Make the Most of Small Business Saturday

 In Sales and Marketing

Small Business Saturday is an opportunity to attract attention, drive traffic into stores on- and offline and generate more sales. According to the Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey, sales last year topped $16.2 billion, up 14% from 2014.

With so much attention paid to Black Friday, you might dismiss Small Business Saturday as less important.

In our previous article, we discussed some general marketing ideas that could help to boost your Small Business Saturday sales. In this piece we are highlighting other effective strategies that have been successfully implemented. We asked business owners for recommendations for before, during and after November 26:

Create an offering unique for the day.

Consumers love special deals or exclusive offers, so why not put together a special product or service bundle available only to shoppers on November 26. You could marry complementary products, create a discounted bundle of items, or roll out a limited edition offering.

Giveaways and raffles are popular and effective tools that companies, including Dr. Squatch Soap Co. of Fort Collins, Colorado, use to drive foot traffic. For 2015, A.J. Fountain, president and co-founder of men’s soap company, Dr. Squatch, reached out to 10 outdoor companies in Colorado and Wyoming.  He asked them to each chip in 10 items worth between $25-50 to be part of a raffle package. The result was a bundle worth nearly $500! Each of the 10 companies were than able to offer this bundle to its fans as a prize. Fountain says there was a backpack/travel pillow, a hat, a ski bumper, and several other items, including soap, that customers and prospects could win.

The giveaway attracted close to 2,000 entrants to the contest, says Fountain. Each of the 10 companies also gained 500 followers and saw a bump in sales. The giveaway “drove publicity for each company during the prime time of the year.”

Leverage social media.

Syd Suntha, co-founder of a Seattle-based portfolio of restaurants and food trucks, including Bread and Circuses, hits social media hard to promote his Small Business Saturday event. In addition to Facebook and Twitter, he also relied on Nextdoor, a locally-focused site for neighbors to share intel as well as announce parties and events.

Partner on a promotion.

Combining efforts with other businesses and charities can help promote your business while helping the community. Suntha created a Small Business Saturday event that partnered several local vendors to raise money for the local food bank.

For $20-30, attendees at his special Small Business Saturday promotion received a sample plate from three participating food trucks, a flight of four beers, and a raffle ticket for $2,000 worth of gifts donated by local businesses. Last year, Suntha and his partners raised more than $5,000 for the local Greenwood Food Bank and introduced hundreds of area residents to his food trucks’ menus.

Capitalize on your success with lead generation.

When your promotions succeed in attracting new prospects to your business, don’t lose the opportunity to find out who they are. Set out a guest book, offer an incentive to subscribe to your free newsletter, or hand out cards requesting feedback through SurveyMonkey which can capture their name and email address for follow-up.

Small Business Saturday is an annual opportunity to turn shoppers’ attention from big box stores to smaller outlets. Bringing attention and awareness to your business in smart ways can help your bottom line not only on November 26th, but also throughout the rest of the year.

Strategic Funding provides needed operating funds to small businesses. Strategic Funding has helped hundreds of industries including: restaurants, personal services, construction, medical, manufacturing, agriculture, retail stores, automotive, and food stores.

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