The holidays wouldn’t be the same without Small Business Saturday (SBS) on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, an initiative launched by American Express in 2010. This year, the big day is November 24. Last year, 7,200 business associations, state and local chambers of commerce, small businesses and other community organizers across all 50 states were SBS Neighborhood Champions. Now in its eighth year, SBS continues to grow.
SBS serves as a counterpoint to the Black Friday promotions popularized by big box stores. The goal of the national promotion: “to encourage people to Shop Small® and bring more holiday shopping to small businesses,” according to American Express, And the message is resonating. Millions of consumers recognize the unique benefits of shopping at small businesses year-round.
At Pango Financial, we applaud efforts that support small businesses, and we encourage our own clients—especially those in retail—to make the most of this opportunity to foster goodwill and boost sales.
Here are some tips for capturing your share of the SBS market:
- Maximize your social media presence. Just as your business is a more personal alternative to big-box competitors, social media helps you communicate in a more personal way. And it’s more nimble and less expensive than traditional media. Highlight unique items on a rotating basis. Use #SmallBusinessSaturday and #ShopSmall hashtags, and encourage shoppers to post about their shopping experience with you. Be sure to use the medium to capture as much shopper data as possible for use in future marketing efforts.
- Optimize your presence in the community. People are already in a giving mood and will respect your business for supporting the community in holiday-relevant ways. Do a drive supporting a local food bank. Hold a company-wide day of service to clean up a property. Collect gently used items for donation to a local homeless shelter. And promote your charitable activities on social media so others can hit the “share” button.
- Look into gift cards. Consumers love the convenience and flexibility they offer. And they’re not just for mega-retailers. Even if you opt not to create custom-designed reloadable stored-value cards, you still can print up actual gift certificates—the old-fashioned kind—inexpensively and quickly. And they help attract new customers who will patronize your business going forward.
- Leverage what makes small business special. When it comes to personalized, individualized service, small business has a major edge over national chain retailers. What’s more, consumers know it. It’s what they expect from every small business they patronize. So get to know your customers and their preferences and priorities. Take time to treat them more attentively than a self-service giant would. How hard is that, really? Replicate that simple formula with everyone you interact with and you’ll pay off those expectations and reap the rewards—in the short and longer terms.
- And don’t forget to check out the Shop Small Studio for personalized marketing materials.
According to a study commissioned by American Express and the National Federation of Independent Businesses, ninety percent of consumers surveyed said SBS has had a positive impact on their community. It can do the same for your business. For more information on how Pango Financial can help you make the most of your unique strengths and the opportunities that surround you, contact us at Pango Financial or call 1-855-WHY-PANGO (1-855-949-7264).