With little to no chance of competing with big-box retailers on marketing budgets, this sales event is so important for the small businesses that power the economy. So small business owners, are you ready to get in on some of that action? There’s not a lot of time, with Small Business Saturday® arriving after Thanksgiving and sandwiched neatly between this coming Black Friday and Cyber Monday, here are some steps to prepare and help you supercharge your small business Saturday.
Small Business Saturday in the USA is November 27th and in the UK takes place on December 4th 2021
Bunting at the ready!
This is an opportunity to share your story with your audiences, to thank your customers and to celebrate small businesses. Even more so this year with the varying degree and level of struggle most have faced this year, it’s your time to shine unapologetically.
Use this opportunity to remind your customers, potential customers and your audiences that you’re there to serve them and why. Make it easy for them to buy from you, an ever-important factor in today’s world.
And remember, not many of your customers will know about this movement so share it with them, get them involved and create a buzz.
Social proof at the ready!
Getting reviews, testimonials and social proof around your products and services will help your conversions. With a lot of business moving and being done online more and more, collecting reviews must be a part of your ongoing strategy. Follow up with existing clients and follow up after every purchase, this feedback loop should be baked into your processes. Remember, when you say something it’s sales and marketing but when your customers say it, it’s social proof.
Pop your Google My Business review link, TrustPilot, Facebook or whatever you use most on your email signature, send an email out after purchase and ask for a review. Even if you start small, make a start.
Social media at the ready!
It’s time to get all your offers, social media posts and content ready for the big event. It might be a bit of a time constraint to start building pressure up to the big event but look around at your existing content, last year’s content and find what you can repurpose. If you don’t have a graphic designer there are plenty of tools that you can use to make snazzy, professional-looking social media posts such as Canva and PicMonkey.
The hashtags to get involved with on social media are #ShopSmall, #SmallBizSat, #SmallBusinessSaturday and #SmallBizSatUK. You can get ideas and tips from following accounts like @shopsmall on Instagram.
Email marketing at the ready!
Providing offers, creating landing pages with giveaways and anything like that can be a powerfully effective way to build your email list. A growing email list is a signal of a growing business. This opportunity can’t be missed to promote your brand, promote an offer and get customers to sign up to your list. Remember, you don’t own your audiences on social media - you rent them and being able to get your offers out to your audiences is key to growing your business, not just on small business Saturday but year-round.
Customer experience at the ready!
Just because you’re a small business doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be investing in your customer experience. You’re either crushing it or it’s crushing you and in the eyes of your customers there’s no middle ground - it’s either good or bad.
Start by jotting down your customer’s journey from them finding you to making their purchase and beyond. At each touchpoint, ask how are you delivering on your brand values and promises. This isn’t rocket science and it can be as simple as making sure your phones are answered, answering enquiries promptly and manning your web chat.
This is as good a time as any to do some testing on your website. Make sure your forms are working, test that all your links work and if you sell online kick the tyres. You don’t want to lose out on important sales because of something as menial as a broken link!
Offers at the ready!
It’s tempting to jump on the Black Friday and Cyber Monday bandwagon but as a small business owner, you need to know your margins. Heavily discounted offers are fine for the big box retailers who can afford it but your customers buy from you for an altogether different reason, don’t let price be your differentiator.
You can still create irresistible offers and package up added value without massive sales or discounts. Maybe you can join forces with other small businesses and create a joint offer that’s unique, fun, different.