If you are a small business trying to get noticed, you have probably considered jumping on the Black Friday wagon. However, a complaint heard from many small business owners is that they can’t compete with the big retailers and corporations that dominate the Black Friday scene. This is why Small Business Saturday exists, to encourage people to visit the independent small businesses in their area and support their community.
What is Small Business Saturday?
Initially, Small Business Saturday was created by American Express in 2010 to help out small businesses in the wake of the global recession that hit everyone hard.
Since then, everyone seems to have embraced it. More and more people are becoming disillusioned with the massive corporations that just seem to keep the rich wealthy and squeeze out the small business owner. Social campaigns worldwide emphasise shopping locally to support local businesses, especially in the run-up to Christmas.
How to Make Your Business Seen on Small Business Saturday
Tell them about yourself.
People are interested in people, which is yet another reason why faceless corporations are losing their popularity. Talk about you and your business and its position in your community. Talk about your business origins, no matter how humble, and express your gratitude for those who helped you and those who became loyal clients and customers. Don’t be afraid to be a little personal and highlight how you form part of the local community and give back year-round.
Remember, clients and customers like to shop locally, to support their community and neighbours – they don’t need a lot of convincing.
Get into partnership
You are not the only small business in your area. By partnering with other small businesses, you can reach a far greater breadth of clients than if you try to go it alone. If you are on the main high street, consider partnering with all of the small businesses to collaborate on a joint promotion for Small Business Saturday.
Share clients, have flyers and discount coupons for your neighbour businesses and give them to your clients – they can do the same for you.
Consider running a concurrent promotion with the same discount codes and offers that could be used for all of your stores, and pool your email mailing lists for a massive boost to people you can reach.
Help each other out; it’s just another you can help your local community. The other important thing about pooling your collective resources is that it can save you a lot of money on promotion.
Shout About It!
Get noisy about your Small Business Saturday event, and use every channel open to you. Start with your regulars, and email everyone (or at least everyone who accepts marketing emails). If you have the budget available, you could even use SMS messaging for the increased likelihood of people seeing it.
Showcase your event promotions; what are you offering? Get social savvy and increase your social media posts. Create an “event” on Facebook, and share it with everyone. Again, if you have the budget, you can boost your event promotion on the platform. Although, you probably won’t spend too much because you will filter your audience to the local area – won’t you…? Instagram your offerings and make them look the best in the world.
Another option for Facebook is the local community groups. Is there a Small Business Saturday Group where you can promote your event and offers? Many towns and cities have local business groups to help each other. Also, don’t forget your hashtag #SmallBusinessSaturday, if you want people to find you when looking for local businesses with events on that day.
Don’t just rely on the digital. Is there a community centre where you can leave a flyer on the notice board? Likewise, even the nearest Starbucks and Costa have notice boards where people can post their events – Okay, it might not be the best idea if you have a little independent coffee shop, but otherwise, let big business help you out.
What about local radio? Is it worth the advertising cost to pool your resources and get a shout-out on the local radio – yes, people still listen to the radio, even if it’s over the internet? Try to get a morning slot when people wake up to their alarms.
Flaunt What You’ve Got!
You are a local business designed and customised to your local clientele. You have more specialised and diverse services and products because you listen to the people people who come to you. What you don’t have is a corporate head office saying, “you must have this and use that”. That means you have the best chance of attracting your local people with a fabulous window display, a well-put-together poster, or even a pretty sandwich board – you have what people in your area want, and you listen when they tell you.
You have a small business unique to you (unless you have copied someone else’s business entirely). Assuming you did your market research and your business is successful, you have something that people want. Highlight your package deals, and annual membership discounts, and even showcase your supplementary products.
Let your light shine a lot brighter, and show everyone what you’ve got to offer them on Small Business Saturday.
Don’t let a significant selling day go to waste.
Even if you are a little late to the party, don’t let that stop you from a last-minute blaze onto the scene.
Get on social media, trail around your neighbours and get a bit of momentum, and then jazz up your premises with a showcase of your talents. Shout out all about it!
And have a great and profitable Small Business Saturday!