This weekend marks the eighth anniversary of an event that has one goal in mind: supporting small businesses in the wake of big box and online competition. Small Business Saturday has had great success – 112 million shoppers spent $15 billion -- last year alone!
While many of our clients are not locally owned coffee shop or neighborhood boutiques, the message is clear: locally owned small businesses need your support to grow.
Here are six terrific tips every organization, small or large, can use to attract clients all year long.
Small Business Saturday Timeline and Takeaways
- 120 Days Out: Obtain a Premier Sponsor.
Small Business Saturday is exclusively promoted by American Express. Why? Their hope is targeted retailers and patrons alike, will use the card when processing or paying for products and services. Finding one large sponsor is a lot easier than trying for multiple small ones.
- 90+ Days Out: Lock in an Event Date.
Whether it’s a grand opening, significant anniversary or educational series, plan an experience that will bring in the greatest number of attendees and hopefully create media buzz. Here are your to-dos once you’ve selected the date:
- Complete a social media and website audit. Make sure the name, address, phone number and business hours are correct over your entire digital footprint. If you are open or closed on certain dates or have extended hours, note them. Ask employees to review each site to ensure you haven’t missed anything.
- Order, deliver and send out “Save the Date” postcards.
- Look for other area businesses to partner with you. It’s a lot easier to get people to your business if they can stop by additional businesses in the area.
- 60 Days Out: Get Ready.
- Train your staff so they can connect with visitors and make a great impression.
- Plan your incentive. Are you going to give attendees a chance to win a large prize, hold a raffle or provide a discount on your products or services? Whatever it is, settle on one promotional idea.
- Donate a percentage of sales to a local charity.
- Find a VIP. Invite state and local politicians, local authors or sports/entertainment personalities. Let the politicians speak, authors sell their books and sports personalities sign their photos. Give them a special table just for their wares.
- 30 Days Out: Promote, promote, promote.
Get your name out there by:
- Creating posters to put in your business’ window
- Producing fliers to mail as invitation, attach to emails or give to neighboring businesses.
- Putting together your social postings calendar that includes the event hashtag.
- Promoting your special offering, VIPs and local charity via flier, email campaign, website and social posts.
- Day of Event: Push Social and Selfies.
- Post employee and visitor photos on your social channels and website.
- Tweet about the event and retweet posts your partners and premier sponsor have put out.
- Reward individuals who check in on Yelp or Facebook with a special discount or giveaway.
- When a guest takes an Instagram selfie in your business and uses your hashtag, give them a special prize or discount.
- Day After: Assess Success.
Gather your staff to figure out what worked and what didn’t. Document the results so you’ll be further ahead for next year’s event!
Hartford Technology Rental is Ready
As a Veteran-Owned Small Business, we fully support and look forward to Small Business Saturday. If your organization needs computer or audio-visual equipment, please contact us! We have distribution centers in Chicago, Washington DC, New York and Los Angeles and in most cases can ship same day nationwide.