The holiday season is upon us and that means there’s no shortage of events on the horizon. Halloween has come and gone. Now, there’s Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and of course, most of December.
Yes, the holiday season may as well be called the “shopping season” and for good reason. For many businesses, this time of year is when they’ll generate the most revenue. However, one special holiday of the year is often overlooked by its larger counterparts. Small Business Saturday.
Using a variety of tips, tricks, hacks, and tools such as video content; businesses can take full advantage of this special time of year and keep the holiday season going strong. Here’s how.
Sandwiched between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, there’s a built-in audience of eager shoppers on Small Business Saturday. This is, after all, the premier holiday shopping weekend of the year.
Sponsored by American Express, Small Business Saturday has a host of built-in tools at your disposal. Adding your business’ name to the list of participating locations will give you a boost as customers roam the streets (and the internet) looking for small businesses to frequent.
American Express also lets you download marketing and promotional materials from the above link, so take full advantage of that as well!
Keep The Deals Going
Weary from Black Friday? This is no time to rest! Small Business Saturday may not generate the crowds that Black Friday does but it’s nothing to sneeze at. Over 112 million people shopped and dined on Small Business Saturday last year with spending eclipsing $15 billion! That’s about ⅓ of the country spending a lot of money!
You’ll want to keep your deals, specials, and promotions going during this day. Businesses can easily extend their Black Friday specials another day, or even better; create a special promotion surrounding Small Business Saturday to mix things up a bit.
Stock up on extra products this weekend because you don’t want to run out when the crowds show up! Popular deals may include a percentage off, buy-one-get-one specials, discounts on popular items, and more.
But Don’t Go Crazy
We’ve all seen the videos, right? Roaming hordes of shoppers trampling their way into a store, hungry for deals. Looks crazy, right? Well, part of the reason this happens on days like Black Friday is that large stores have the ability to offer deep discounts on hot ticket items.
Best Buy can absorb the cost of slashing prices 50% or giving away free televisions. For small businesses, this isn’t always possible. Be careful that whatever deal you’re offering, it works as much for you as it does the customer.
In short, you may be tempted to go nuts on Black Friday or Small Business Saturday to try and compete with the crazy deals at the larger stores. Resist the urge to compete on cheapness alone. There’s plenty of great deals you can offer your customers that benefit everyone involved.
Extend Your Deals Online
Let’s face it, a lot of local businesses also sell online these days. Cyber Monday is just a few days after Small Business Saturday; the premiere online shopping event of the holiday season. However, that’s no reason not to get your online storefront involved as well. After all, you’re a small business regardless of where you sell.
Extend your deals and promotions to cover your online store as well. You’ll increase online sales while reducing traffic in store. Popular special may include free shipping, special coupon codes, and more.
Promote Your Involvement
We’ve probably mentioned this before, but there’s no use getting involved in an event if no one knows about it. Whatever your plans for Small Business Saturday, make sure you promote your involvement.
Video marketing is an effective tool for broadcasting your deals to the world. From native video to ad content; let everyone know that you’re here, you’re open, and you’ve got something great to tell them about.
In 2016, there were over 135 million social media engagements surrounding Small Business Saturday. Get involved!
Extend Your Hours
We know Black Friday was a grind. The holiday season will be as well. But hey, Small Business Saturday is not the time to take a break. In fact, many businesses will extend their hours on this day or create special promotional hours to maximize their advantage.
Are you normally open from 9-5? Maybe 9-7 is a better play. There’s a lot of opportunities out there and shoppers will be looking for deals. Make sure you’re ready for them when they want to shop.
Have A Plan
Because it’s already a busy shopping weekend, you may be tempted to think you don’t have to do anything special. After all, American Express has already built-in the advertising for you, right? I mean, all you need to do is be a small business and open the doors, right?
Wrong. Shoppers are actively looking for participating locations so make sure you’re signed up. In addition, this is a busy holiday shopping weekend. For that reason, shoppers have a number of options to choose from. You want to make sure you’re one of those options.
Don’t sit back and wait for the customers, go get them! Entice them with your deals, promotions, and bargains. Don’t assume they’ll just come on by. This is a busy shopping weekend but it’s also a competitive one. Have a plan and promote it. You’ll be happy you did.
When in doubt, partner up! There are plenty of businesses which go hand in hand with each other, making cross-promotion opportunities a great option to explore. Have a wine store? See if that cheese store down the block wants to partner up. Have a coffee shop? Maybe the bakery across the street is interested in working together. If your store is located in a strip mall or on a busy street, get the whole block involved.
By making your area a destination, you’ll draw more people to your store as well as everyone else. Plus, with more than one business involved, there are more opportunities for promotion across various social media channels and email lists.
Worker smarter, not harder!
Don’t Sleep On SBS!
Small Business Saturday is just the shot in the arm that businesses need to capitalize fully during the official start of the holiday shopping season. Whatever you choose to do, make sure you celebrate properly by getting involved and promoting your deals. Video marketing content is a great way to spread the word and let everyone know you’re ready and open for business! Use the hashtags #ShopSmall and #SmallBizSat to garner attention on social media.