Small Business Saturday Strategizing

Thanksgiving preparations are underway and shoppers are getting ready for the biggest retail weekend of the year. It's not too late to create a marketing plan for Small Business Saturday that targets your best clients and inspires new customers to make the trip into the local community. The most effective Small Business Saturday advertising campaigns can answer three questions: why your community should shop on Small Business Saturday, why customers should stop by your business, and why your shoppers should buy now. With a few creative strategies and a little holiday magic, these last-minute ideas can set your business up for a successful Christmas season.

Promote Visits on Small Business Saturday

With national Small Business Saturday advertising campaigns already in full swing, potential shoppers in your community will be on the lookout for local businesses to support. Combine forces with neighboring businesses to cross-promote your services and give customers a reason to participate on Saturday. Could a local cafe provide complimentary coffee for early morning visitors? Or maybe a neighboring spa could offer chair massages at a steep discount on site? Think of a few unique ways you could promote your own business at other locations as well.

As you make plans, reach out to local bloggers and media to share your special event schedule. Be sure to tell your own small business story and share why your local community is so meaningful to you. If you have a favorite local charity, consider collecting donations or offering support in a way that it is unique to your own business.

Make Your Business Stand Out

Bring the shoppers in your community right to your door with smart strategies to make your business stand out. Promote your shop's exclusive items that can't be found anywhere else, or offer day-of-only deals and limited-time specials.

Consider extending your opening hours earlier in the morning or later in the evening to accommodate busy weekend shoppers and create a sense of excitement for the day. Think of inviting a local celebrity to visit and greet Small Business Saturday shoppers, or plan a schedule of special events to draw in families, couples, or singles throughout the day.

Encourage Shoppers to Buy Now

Once your shoppers have arrived, make their purchasing decision as easy as possible. Set up sections dedicated to stocking stuffers, hostess gifts, or other easy-to-forget gifting categories. Offer a coupon or gift with any purchase to encourage repeat buyers later in the season. Be sure to keep your shelves filled, and have extra help on hand to keep lines short and customer service top notch.

Get the Word Out

You've made a great plan for Small Business Saturday, now get the word out to as many local shoppers as possible. Just before the big day, send an email blast to your current clients with details of your promotions and special events. Create a Facebook event to publicly invite your supporters and make it easy for them to share with their own social groups.

On Saturday, use your business's social media pages to post in real time about in-store events, using Small Business Saturday hashtags to maximize their reach. Encourage customers to check in at your shop with social media discounts for those who use a unique hashtag, or set up a selfie station to showcase some of your shop's favorite items while inspiring some social media sharing.