Now in its fifth year in the UK, Small Business Saturday is a great opportunity for small businesses to attract new customers – and offer brilliant deals to existing clientele.
In 2016, £717m was spent by UK customers on Small Business Saturday, an increase of 15% on the previous year.
This year, Small Business Saturday takes place on 2 December and companies across the UK will be taking part.
While larger businesses tend to see the most benefit from Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday gives smaller firms the chance to make an impact in the lead up to Christmas.
If you run a local shop, family firm, online retailer, small manufacturer, wholesaler or business service – and you are a small business – then you should be participating in Small Business Saturday.
Make sure your business is fully prepared to capture a share of the proceeds on this important day of the year. Here are some simple tips to get you ready for Small Business Saturday.
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Craft a special offer
The basic message of Small Business Saturday is that consumers should support small, local businesses. But the campaign will only get customers to your door – it won’t make them shop.
By creating a special offer, such as a one-day sale or time-bound voucher, you can encourage customers to purchase now and then come back later in the year – perhaps for a last-minute Christmas present or during the Boxing Day sales – and into the future.
Get your Small Business Saturday payment strategies ready
When it comes to major shopping events, queues tend to take centre stage. But if you can tackle this issue head on, you could end up scoring more sales – and end up with a lot more happier customers. Make sure you have enough staff on board to deal with enquiries and take payments – great customer service is key.
And why not use a wireless POS or mobile device to take payments? Instead of people stressing about standing in queues, your staff can deal with questions from customers, address their needs, make the sale and take the payment without the customer having to wait for 10 minutes at the end to pay for their goods.
Reach out to your loyal customers
You should already have an email marketing list in place – but if not, now is the time to start. Developing an email list of your loyal customers is the best way to send out special information and materials related to your business – including Small Business Saturday. Send out a personal message to your customers and invite them to check out this year’s special offers or promote them to your fans on social media.
Get connected on social media
Speaking of social media, use your Twitter, Facebook and Instagram pages to let people know you’re participating in Small Business Saturday – and if you have a special offer. Consider using a promotional code that’s only available on social media so you can track your incoming sales from that channel and make strategic decisions on where to focus your marketing efforts in the long term.
Figure out who’s participating in your area
It’s a great opportunity to meet other like-minded business owners and grow a network that can be used for referrals throughout the year in your community. Building these relationships can also help you become a neighbourhood champion of the event and promote it (and other businesses) to your local customers.
Think about the big picture
Small Business Saturday happens during the busy holiday shopping season, so why not make it part of your overall marketing plan? You can use the day to either sell a special offer or to increase general awareness about your business, which can carry through to more holiday sales in general.
Celebrate being small
Small Business Saturday is about celebrating what makes you unique. Small businesses drive the economy. Share your passion, the lessons you’ve learned as a small business owner and why you love what you do. Let your customers – and potential customers – know about your brand and products and celebrate being small.
Follow these steps and you’ll be prepped and ready to take advantage of Small Business Saturday.