Small Business Saturday is a little over a week away (November 30), but there’s still time to get the word out and promote this worthwhile event. Here are some tips and ideas.
1. Plan out the day (do it right now!). The best way to benefit from Small Business Saturday is to treat it like the event that it is, so take some time (right now would be good!) to plan the day’s activities and offerings. What can you do for customers that will make the day a little different from any other Saturday? Maybe it’s offering face painting for the kids. Or bringing in a clown. Or offering free chair massages. Or offering an early bird special between 8 am and noon. Or maybe it’s a combination of a bunch of things. The day could look something like this:
- 8 am to noon—Early Bird Discounts
- Noon to 3 pm—Family Time! Face painting for the kids and free pizza!
- 3 to 5pm—Raffle off Exciting Item
- 5 to Close—BOGO Offers on Select Items
The key is to have a schedule and to figure it out in advance of the day itself. That way, you can promote all the activities. This brings us to the next task.
2. Schedule Email Reminders. The two big shopping days coming up that most people are aware of are Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Why? Simple. Marketing and advertising. You need to get the word out about Small Business Saturday, since it’s still a “young” holiday (the first one was observed in 2010). Plus, you need to up your game since you’re competing with these other two big retailer holidays around the same time.
Remind people about the date, and remind them often. Do this by creating a series of three emails:
- Send the first email ASAP. Here’s the concept: “Save the Date: Small Business Saturday is the day after Black Friday.”
- Send the second email on Black Friday, early afternoon: “Small Business Saturday is Tomorrow!” The gist of this is to remind people that the big box stores aren’t the only ones with great products and deals.
- Send the third email on Saturday morning: “Small Business Saturday is HERE.” Then, provide a run-down of the day’s activities. Consider including a bonus coupon for email subscribers only.
3. Get social. Social media can play a huge role in getting the word out. Make sure you have tweets, Facebook status updates, and so forth scheduled in the weeks and days leading up to November 30. Choose different days, and different times of day, to get the word out. Ideally, set up a page on your website or do a quick blog post outlining what people can expect on Small Business Saturday. You can link to this page on all the different social media platforms.
4. Recruit family and friends to help spread the word. Do you have lots of friends and family in the area? Ask them to help you spread the word. Encourage them to share your status updates on Facebook. Ask them to re-tweet you. Make sure they’re on your email list and ask them to forward the email to all of their friends who live in the area.
5. Ban together with like-minded business owners. You might not have time to make it happen this year (at this point), but keep this idea in your tickler file for next year. A great way to boost your exposure is to combine forces with other small businesses. For example, if your store is in a strip mall, what other independent businesses can you work with to market Small Business Saturday together? One way is to cross-promote. So when you send out an email to your list, you’d mention the happenings at some of your “partner” stores as well (and they’d do the same to their lists). You could combine marketing dollars and run some ads in the local paper or on the local radio station. You could all chip in to rent a bouncy house for the kids and place it in the communal parking lot. You get the idea.
6. Say thank you. Send out an email AFTER the event (like, the next day) thanking everyone who participated and reminding them that this is an annual event. Also remind them that shopping local throughout the holiday season is good for everyone and then provide some additional sweet deals that will lure them back (and if you’ve worked with some other businesses, this is a great opportunity to cross promote again, share some of their deals, and have them do the same).
So how are we at Amsterdam Printing celebrating Small Business Saturday? Here’s the run-down:
Here at Amsterdam Printing, we will be sending out several emails to remind our small business owners to get ready for Small Business Saturday. We will also be doing a giveaway on Facebook and Twitter for $500 worth of free imprinted pens. In addition, we are teaming up with our local Chambers of Commerce to giveaway Small Business Saturday kits to local businesses.
What do you have planned? We would love to hear about it!