Small Business Week was created by the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) nearly 40 years ago. It is now celebrated as a way to help small businesses boost their in-store and digital sales. This year, Small Business Week runs from October 14-20. Over the years, the promotion has been incredibly successful. For example, in 2015, Canadians participated in close to 300 events to celebrate small businesses across the country (PDF).
If you’re thinking about upping your Small Business Week game, here are a few ways to use advertising and small business giveaways to make the most of the fall season.
The first step is to get the word out about your Small Business Week deals. Announce them to as many customers and potential customers as possible. Consider registering an event to officially be part of BDC Small Business Week.
- Make sure your website is up-to-date with your Small Business Week hours, along with the specials you’ll be running.
- Get your social media followers excited about your Small Business Week plans by posting details early and often.
- If you’ve got a customer mailing list, announce your special hours and deals by sending promotional products for small businesses, like magnet business cards. Or give customers a Wooden Nickel offering a free cup of coffee along with a reminder to visit you.
Get prepared for the big week and the added foot traffic you’ll be getting.
- This is a great time to make sure your store is as clean and well-organized as possible. Get out your fall decorations to create a festive atmosphere.
- Have enough staff to cover all your shifts. (Hint: Consider offering a higher-than-usual commission rate or cater in meals for those who are working busy shifts.)
- If you’re offering a free cup of coffee or small business giveaways, order everything well in advance to be sure supplies are ready for the big week.
Small Business Week is a perfect opportunity to partner with other small businesses or community associations. You can share some of the expenses, like online or offline advertising, sponsored social media posts, or promotional products for small businesses. Throughout the week:
- Pass out a brochure that talks about each business. Make sure it includes a map to get people from store to store.
- Ask people to get their maps signed by staff at each store they visit. If visitors get signatures from all the stores’ partners, enter them in a drawing to win a prize, like a smartphone wallet or keychain charger, compatible with iPhone® and Android®.
- You may also consider hiring local talent to perform in your stores throughout the week.
Small Business Week offers a boost before the holidays
Participating in Small Business Week is a great way to get a boost before the holiday season. With these tips and small business giveaways, you’ll keep people coming back, even when the holidays are over.