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How You Can Prepare for Small Business Saturday

Small Business Saturday is no small deal. American Express estimated that in 2016, approximately 112 million Americans spent about $15.4 billion at small businesses, including retail outfits and restaurants, on the Saturday between Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

But Small Business Saturday can benefit all types of small companies – brick-and-mortar or not. You just have to know how to prepare.

This year’s even falls on Nov. 25, which means it’s less than a month away. So, we’re giving your preparations a jolt with some tips and advice on how to make the most out of 2017’s Saturday spending-palooza.

7 Tips for Making Small Business Saturday Work for You

1. Let everyone know it’s Small Business Saturday. Everyone is more than familiar with the blowout deals on Black Friday (and even Thanksgiving Thursday), and Amazon alone has managed to put Cyber Monday on the map. However, many Americans still don’t know that Small Business Saturday is a thing. Change that. Most people understand the importance of buying locally and keeping money in the community – and Small Business Saturday is a ready-made excuse to do just that. Make sure to include a mention of Small Business Saturday in any of your marketing materials (e-blasts, mailers and ads) and include hashtags like #smallbizsaturday and #smallbizsat in your social posts.

2. Promote Small Business Saturday. Awareness is great, and that alone should generate a few more visits and website page views. But where you can, fight fire with fire by creating a Small Business Saturday promotion or two so you can compete against the big companies and their sales. You don’t necessarily need to match the Walmarts and Targets of the world with 60%, 70% or 80% doorbusters, but putting yourself out there in the deal game should translate into shoppers putting you on their to-visit list over the holiday weekend.

3. Partner with other small businesses. One of the ways you can fight larger, deeper-pocketed companies is by banding together with other small businesses to deliver even more value in your promotions. Consider offering discounts or free trials alongside purchases of related items at other local businesses, and vice versa – for instance, offering a free HVAC inspection with any purchase of roofing services. Or even pool your money with local businesses to publish and distribute a coupon book to more effectively canvas the area.

4. Get your employees ready. This is especially important for brick-and-mortar retailers and restaurants. If you’re anticipating a greater-than-normal wave of business on Small Business Saturday, you can’t drop the ball once the customers come through the door. Keep your business staffed as well as possible to make sure everyone’s experience is quick and friendly, thus improving the chances of repeat business once Small Business Saturday has come and gone.

5. Let your customers promote you. It’s one thing for a business to tell you where you should buy – but it means something more if customers are signaling where to shop. Consider promotions such as a contest of the best selfies taken inside your store and posted to sites like Instagram and Snapchat, or small discounts for anyone who checks into your business on Facebook. These things can help put your business in front of people you haven’t yet reached.

6. Get free Small Business Saturday tools. American Express is a founding partner in Small Business Saturday, and has developed all sorts of free tools that can help small businesses promote themselves without wrecking their budgets. The Shop Small Studio, for instance, allows you to create customizable marketing materials – or if you’re really in a rush, even download ready-made materials.

7. Talk to the pros. Can you afford to mount a full-on Small Business Saturday attack this year? Would an increase in marketing around Small Business Saturday even make a dent in your business – or are other holidays a better use of your company’s budget? Basic tips and tools can be useful, but there’s only so much you can do without a fully realized strategy. That’s where the business consultants at McManamon & Co. come in. We can help you get a full grasp on your small business’ financial position and help you determine how to maximize every dollar you have.

To learn more about McManamon & Co. and our full suite of accounting, tax and business consulting services, call us at 440.892.9088 or contact us online.


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