Small Business Saturday is just a few days away, and marks the beginning of the busy holiday season for most small businesses. It’s been ten years since American Express established the holiday to take place the Saturday after Thanksgiving with the focus to support small businesses and the communities they serve – and has grown to a record $17.8 billion in spending in 2018 with projections to climb even higher this year.
Small businesses are the heart of local communities and the entrepreneurial spirit. Supporting a local bakery or an online jewelry artist not only provides you with a more personal experience, but the Shop Small movement also strengthens local economies. For every dollar spent at a U.S. small business, 67 cents stays in the local community. Small Business Saturday drives revenue to the little guys during the busiest time of year, that’s why it’s so important.
Whether you’re a local brick and mortar business or an online service provider, the holidays are here and it’s not too late to take advantage. Here are six ways to make the most out of Small Business Saturday and the rest of the holiday season.
Be Easy to Find
As holiday shoppers prepare, they may look you up. Make sure your address, contact information, and hours are up to date on your website and social media. Thanks to Small Business Saturday, a lot of people are encouraged to patronize small businesses starting now, and they’ll likely be looking you up on their smartphone
Take Advantage of Free Resources
American Express established the Small Business Resource Center to make it as easy as possible to promote your business this season. It includes a way to create custom marketing materials and trials of tools like Ripl Pro for social media assistance — all for free!
Ramp up Communication
Are you running a holiday promotion or a discount? Utilize your social media channels and email list to let your network know about it. Make sure you’re leveraging relevant hashtags like #shopsmall, make sure your loyal customers are tagging you, checking in, and helping to share your message.
Test New Ideas
Thinking about adding a new or product service? Utilize your holiday traffic to test the waters. Promote it and during the holiday rush to see what type of response you get. You can even use it as a teaser during the holidays to keep them coming back in the new year.
We know you’re busy. But now is not the time to be hard to reach. Even if you’re not available to answer every phone call, there are things you can do like setting up custom greetings on your virtual phone system to ensure your callers that you’ll get right back to them before they go elsewhere.
Prepare for the Inevitable
Mixing up an order can really put a damper on your customer’s experience, especially during the holidays. Dedicate time to staying organized and when a mistake does happen, do your best to rectify the situation in a timely manner complete with a handwritten note and maybe throw in a freebie or a discount for next time.
People are preparing their turkeys, making lists and planning their shopping routes, meaning your business is about to enter the busy holiday season.
Now more than ever, people want to support small businesses for the added level of care you put into your product or service. Ensure your business makes the shopping lists by kicking off the season with a strong Small Business Saturday. By staying organized, communicating your promotions and availability and offering great service you’re sure to have the best holiday season yet.