Saturday, November 24 was Small Business Saturday. Held the day after Black Friday, the event was a chance for small businesses to get in on the Black Friday sales that tend to be dominated by the large businesses that have enough money for circulars in the daily newspaper.
Created by American Express, Small Business Saturday first debuted in 2010, with 5,000 small businesses participating and 103 million shoppers visiting their stores. In response, the U.S. Senate passed a motion declaring Small Business Saturday an official day, and it has continued to grow over the last seven years.
In 2017, 43% of Americans shopped or dined at independently-owned businesses on Small Business Saturday. Revenues that day totaled $2.4 billion.
Hopefully, sales were good for your business, and you were able to reap the benefits of consumers going out during the weekend to shop for holiday gifts. But how do you keep the momentum going? Here are a few ideas:
- Focus on customer service. One thing that small businesses have over the big companies is that special bond between customer and business owner. Go that extra mile on Small Business Saturday, taking extra care to meet the needs of any new customers that walk in the door. Let them know of any other specials or sales between now and Christmas. Keep them coming back.
- Reward those new customers with a special discount if they leave a good word for you on Yelp or Google Business.
- Continue the sales. If you have a special sale on Small Business Saturday, why not extend it a few weeks to keep the customers coming in? As mentioned above, be sure to tell undecided customers that the item they’re looking at will still be on sale if they come back next week.
- Consider extended hours. Many of the big businesses extend their hours for the holiday; if you’re going to compete with them, you may want to stay open later to get that after-work crowd. Be sure to advertise that you’ll be open later.
- Form partnerships with other small businesses. Work out deals where you both offer deals at the other store if they buy something. Have a business card/brochure exchange where you keep their marketing materials in your store, and they do the same for you.
- Don’t forget social media. If you have a following on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, get the word out about sales and extended hours.
Don’t let Small Business Saturday be a one-day event. You can reap the rewards and watch your sales continue to grow during the holiday season.