By: Jennefer Witter
Recently celebrating its tenth anniversary, Small Business Saturday was created by American Express as an opportunity to promote and support small businesses, especially during the holiday season when most retailers make the bulk of their revenue.
It’s been a raging success. According to the Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey, shoppers in 2018 spent a record $17 billion at local businesses on this day alone.
It’s not too late to get your “unfair share” of that multi-billion dollar pie. Here are six tips that you can quickly implement, even if you don’t have a Small Business Saturday strategy prepared.
Contact your local Chamber of Commerce to find out what they are doing to support Small Business Saturday. Review and determine which activities you can participate in.
Reach out to your fellow local businesses to find out their activities and suggest cross-promoting — if, of course, it’s mutually beneficial.
For example, ask a local bakery to donate cupcakes that you will give away to your first fifty store customers. Both you and the bakery can feature the promotion on your respective websites, in fliers, and in store literature.
Include signage at your venue, i.e. “Cupcakes Courtesy of The Bakery,” and include their contact information. If it’s doable, have someone from the bakery onsite to manage the giveaway.
NOTE: Get everything in writing to reduce potential misunderstandings.
Incentives work wonders to bring in additional foot traffic. Consider offering a 10% off coupon on purchases made in-store or online to be redeemed after the holiday season. This is a traditionally slow time, and additional shoppers — and the resulting revenue — will be welcomed.
Whatever you plan to do, post the information on your website and on your social media, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest.
Post often — especially if you’re starting late and competing with a lot of information already out there pertaining to Small Business Saturday. This consistency will assist in making your business stand out from the pack. Be sure to triple-proof the content — a typo can cost money.
NOTE: Include #ShopSmall and/or #SmallBizSat to generate additional attention and visibility.
You don’t have to be design-savvy to produce professional-quality graphics. American Express offers a handy toolkit where you can create customized marketing materials in minutes — for free! Here is the link.
Contact your local media to find what they are doing to promote the day. Offer yourself as a source for interviews.
NOTE: You need to be able to discuss how the day has impacted your business, what it means for you, and what you’re doing to take advantage of the day. If you don’t feel comfortable doing so, many media outlets have online events calendars. Post your store there, and include special activities planned for the day.
Bonus tip! All of the above can be done in a pinch, but to take the greatest advantage of Small Business Saturday is to plan in advance. You’ll see improved results. Put a reminder in your 2020 calendar for early fall now, as you won’t overlook the opportunity next year.
Jennefer Witter is the CEO/Founder of The Boreland Group, an NYC-based boutique public relations agency specializing in corporate and executive visibility. She is an active speaker on business topics ranging from personal branding to media relations to networking; she has presented at The Pentagon, The Brookings Institution, Brown Brothers Harriman, the PA Conference for Women, Ellevate Network, and Vital Voices Global Ambassadors Program among others. She has been featured in many top-tier media outlets including The Wall Street Journal, Business Insider, Fast Company, and HuffPost. She is the author of “The Little Book of Big PR: 100+ Quick Tips to Get Your Small Business Noticed” (HarperCollins). Follow her on LinkedIn.
Originally published at https://www.ellevatenetwork.com.