Small business Saturday might not be as big as Black Friday…. Yet, but it’s definitely creeping up there. More and more people are gravitating toward the idea of utilizing small, local businesses instead of the big guys. Small business Saturday is similar to black Friday, but instead of fighting with a thousand other people at WalMart at 2AM, you get to support your own community!
How did it get started? Well, starting in 2010, American Express saw that small businesses were often hurting around the holidays, because of the big companies who are able to offer lower prices, and less quality work/products. In an effort to help small businesses and unify the community, American Express had the idea to launch “Small Business Saturday.” It happens the Saturday after Thanksgiving, and is meant to draw attention to, and bring business to small/local businesses. Just 2 years later, all 50 states were in participation of Small Business Saturday, and now it just keeps getting bigger and bigger. You can read more facts about the big day, from AmEx themselves, here.
Why is it so Important?
It draws attention to small businesses: When you’re a small or local business, this day is really big for you. You are able to use the fact that people are searching out deals and small businesses to work with to your advantage. People recognize that this day means they should be patronizing small businesses, instead of big companies. Focus on drawing more attention to yourself by offering treats to anyone who comes in your door, or a discount for anyone who follows you on Facebook. These tactics are perfect for the day when people are already paying more attention to you just because you’re a small business!
It sets the stage for loyal customers: Small business Saturday is your perfect opportunity to gather contact information from your current and potential customers. Tell them you will send them a coupon when they sign up for your emails or text messages. Once they come through the door, show them how much better your business is than your competition, and make it so they want to return time and time again.
It focuses on community: People love feeling like they are making a difference. The good news is, when someone patronizes a small business, that’s exactly what they’re doing. Small business Saturday helps people focus on the community, and makes them realize that supporting small businesses means supporting your community. It’s a helpful reminder to consumers that when you support a small business you are supporting someone’s family, their dream and even their neighbors!
How can Business Owners get the Most Out of it?
Gather Information: As previously mentioned, this is your opportunity to create loyal customers. The first step in creating loyal customers is engagement. In order to engage, you need to have contact information. Use small business Saturday as a way to get that valuable information from your consumers. Have them sign up to receive discounts, or offer a reward program to those who give you their information. You can even use an incentive like something as simple as an informational newsletter that you’ll be sending out.
Offer Discounts: Nothing can get people through your door like a deal. People use days like this to buy products and schedule services that they might need in the future. If you are looking to really get into the spirit of the day, offer a discount so people can’t resist your small business!
Get to Know Your Consumers: This day is all about you- the small business owner! Use it to get to know your consumers, and make room for your business in the community. This is a great opportunity to host an open house, or offer some family fun at your place of business. Getting to know your consumers now sets you up to have their business in the future.
Be creative with your Small Business Saturday marketing- and good luck!