It's that time of year again - as families are preparing their homes and kitchens for Thanksgiving, small business owners are prepping for the shopping rush that takes place every year during the weekend following the holiday.
Most people are familiar with Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but one retail holiday that has gained impressive steam over the past several years is Small Business Saturday - or the day directly after Black Friday. During this time, small business owners are urged to promote their own unique deals for the holiday season to encourage consumers to take advantage of these time-sensitive promotions while they last.
What is Small Business Saturday?
Created by American Express in 2010, Small Business Saturday is designed to rival Black Friday, where all the major brands and chain stores offer discounted merchandise to stimulate holiday purchases. The holiday is about supporting brick and mortar shops that have a staple place in the neighborhood, encouraging them to adopt promotions that will get more people to patron these shops when buying gifts for the holiday season.
How should I prepare my store?
If you're looking to join the various other small business owners who are taking part in the holiday, join the movement by offering deals and promotions this Nov. 29. Your brand should not only decide which holiday deals it will have during this time, but also examine the best ways to get the word out to the consumers who are most likely to visit your store.
Take advantage of your preexisting virtual audience by sending an online newsletter to consumers already on your email list. The message doesn't have to contain all the deals your store plans on displaying, but it can have a few of the larger ones to inspire more people to visit on Saturday.
In-store displays are equally effective for attracting visitors during the holiday weekend. Opt for signage that can adorn street-facing windows, as well as fliers or posters that can be seen by consumers who enter the store. Be sure to let any consumers who visit your store before Nov. 29 know that your brand will be offering special deals on Small Business Saturday.
Promoting deals on social media
As with most promotions from your brand, you should be developing a social media campaign to supplement the in-store offerings. American Express recommended creating those that will inspire people living in your neighborhood to participate, so try to stress your company's personality and impact when posting future deals on your Facebook. This can include employee spotlights, pictures from your store, or deals that are specific to your city or neighborhood. For example, you may let consumers know that anyone who enters with a school ID from a neighboring institution can take an additional 15 percent off his or her overall purchase.
When posting on Twitter, Instagram or Vine, use American Express' hashtag "#ShopSmall" to get a glimpse of other brands across the country that are adopting similar deals for Small Business Saturday. Don't forget to keep your posts consistent across your various networks!