend.
NAV: Keep track of what worked & what didn’t. Keep the energy rolling with photos. Keep your business credit in check in case you need funding!
Are you a small business owner who participated in Small Business Saturday? Are you a consumer who shopped small? Share your experiences in the comments or reach out to us on the SmartBiz Twitter feed.