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Small Business Saturday: 7 last-minute marketing ideas

On November 30th, millions of shoppers will head out to support local businesses in celebration of Small Business Saturday. Make it easy for your community to support you with these last-minute marketing ideas.

1. Advertise around town 

Even if you’re crunched for time coming up to Small Business Saturday, you can take ten minutes to throw together a flyer advertising your promotions, then get help from friends and family to post them around town. Many hands make the work light, and those businesses who make time to promote their Small Business Saturday offerings stand to gain from extra foot traffic coming to check out the event. 

To spur the most traffic, be as specific as possible when advertising your special deals. For example, “15% off all home goods” is a much more exciting offer than generically saying “Saturday sales”.

2. Give staff a customer service refresher 

Refreshing employees’ customer service skills helps everyone provide a delightful experience so customers walk away from your store satisfied. In anticipation of Small Business Saturday crowds, go over common and uncommon scenarios with your team. This way, if someone needs a special order, or if there’s a problem with the credit card machine, employees know how to solve it efficiently.

3. Post on social media 

As you are getting ready for Small Business Saturday, post on social media to make business fans feel like a part of the process. You might post pictures of new holiday displays, share behind-the-scenes photos of inventory, or even post older photos, such as ones featuring store employees, who will be working on the big day.

When you post content on social media, don’t forget to share using seasonal hashtags like #smallbusinesssaturday to get found by local people curious who’s offering special deals on the shopping holiday. @ShopSmall is the offical social media account for the small business shopping day, so if you tag them in your posts, your message could be shared. 

4. Offer incentives 

You may not be able to compete with big box stores when it comes to door buster prizes, but you can still offer incentives to boost sales. This could be traditional discounts or buy-one-get-one offers. There are also other ways to add value—Small business owners might partner with a local charity to donate a percentage of the day’s profits, offer complimentary gift wrapping, waive shipping charges for online orders, or give away cookies and hot cocoa. Think creatively about what might entice shoppers to your store and add value to their holiday season.

5. Stay open late 

Given how many people make an effort to shop locally on Small Business Saturday, it stands to reason that by extending your hours, you will reach more people and sell more products. Open earlier or stay open late and blast your special hours across social media to lure the most foot traffic this Small Business Saturday.

6. Create a festive atmosphere 

If you haven’t done so yet, decorate your store for the holiday season. The earlier you do this, the better, as people browsing the neighborhood could be lured in by an enticing window display well before the official shopping holiday. 

Come Small Business Saturday, find ways to stay festive. For instance, invite a local musician to give a concert, offer hot beverages and snacks, or host demonstrations. Anything you can think of that would be attractive to visitors should go on a calendar, so that the day can be jam-packed with entertainment. 

7. Add a discount code online 

Many Small Business Saturday ideas focus on serving traffic in-store, since that’s the way the shopping event is traditionally celebrated. But why not take a second to put together a coupon offer for those who follow your brand but can’t make it into the store on Small Business Saturday? Create an offer (say, 15% off plus free shipping), then share it across your social media, store newsletter, and website. It’s another way you can generate sales while taking advantage of shoppers’ enthusiasm for local businesses.

It’s a lot to plan, but it’s well worth it for business owners: In 2018, consumers spent close to $18 billion on Small Business Saturday. Studies show that $68 out of every $100 spent remains in the community when people shop locally, versus $43 when people shop at chain retailers. Going all-in for Small Business Saturday not only helps you in your business goals but supports the wellbeing of your broader community. Keep that in mind as you make your last-minute preparations.

At Rocket Lawyer, we can help your business all year long. Check out more resources for running a small business.

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