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    Celebrate Small Business Saturday (even if you're not a retailer)
    The Vault

    Celebrate Small Business Saturday (even if you're not a retailer)

    November 2016

    Small Business Saturday, at first glance, seems only applicable to retailers.  After all, this day, sandwiched between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, was set aside to remind shoppers to support their local businesses first, to ignore the multi-million dollar marketing campaigns of large corporations and turn to the “mom and pop” shops on the corner as they began their holiday shopping.  It’s no wonder, then, that retailers locked in Small Business Saturday and other small businesses took a pass. It shouldn’t be this way! Non-retailers miss a huge opportunity to drive traffic to their businesses when they skip Small Business Saturday.

    I know, I know, there are challenges when it comes to your business.  Perhaps you operate on long sales cycles that cannot possibly be “closed” on a specific day.  Or, you have high-end pricing, and feel your target customers won’t be wooed by discounts or cash-back rewards.  Maybe you’re not even open on Saturdays.  How can you possibly participate?

    No matter your challenges, no matter the fact you are not a retailer, here are are 5 ways to successfully participate in Small Business Saturday:  

    1. Create a Giftable Promotion or Package

      Harness the gift-buying power for your non-retail business by creating giftable options, packages, or promotions for your customers to purchase.  For example, an auto maintenance shop could offer an annual oil change and detailing package for customers to give to friends or family, and throw in a free upgrade or product for those who buy that package on Small Business Saturday.  A salon could offer special service pricing to clients who book appointments or buy gift cards during this hectic shopping day. The trick is to find a way to make your service a gift-worthy option, and then market that option to be purchased on Small Business Saturday.

    2. Cross-Promote Your Service with a Retailer

      If you don’t typically see a lot of foot traffic on Small Business Saturday – or are the type of business that doesn’t get foot traffic at all – then consider partnering with a local retailer on Small Business Saturday.   For example, a home remodeling company might partner with a furniture or interiors shop to offer a home makeover consultation or other interesting promotion or discount.  Collaborate with local businesses to drive interest to your business.

    3. Offer a Special Deal to Social Media Followers

      Social media fans love an exclusive deal.  Consider sharing a special “code word” to your social media fans on Small Business Saturday that they can use to get a deal with your business. For example, a dental office could share a special code for a discount on teeth whitening for appointments booked during the holidays. Or, they could do a digital refer-a-friend campaign celebrating Small Business Saturday, letting their fans and followers know if they shared a special code with friends they refer, both they and their referred friend would get a gift or premium service after their first visit.

    4. Have a Small Business Saturday Party

      Even if people aren’t shopping at your business this Small Business Saturday, there is no reason they shouldn’t drop by and find out what you do.  Consider having a party or event – at your location or elsewhere – and give away prizes, discounts, coupons, and offers to those who attend, so you can create buzz around your business (even if you don’t make any sales that day).

    5. Show Gratitude

      If all else fails, use this occasion as an opportunity to let small-business vendors and suppliers in your network know that you recognize them, that you appreciate their efforts, and are happy to support them.  It’s National Gratitude Month, after all.

    Small Business Saturday isn’t just about holiday shopping.  It’s about making personal connections with people in your community who are eager to support local ventures. You don’t have to be a retailer to do that.  Get going!  

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