Whether you own the corner café with the delicious dark roast or the record store down the road that sells vintage vinyl, you should make the most out of Small Business Saturday on November 29. Independent We Stand is proud to once again partner with American Express on Small Business Saturday®, the day dedicated to celebrating small businesses like yours. Here are five things you can do now to give your business a head start on Small Business Saturday and the entire holiday shopping season.
1. Learn from the experts.
First things first: Small Business Saturday is November 29, 2014, so be sure to mark your calendars if you haven’t already. If you haven’t participated in years past, or you’re hoping to make a bigger impact this year, now is the perfect time to read up on the holiday. Learn about the best campaigns used by other small businesses and subscribe to the Small Business Saturday newsletter at American Express OPEN’s Small Business Saturday website.
2. Personalize your marketing materials.
American Express is offering free personalized marketing materials to help you promote your business on Small Business Saturday. These materials include everything from printable signage to free online ads. However, supplies are limited and Small Business Saturday is just around the corner so order yours today. Click here to get started.
3. Work with other local businesses.
Small Business Saturday doesn’t just benefit your business – it helps out the entire community, local businesses and customers included. Chances are, the other small businesses in your community will be participating too, so why not join together to raise awareness and enhance the experience for customers? Coordinate with the local bakery next door to welcome customers with a holiday treat. Spread local cheer by offering customers a joint deal with the indie bookstore around the corner. By working together in advance to make these arrangements, Small Business Saturday will be more exciting and more successful for all the small businesses in your community.
4. Get on social media.
Social media can be an effective way to reach customers in your community looking for the best deals around Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday, but you have to lay the groundwork ahead of time. Like Small Business Saturday on Facebook and follow American Express’s Shop Small on Twitter to stay updated on the nationwide celebration. Use the hashtags they promote to get attention and promote your plans. Create a Facebook event for your local celebration to get customers excited and to remind them as it gets closer. The shop small conversation never ends online, so it’s always a great time to engage with customers on social media.
5. Build repeat business.
Make sure that the customers who come into your store now will come back on Small Business Saturday, and encourage them to bring their friends with them. Review, and if necessary, step up your customer service strategy so customers are more likely to return. Start a customer loyalty program with rewards for successive purchases to give customers a reason to stop by again and again. Turning first-time customers into loyal supporters is your greatest opportunity to expand your reach on Small Business Saturday.
It’s never too early to start preparing for the most wonderful time of the year. Plan your Small Business Saturday celebration now so that your business and your customers benefit in the long run.
Independent We Stand is dedicated to helping independent businesses across the country engage their communities and encouraging customers to buy local. If you’re a business owner, get buy local resources, tips and news by registering at www.independentwestand.org/membership/. If you’re a consumer, take the pledge to buy local and find local businesses in your community at www.independentwestand.org/take-a-stand/join-the-movement/.