Anyone who doesn’t know by now should understand that much of American business is overwhelmingly small business. They have helped to create almost 62% of the net new jobs in the country since the early 1990’s. Local business is key. Small business Saturday should be embraced knowing the impact could vibrate through that week, year and future sales. Here are 3 strategies to help you make a lasting mark.
Small Business Saturday
This annual shopping event is sponsored by American Express on the Saturday following Thanksgiving with the primary goal of encouraging customers to frequent local merchants. The program was launched in 2010 in response to the recession. By 2017, it had increased to 7,200 Neighborhood Champions, with 108 million reported spending consumers shelling out $12 billion across the US.
Tips for Small Businesses Today
Here are some ideas to enhance your success on the big day:
- Provide an incentive to shop with you
This can be as simple as giving customers a discount or a free gift with their purchase, or it can even go as far as donating part of the day’s proceeds to a worthy local cause. Give customers a reason to feel good they shopped with you, especially when they know their purchase supports their own community. Maybe have a sign-up email list so you can keep customers up-to-date with your community outreach while also offering small coupons within the email itself.
- A media spotlight is a good thing
Be creative and make your store or business a top destination on Small Business Saturday, worthy of mentions in the local news. Live music, prizes, treasure hunts or a grand prize to be announced during the news broadcast are great incentives for the locals to show up. Having a creative store window is also a great way to get the local media to come out. Reach out to reporters if you’re doing something extra special such as an iPad Pro giveaway to build up publicity.
- Provide an incentive to come back year-round
It’s easy to turn a shopping moment into a teaching moment. Along with attaching monthly coupons that start and stop over the next 2 to 3 months, print up some flyers from the American Independent Business Alliance and pass them out to customers to teach them how local purchasing increases local wealth, health and security. Be present and take a minute or two to talk with customers who express interest. Sometimes, all it takes is a little education and kindness to shift habits. First, take a few minutes to boost your own education by reading How to Win Some Customer Back from Amazon this Holiday Season.
If you market correctly, Small Business Saturday doesn’t have to be a one time a year event. Small business owners have the power to make it last year round if they employ the right tools to bring in local residents that can benefit from their products and services. The one big advantage over most corporation is they can start the most important conversations face-to-face with their neighbors and customers.