Small Business Big Lessons® – Best Tips for Small Business Saturday® 2023

Annual Small Business Saturday® – Shop Local, Shop Small® Top Tips 2023

The past few years during and after COVID have changed the landscape for small businesses. Everything from adding street pick-up, more delivery and increasing online options. It’s time again to get ready for Small Business Saturday®. It always falls between Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday. Launched in 2010 by American Express to help promote local shopping. One year later, the Senate approved a resolution supporting the Shop Small movement and it was supported by local governments in all 50 states. It’s always the first Saturday after Thanksgiving. This year it falls on November 25th. It continued to grow and gain strength with a day focused on promoting shopping in local stores as well as online.

Think beyond what you’ll do specifically for Small Business Saturday®, plan your entire holiday marketing campaign. Think beyond just this one day – what you will do in terms of promotions, inventory, reasons to return and the overall customer experience to grow your business through 2024 and beyond.

It’s hard to believe, but the weekend after Thanksgiving is right around the corner and the time to start planning and marketing is now!

1) Update your marketing collateral with fresh ideas and free materials – AMEX provides plenty of free content along with ideas you can customize to stand out. They also have several ~2 minute clips in the #ShopSmall Accelerator Video Series with creative social media ideas to increase your engagement level and attract more customers. This year they added targeted content for online, retail, dining, beauty in addition to the usual general content. Explore their assets and access all available resources. Take advantage of the social media hashtags #ShopSmall, #SmallBusinessSaturday, #SmallBizSat. Create a regular rhythm to share your message. Make this a year-round initiative.

2) Be found and unite – Work with your business colleagues nearby and create a game / scavenger hunt / incentive to stop by. Come up with something special for this Saturday that you wouldn’t do at any other time of the year. Check and make sure you’re included in the Shop Small Map® and create a list if you’re not. Team up with your local chamber of commerce and other trade associations. Many of them are considered champions of the neighborhood. Give away prizes like gift cards to shine your business in the spotlight. Successful marketing drives traffic and ultimately repeat business.

3) Stocks and increased level of customer service – Make sure you have enough product for what you are advertising. Now is the time to highlight your business and differentiate it through improved customer service and support with high-quality interactions. Use your customer list and ask them to help spread the word about your business. Encourage online feedback and respond to it immediately. Be engaged and plan the seeds for reasons to return to your business more often, whether online or physical. Offer gift cards for sale to help your existing customers drive new customer traffic and repeat business incentives.

Think carefully

I always encourage everyone to support small and local businesses throughout the year. Let’s do our part to keep our neighborhood and local businesses thriving.

Start with Small Business Saturday to set yourself up for a successful year-end. Make “shop local” part of your overall marketing message and year-round campaign.

I’d love to hear your ideas and success stories. Feel free to post comments or email them to me. Small Business, Big Lessons® – Shop local and small business all year round!

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