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Small Business Saturday – What’s It All About?

As a small to medium enterprise owner you’re probably familiar with Black Friday and Cyber Monday – two of the most lucrative shopping days in the run up to the Christmas season.  They started in America as long ago as 1932 with Black Friday marking the beginning of the Christmas shopping season, following Thanksgiving Day (which this year falls on Thursday, 24th November).  Following the weekend is Cyber Monday which was created by marketing companies in 2005 in order to persuade people to shop online.  According to research online retailers enjoyed a substantial increase in sales on the first Cyber Monday so it’s become an important part of the marketing calendar.  This leads us to Small Business Saturday which was developed in 2010 to help smaller businesses to grab their share of the online customer base and it’s become a day to celebrate small businesses, both in the communities and online.

As a small business owner, you too can take advantage of Small Business Saturday to increase your sales in the lead up to the festive season.  In these times of economic uncertainty, small businesses are feeling the push.  Many are going out of business as they struggle to keep up with new methods of marketing without the huge budgets that the larger corporations have for these activities.  Some small businesses are even experiencing debt problems resulting from poor cash flow and could do with an end of year boost to sales.  Here are some tips on how to make the most of Small Business Saturday:

Promotion, Promotion, Promotion

Spread the word using every tool available to you to promote your participation in Small Business Saturday on social media platforms, your website and event calendar, in store with posters and flyers or even in your neighbourhood.  If you’re a bricks and mortar business with High Street premises, let your customers know and ask them to share with friends and family on social media channels.   

Make it Memorable

Run a competition with a great prize (one of your higher end products/services, perhaps), offer free small samples, offer free taster sessions, hold a treasure hunt (in your store or even a virtual treasure hunt on your website), and get your customers involved.  Make Small Business Saturday a memorable experience for your customers and they will share it with friends and family, increasing your potential customer base.

Preparation, Preparation, Preparation

Make sure that you have enough staff to handle any offers and promotions so that you can cope with an increased number of customers.  Make sure your store (if you have bricks and mortar premises) is decorated and make sure your website has all the information about your Small Business Saturday activities/offers.  Your staff need to be kept fully informed – get them to join in by dressing up in festive gear.

Any savvy small business owner nowadays will be aware that there’s a huge audience of prospective customers out there – it’s just a matter of making sure your company, products and/or services get their attention.  There’s a growing number of people who are becoming disillusioned with large corporations and big business – they’re all looking for places both online and offline where they can buy from independent traders and keep small shops in business – take advantage of this movement on Small Business Saturday and let it benefit your business.