Small Business Saturday® was created and trademarked by American Express® in 2010 as a way to boost sales at small brick-and-mortar businesses between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The promotion has been incredibly successful, with Americans spending $16.2 billion on Small Business Saturday in 2015.
If you’re thinking about upping your SBS game, now is the time to prepare. Here are a few ways to use advertising and small business giveaways to make sure you kick off the holiday season in a big way.
The first step is to get the word out about your Small Business Saturday deals. Announce them to as many customers and potential customers as possible. Here’s how:
- Make sure your website lists your Small Business Saturday hours, along with the special deals you’ll be running that day.
- Get your social media followers excited by posting details early and often.
- If you have a customer mailing list, send promotional products for small businesses, like magnet postcards, to members to announce your deals. Or, give customers a wooden nickel offering a free cup of coffee along with a reminder to visit you on Small Business Saturday.
Make sure you’re ready for the additional foot traffic you’ll be getting by thinking ahead.
- Your store should be clean and as well organized as possible. Add to the festive spirit with some holiday decorations.
- Have enough staff to cover all shifts. Consider offering a higher-than-usual commission rate or offer to cater meals for those who are working long hours.
- 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 day.
Small Business Saturday is a perfect opportunity to partner with other small businesses. You can share some of the expenses, like advertising (think online and offline), sponsoring social media posts or promotional products for small businesses. Then, on SBS day itself:
- Pass out a brochure that talks about each of your businesses and offers a map to get people from store to store.
- Ask people to get their maps signed by staff at each store—and if they get signatures from all the stores, give them 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 day.
Small Business Saturday kicks off the holidays
Participating in Small Business Saturday is a great way to kick off the holiday season. With these tips and small business giveaways, you’ll keep people coming back, even when the holidays are over!