A couple of days ago, I talked about preparing your company for Black Friday / Cyber Monday. Another day that is just as important for holiday shopping is Small Business Saturday. Of course, this needed its own post.
Small Business Saturday actually started as the Shop Small campaign in 2010 by American Express. The following year, the U.S. Senate “unanimously passed a resolution in support of the day,” according to the American Express website. They have since been diligent about supporting small businesses and encouraging other to purchase locally, both during the holidays and the rest of the year.
The Saturday after Thanksgiving can be an important one for small businesses. People who may not normally shop locally are reminded of how they can change their communities by buying from their neighbors. Consumers will wander around antique shops and boutiques, find hole-in-the-wall restaurants (which usually have the best food!), and get their coffees from a cafe just down the street.
If you own a small business, it’s time to get ready for Small Business Saturday. Whether you have a brick-and-mortar place or simply sell online, make sure you have your ducks in a row. For online shopping, your website needs to be speedy, up-to-date, and optimized for mobile. These are all important for a great shopping experience that will leave you with happy – and hopefully repeat – customers. For in-store shopping, make sure that window displays are relevant, and that you strategically place items throughout the store that will grab a customer’s eye. Whether you’re inviting people into your store or steering them toward your website, you need to prepare for this now. Customers are already shopping around! Get your pricing and potential discounts lined up. Figure out what products and services you will be highlighting.
Something else that you, as a small business owner, can do is tell your story. Especially when it comes to locals, people want to know how you started. Are you running a business that your grandfather started? Did you move to the city from another country? Did your husband have to convince you to start the business because you felt insecure? People want to put a face to the name. Let them know why you love where you have set up shop. It’s the interaction that customers enjoy. Make it interactive and show them why you can be an even better choice than some of the big names out there.