For major retailers, there’s Black Friday. But for small business owners, Small Business Saturday (the Saturday after Thanksgiving) is where the action is. You’ll want to develop a marketing plan to take advantage of this great sales weekend. In this article, you’ll get tips on developing your Small Business Saturday Marketing Plan.
A Special Day — Small Business Saturday
Originally developed by American Express (we know, you were thinking Hallmark Cards), Small Business Saturday is now a nationwide celebration of the cornerstone of the U.S. economy — the small business. According to the Small Business Administration, small businesses employ about half of U.S. workers and make up 46% of the Gross Domestic Product.
Small Business Saturday was started by AmEx in 2010 to promote small businesses, and take advantage of the holiday shopping between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It is always the same Saturday immediately after Thanksgiving. It was so popular that the US Senate unanimously passed a motion declaring Small Business Saturday an official day.
American Express is still the de facto expert at Small Business Saturday, and publishes a wealth of marketing materials and advice. They offer free signs, email templates, web badges, posters and other marketing materials to get your business’ name out there. You can also follow them on Facebook to get great ideas of what other small businesses are doing.
Get Social to Promote Your Small Business
Online is where it’s at. (It’s where you are now, right?) Facebook is part of life, and Instagram offers a growing audience that’s perfect if you have a visual product. Consistency in posting is key. Create a schedule for your planned posts, using themes to get started, like ThrowbackThursday, FunFriday, etc.
Use the official hashtag, #ShopSmall in all your posts. Other hashtags include #SmallBizSat, #ShopSmall, #DineSmall and #SmallBusinessSaturday. People who are searching for the hashtag will be able to find your business.
Rally Your Customers through “Check Ins”
Have a storefront location? Get customers to spread the word about your small business to their friends, ask them to check-in through social media. Offer discounts or promotions for those who show they’ve checked in on a platform like FourSquare, Yelp or Facebook. Many people shop places and products recommended by their friends.
Get Your Neighborhood Together!
Chances are, there are other small businesses near you. Organize a block party with refreshments, raffles, music and promote the party! Find out what your local community has planned and be part of it. Those relationships can help you throughout the year.
Don’t know any small business owners? Go to meetup.com and do searches with terms such as “small business meetup groups,” and “Small Business Saturday groups” in your area. It’s free so get joining to connect your name and business with motivated, enthusiastic people.
TIP: Make a list of local online and paper publications that promote your neighborhood. Find out what they are doing to promote Small Business Saturday. Nothing? Well, you can be the one to educate them on the small businesses in your community!
Work with a Local Charity
Customers love knowing where their money’s going — especially if it is for a good cause. For example, if you’re a dog wash company, promote a partnership with a local dog charity. Customers will be motivated to shop and happy to know their money would help others in their community.
Not a Retail Sales Company? You can Still Participate!
Even if you have a product or service that doesn’t necessarily fall under the “holiday shopping” category, don’t hold back. By associating with the shopping event, companies can benefit from some of the free marketing happening online and in local media. Have a professional service? Schedule a free seminar offering for the day.
So What’s Electricity Got to Do With It?
Well, you need power for your business, to keep the lights on, right? Otherwise, how would you be open on Small Business Saturday?
ElectricityPlans.com makes it easy to shop for small business electricity. We work with trusted retail energy providers and present their plans in an easy to understand format. If you need help understanding how to shop for electricity, we have articles for that.
From one small business to another… let’s do this!