Could a single day make the difference in your entire year? When it comes to Small Business Saturday, the answer is definitely yes. On November 26, 2016, you’ll have a unique opportunity to capitalize on small business shoppers in your area. Innovating for a successful Small Business Saturday can improve your bottom line – especially if you start now.
The first step is to consider what’s worked in the past and what tactics you’ll employ this year. Think about your efforts during the last Small Business Saturday. What was effective? What wasn’t? What are some unique ways you can capitalize on the good while eliminating the bad? What new outreach ideas have you learned from this year that you can include? Be sure to ask the experts, your employees, who often have direct feedback from customers that they can share.
Secondly, consider who you could work with. Other companies that have similar customer bases, and offer complementary products or services, are great partners. If you have a retail store, consider what businesses are nearby that would make good partners. Be sure to approach them soon so that you can coordinate your efforts well in advance. The added benefit is shared marketing costs.
Finally, reflect on what additional offers you can make to bring people into your store. You can go beyond discounts and coupons. Consider a gift for visiting your store, a buy one get one, or even a free report or article that is of interest to your customers.
Create a Small Business Saturday Innovation Team
Consider creating a Small Business Saturday innovation team. It doesn’t have to be a large team. If you’re a smaller business, your team could include someone who’s familiar with marketing and another person who works directly with customers.
This team could work to create something truly unique using innovation methods described in our Innovation Academy. Whatever you decide, make sure that roles and responsibilities are established as well as a budget for marketing, coupons, gifts, or special prizes.
Create a Small Business Saturday Plan
When you plan for Small Business Saturday, be thinking about the entire season and not just a single day. When you think beyond Small Business Saturday, and make a comprehensive plan that includes the whole holiday season and beyond, you’ll see greater success.
Perhaps your plan includes a quick how-to video or special do-it-yourself projects that can only be done in your store. Maybe you’ll create a Small Business Saturday BINGO card or treasure hunt that requires customers to visit your store along with other stores that you’ve partnered with. Once customers are in your store, you can greet them with water, coffee, or treats to encourage them to stay longer. The sky is the limit.
The other thing to consider is how to get customers to come back to your store after the holiday season. Many savvy retailers give out coupons during the holiday season that give a discount or special bonus for shopping after the first of the year, while others offer a mobile app or punch card for repeat purchases. This gets customers to come back to your store, which not only adds to your bottom line but also increases the chance of converting a one-time shopper into a frequent buyer.
Continue to Stay Top of Mind
Leading up to Small Business Saturday, and throughout the holiday season and beyond, it’s important to stay top of mind with customers. As a small business, you don’t have the large budget and advertising reach of the bigger retailers. However, there are two tactics that can make a difference for you: social media and email marketing.
With social media, you can not only stay visible, but you can target specific customers in your area. With Facebook Ads, you can choose geographic location, special interests, job titles, income, and more. When you reach more people with ads, blog posts, and other interesting content, you can grow your audience and expand your influence. This will help you get better sales on Small Business Saturday and throughout the year.
Email marketing has shown to be very effective as it allows you to send personalized messages to thousands of people. When you use intriguing headlines, you’ll get more people opening and reading your emails.
When you arm your innovative Small Business Saturday team with tools and resources like social media and email marketing, you can reach the people who are most interested in what you have to offer. But, the time to start innovating and preparing for Small Business Saturday is now. Download the Crowdsourcing for Small Business white paper to learn how you can use crowdsourcing for innovating on this special day and beyond.