Ah, Black Friday – The day that millions of crazy shoppers rush to the big box stores to fight the crowds (sometimes literally) in the hopes of bringing home the big deal that may or may not actually be a “deal”.
What a way to start off the warm and fuzzy holiday season…
$717 billion was spent last year on Black Friday, and the projections for this year are for another rise of about 4%. The problem is, this money is mostly spent with the “Big Guys” – Stores like Best Buy, Walmart, Target, etc. These stores have one thing in common, they are so large, and they have the ability to slash prices so deep that it feels like it’s impossible for a small business to compete.
That is why Small Business Saturday was made.
Small Business Saturday, the day after Black Friday, draws the attention away from those big box stores and shifts it towards the local small businesses. It’s an amazing concept that helps people realize how great the companies right in their backyard are.
This is your moment to shine!
How to make the most out of Small Business Saturday
1. Remember, it is not just about the one time sale
With my experience working in retail, I can tell you for a fact that all those big box stores take a loss on Black Friday. So why do they do it? Because they realize how important the long-term impact of these sales are.
And this is what you should realize too, coming into it. Small Business Saturday isn’t how much profit you can make in a day, but about getting awareness for your business and starting a relationship with new customers. Remember this when you go to make your offer, it will greatly change your perspective.
2. Create a non-traditional and compelling offer
When people think about Black Friday deals, they automatically go to massive price cuts. While sometimes it’s the best option, it is also the most forgettable. Instead, think about an offer or a deal that people will remember.
For example, if you own a small clothing store, you might just want to mark everything off 30% and call it a day. But how much more impactful would it be if you offered not only 10%, but a free breakfast buffet for anyone that makes a purchase? Now that is an offer that can get people in the door and give them an experience that they won’t forget!
3. A little paid advertising can go a long way!
Now you could have the coolest most unique offer on earth but if no one knows about it, you might as well have not done it at all. This is where paid advertising can be your friend. For local businesses, Facebook ads are a cheap and effective way to reach a TON of people. Just $20-$30 can help you reach thousands and thousands of targeted people and make them aware of you and your offer.
4. Launch early and run the promotion up to Small Business Saturday
While Small Business Saturday is just a one-day event, it doesn’t mean your offer has to be! By giving people extra time to claim your offer, you increase the total amount of people that might be able to take advantage of what you are offering. It is also important that you make your timeline to be before Small Business Saturday, not after. People are already planning what offers they want to take advantage of and if you wait, you risk people having “deal fatigue” or they might not have any more money to spend after a long weekend of shopping.
5. Make sure to follow up!
Whew. Alright, Small Business Saturday is over and you are exhausted… but the work doesn’t stop there. After the big weekend is over, be sure to follow up with social media posts, emails out to your list, or any other method of communication that you have talking about how amazing the day was. This is your opportunity to try and leave a lasting impression on both the new customers that you gained and the ones that might have missed out. Maybe you just say “thank you” or maybe you give another offer to those who missed out on the original one. Whatever it might be, make sure that you keep your momentum rolling throughout the rest of the holiday season1
Small Business Saturday is a huge opportunity for small businesses of all kinds, not just retail! No matter what your business type is or what product or service you offer, you can find some way to participate and put yourself on the map against the bigger stores. Make sure to participate, give yourself a lot of lead up to reach new audiences, then use the opportunity to your full advantage to grow, not just on that day, but going forward as well!