We’re entering into an unprecedented holiday season. Online sales are expected to spike given the spread of COVID-19. Walmart stores will be closed on Thanksgiving. The support for small businesses and shopping local is expected to generate quite a bit of momentum on Saturday, November 28th.
How can small businesses develop a strategy to increase revenue on Small Business Saturday? What should be included in the strategy, and what should be some additional considerations as the holiday season approaches?
We asked small business owners and marketing executives for their best tips and insights. Here’s what they had to say about developing a strategy for Small Business Saturday.
There’s nothing worse than having customers come to something that doesn’t work. Test early and test often to avoid those snafus. Grab your team to test, ask near and dear customers to lend some of their time, or recruit some friends to test out your concept to make sure your customer experience is on point before the holiday rush.
Katie Christian, Calendly
Getting your business online doesn’t have to be hard. But, you may have to rethink certain parts of your business. Start thinking now. Make sure that your website or online presence is easy to use and optimized for search engines. Consumers are searching for Small Business Saturday terms already, and you want to do what you can to make sure your business can be found and discovered online.
Vanessa Molica, The Lash Professional
Customers may want something completely different than they’ve wanted from your company in the past. Be ready to listen to customers, talk to them, and understand how your business can meet their needs. Even engaging in simple conversation can be really helpful in bringing clarity to which products and services to offer right now.
Eric Blumenthal, The Print Authority
Hosting a photo contest on social media is a great way for businesses to engage and celebrate their brand advocates. Here at Cruise America, we ask our “community of cruisers” to post photos of their RV adventures online for a chance to win prizes and be featured on our social media accounts as well! We find that hosting these photo contests are a great way to share our customers’ favorite Cruise memories and find new content to use for future campaigns. Plus, the sharing and reposting of these images is a great way to introduce our brand to more people.
Randall Smalley, Cruise America
Many of us work so hard on branding to build trust by looking like a big established brand. It is easy to overlook the value of being seen for what you really are, as a small business trying to do the impossible with limited resources. This is a good time of the year to let your audience know that you are a scrappy small business, trying to do everything big businesses do, and that you honestly need the support of the community.
Stephanie Schull, Kegelbell
Communication with customers is so important because there are many unknowns as the holiday approaches. Be very communicative by letting customers know when you’re open and what you’re offering. The necessities are important, but it’s also important to communicate who you are. Consumers want to know the brands they buy from and want to see an alignment of values and views. Let customers know who you are, who your staff is, and what your brand is. You don’t need to share your whole personal story, but letting customers know that there are people behind the brand helps connect you with them.
Dan Reck, MATClinics
Pick a topic that you’re an expert in, and provide education. As we social distance, people are seeking connection. If you can provide that connection through education, that can go a long way in helping develop consumer trust in your brand. That way, as wallets and budget open up in the long-term, people will remember how your brand built trust with them.
Craig Rosen, Interview Focus
Be proactive and ready for the end-of-year financials that come up. Get all of your books in order so it doesn’t hit you during the holidays and bog down December and January. Anything that you can do proactively with accounting is going to save you time in the long run.
Kimberly Kriewald, AVANA Capital
Instead of doing it yourself, lean on your partnerships, and seek to do it together. That’s what 2020 has been all about, and the holidays should be no different. This time more than ever will be about supporting other small businesses, especially the small businesses that you’ve established partnerships with. Strike up conversations early with partners to explore what collaboration opportunities may exist to help you both maximize Small Business Saturday.
Brian Nichols, Arrow Lift
Cyber Monday may become Cyber Month. The same goes with Small Business Saturday. The support may stretch beyond a single day to become an entire season of Shop Small. More companies and consumers are thinking about the holiday early (maybe because we all need a holiday!). The last couple of years have shown Cyber Monday has outperformed Black Friday, and this year will be absolutely no exception. There should be a huge increase in online spending not only for a holiday weekend, but for a prolonged period of time.
Brett Farmiloe, Markitors
With Small Business Saturday approaching, it’s time to get ready and prepare. We hope these small business insights and tips will help you, and your local business, thrive.
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