Small Business Saturday Comes Once a Year — Is Your Business Ready?

November 28 is Small Business Saturday, a day established in 2010 during the economic recession to encourage people to shop at local brick-and-mortar businesses after Thanksgiving day.

Small Business Saturday 2020 offers many opportunities for you to promote your products and services. These four simple tips can help you make the most of the day and boost sales at your business.

1. Set Strong Goals

This day is meant to shine a spotlight on your company and other local businesses for a day. All of that attention can help you reach new customers, but it may take some planning on your part to make it successful.

As you prepare for Small Business Saturday, set specific goals that align your various priorities across the holiday season. This will make it easier to focus your efforts. Even if you fall short of your aim, you can learn from that failure and use what you’ve gleaned to improve your company’s performance in 2021.

2. Leverage Your Advocates

Use your newsletters, online presence and other channels to promote the day to your regular customers, fans and allies in the community. To get the word out, make your message easy to spread — the information you provide about the day and your business should be simple enough to share across popular social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok.

Be detailed and specific about how your advocates and allies can help you promote your business. This is also a good time to look over your online reviews on Google, sites like Angie’s List and your local Better Business Bureau. Resolve any outstanding issues, and recommend that happy customers leave a review about their experience.

3. Connect Your Business to a Local Cause

No matter when it is — a decade ago, 2020 or far in the future — ties to the local community never go out of style. The impression you make to the people who pass by your business every day carries weight. So, it’s important for your business to show your company values and support local initiatives, whether they’re related to social causes, health and wellness, the arts or something entirely different.

Dedicate a percentage of your proceeds to a local nonprofit, set out a basket for donations or share about how you donate your goods and services to support a worthy cause. Take pictures to document your charity work regardless of what you choose to do. Images of happy employee volunteers or photos of you with your sponsored nonprofit at an event speak louder than words, and they’re also more likely to be viewed and shared. Customers appreciate that local businesses are uniquely positioned to support local charities.

4. Cross-Pollinate With Other Businesses and Media

Strengthening your bonds with the local community doesn’t have to begin and end with nonprofits. You can also find ways to connect with other nearby businesses. If there’s an independent coffeehouse on your street, for example, you could arrange a cross-discount coupon or giveaway.

But that’s just the beginning of creative ways you can promote your business by supporting your broader community. Shopping passports encourage customers to visit every store on the passport for a unique stamp from each establishment. Completed passports can be exchanged for gifts, prizes or drawings.

And don’t forget to leverage the media — such as TV, radio, newspapers and local bloggers — and involve them in your promotion efforts. The more you get involved with local businesses, the better the reception you will receive. Remember that while Small Business Saturday happens once a year, there are local and national efforts to advance small businesses throughout the year. If you don’t know of any in your area, consider starting your own!

Small Business Saturday 2020 is just around the corner. With a little planning and a set of focused goals in front of you, you’ll be ready to start the holiday shopping season on the right foot and lay a foundation with new customers that can pay off for years to come.

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