Everyone has heard of Black Friday—but have you heard of Small Business Saturday?
The Saturday after Thanksgiving is a day designed to encourage shoppers to shop at local businesses rather than big chain stores. Curious to learn about the best ways your business can capitalize on the Small Business Saturday initiative? Here are a few ideas.
Take Advantage of Social Media
You may have a company Facebook page or Twitter account and, of course, you post about your business there. But have you considered using your personal accounts to do the same? You don’t want to turn the place where you normally share pictures of your kids into a business account, but you do want to occasionally remind your friends that your small business supports your family.
You can also ask your employees to share a message about Small Business Saturday with their social media networks, but don’t force them to. Their personal pages are personal, and you shouldn’t infringe on that. Asking is OK. Requiring is not.
Post a Sign
This is an old-fashioned method, but it still works. If your business is somewhere with good foot traffic, post a sign in your window reminding people that Small Business Saturday is coming up. People like to support local businesses, but they don’t often think about it. So, remind them!
Many small business owners are friends with other small business owners. Consider helping each other advertise and cooperatively promote Small Business Saturday. You can’t possibly provide everything your clients will ever need, so direct them toward other small businesses—and ask other businesses to do the same.
You can also ask your local Chamber of Commerce to create a sign listing businesses that are participating. This helps direct people where to go.
People go crazy over Black Friday because they get fantastic deals. You can come up with some great deals, too. People love a bargain, but if they don’t know about it, they won’t show up. Get them in the door by advertising your sale, and then win them over with your great service and industry knowledge.
No Guilt Tripping
You want to attract clients based on what you can do for them, not what they can do for you. Sometimes, small businesses try to promote themselves by focusing on the fact that the business owners have mortgages to pay and kids that need braces. But people who work for large businesses also have mortgages to pay and kids that need dental work, so that’s not a good argument. Instead, focus on why your business makes more sense to local clientele.