Written on November 14, 2012 at 8:06 am, by Linda Bao
Watch out Black Friday, there’s another holiday shopping event looking to make a big impact on small businesses and their local economies.
Small Business Saturday takes place on the Saturday following Thanksgiving, November 24th, and calls on consumers across the country to support small businesses as they embark on the busiest shopping days of the year. Originally created by American Express in 2010, it rallied more than 100 million people to “Shop Small” in their communities just last year.
We don’t have to convince you that enhanced exposure during the holidays is great for the bottom line. However, since it’s a busy time of year, here are four steps to follow to make the most of Small Business Saturday.
1) Get a Game Plan Together – Download the Small Business Saturday Toolkit, which includes signs and tutorials on small business marketing activities like creating a Facebook presence and uploading a YouTube video. Next, decide which activities will work best for your business. Many small businesses create special promotions, deals or discounts on Small Business Saturday. Is there a way your business can provide an extra incentive to shop with you on November 24th?
2) Get in Front of Your Audience - Think about where your customers are already engaging. If you have a storefront, printable window signage (available in the Toolkit) might be the best place to get their attention. If not, focus on driving them to your website. If you send out a monthly newsletter, make sure you feature Small Business Saturday in your next issue.
3) Get Social - American Express has created all kinds of digital methods to become informed and get involved, whether you’re already socially engaged or starting from scratch. Be sure to ‘Like’ the official Small Business Saturday Facebook page and sign up for the ShopSmall e-newsletter to receive continual resources and ideas for how to participate. If you don’t already have a Facebook page or Twitter handle, now is a good time to create one and begin to grow your online community. The Small Business Administration has a great guide to getting started.
4) Get Organized - An influx of business is a good thing, but can be overwhelming if you aren’t prepared. Make sure you have the proper tools and processes in place to make the day go
smoothly. Ensure you have ample staff for November 24th, and a way to track everyone who shops with you that day, especially first-time customers. Consider a formal CRM system, or simply ask customers to provide their email addresses (voluntarily) so you can keep in touch.
Small Business Saturday Bonus: Keep employee travel plans organized during the busy holiday season by giving TripIt for Business a try. In celebration of Small Business Saturday, you can use Promo Code: “SBSat” to receive a two month free trial of TripIt for Business!
Note: Offer valid for first time TripIt for Business users only.