Your small business has an opportunity to make a big splash this Small Business Saturday. Are you prepared to make the most of it?
Every year, big businesses launch Black Friday sales that continue to creep their way deeper and deeper into the Thanksgiving holiday. Since many of these businesses also sell over the web, the lines between Black Friday deals and Cyber Monday specials begin to blur and large companies wielding huge advertising budgets dominate the long weekend.
In 2016 alone, businesses dropped over $1.2 billion in ad spend during this holiday period, while many of the Mom and Pop shops struggled to compete. Luckily, back in 2010 American Express designated the Saturday after Thanksgiving as Small Business Saturday in order to help give smaller companies and local brick and mortar stores a place to shine in the holiday shopping spotlight.
Small businesses that took advantage of thisÂ special day last year were able to enjoy their own piece of a $15 billion pie. Without Small Business Saturday pushing these sales into the local community, shoppers would likely have poured the same dollars into one or more of the Black Friday and/or Cyber Monday sales put on by the Big Box stores.
Unfortunately, just simply being a small business on Small Business Saturday doesnâ€™t guarantee that you will automatically see an increase in sales.Â In order to get a seat at the Small Business Saturday table, youâ€™ll need to plan ahead and look to deploy strategies that will help keep you competitive. And remember, you don’t have to just be a retail shop to get in on the action. Local service providers and small business owners of all kinds can partake in the festivities.
Here are a few tips we have put together that should give you an advantage for a successful Small Business Saturday:
- Get Your Digital Ducks In A Row
If you want to draw in more than returning customers, you need to have an intuitive web presence with accurate information and marketing messages that are easy to understand. Make sure there are no errors in your contact information and that any visitor can easily find your contact details. Make sure these details are identical across all social media platforms, directory listings, and anywhere else a shopper might look for your business info.
Once youâ€™ve covered the basics of cleaning up your contact info, youâ€™ll want to align your Small Business Saturday messaging between your website and social media channels. Your social media followers are highly likely to traffic your website and vice versa, so it will be important to not send mixed signals. Once you have a firm grasp on what you want your messaging to be, you can begin to leverage social media by making announcements to your audiences and others. By spending just a few dollars to promote your posts, you can reach a larger audience and tapping into relevant hashtags that are being used can keep you in the conversation while further drawing attention to your small business.
- Give Shoppers That â€śSmall Business Experienceâ€ť With Excellent Customer Service
If you are like many consumers, you prefer a personal touch when you are shopping or doing business with a service provider. Even though the motivation of manyÂ peopleÂ on Small Business Saturday will be to support their local community, you should still expect theyâ€™ll be looking for that high level of customer care that is so often missing from large coporations. Make sure you and your staff are ready to deliver warm, attentive customer service to eachÂ person you interact with so you donâ€™t miss an opportunity to create an experience that stands out from your competition. This is when lifelong customers can be won!
It is important that while you are helping a customer in your store or out on a job site with a client, that you arenâ€™t ignoring the folks who are calling your business. One of the best ways to ensure eachÂ person is provided with the highest level of care and attention is to use professional answering services like those provided by Sound Telecom. With a friendly and professional team of virtual receptionists always at the ready, you can forward your phones to be answered any time, while freeing up you and your team to provide the in-person, one-on-one customer service to the clients standing in front of you. By never putting your callers on hold or sending a potential customer to voicemail, you are providing a constant level of focused attention that your competitors will struggle to match.
- Small Businesses: Stronger Together
The primary driving force behind a successful Small Business Saturday is a strong sense of community. This means it is arguably the best time all year to consider joining forces with other local businesses and create a mutually beneficial experience that shoppers will want to be a part of. When you choose your partners carefully, cross promoting with other brands can be a powerful way to connect with even more consumers.
The key is to not be afraid to be bold and creative when sitting down with fellow business owners. For example, at first glance, it might not be obvious how to create synergy from a pizza joint and a local jewelry store, but that didn’t stop two entrepreneurs from creating a unique opportunity.Â The owner of JEM Jewelers and Tony Saccoâ€™s Coal Oven Pizza came together and developed a campaign where customers at the pizza parlor were able to pick a stone out of a jar containing 200 pieces of cubic zirconia and one 1ct. diamond. The customers who drew would then have to walk to the jewelry store next door to see which stone they had. The winner who drew the diamond would get to keep the $5,000 stone in hopes that they would purchase a setting to go along with it, while the zirconia holders would get a 10% off coupon. This strategy was incredibly effective, as customers would be so eager to draw the diamond that some would come in to the restaurant night after night. Consider the success this winning team had and look around at the businesses near you to see if you can spot a diamond opportunity.
Final Thoughts For A Successful Small Business Saturday
With Small Business Saturday right around the corner, now is the time to focus yourself and your team on ways you can make the most out of it. As you can tell by these tips, one of the most important things you can do is make a lasting, positive impression on your customers. Because after the hype of Small Business Saturday dwindles down, the excellent service experienced by your shoppers will be what brings them back again and again. And itâ€™s their stories of your business that will be what attracts even more new customers.
Sound Telecom partners with all sorts of small businesses across the country to help improve their customer service efforts and make sure they never miss an opportunity to grow their companies. We’d like to wish all of our small biz clients a happy Small Business Saturday and say thanks for being a valuable part of your community.