Preparing For Small Business Saturday
Sure most of us are excited about Thanksgiving dinner, but it’s Small Business Saturday that entrepreneurs and business owners should get excited about. Small business Saturday was first launched in 2010, and since then it has grown in popularity and become just as significant as Black Friday.
To small business owners, it’s a day full of opportunity, necessary planning, and the challenge of knowing how much inventory to stock up on.
To save yourself from worry, we have come up with a list of helpful ideas that can make Small Business Saturday successful and profitable.
Know your products/services
It may sound like common sense, but it’s so important to be well-versed in all your products and/or services. Customers will have questions, especially if it’s their first time coming into your store and purchasing from you. If there’s a story behind your product, make sure it’s told. If it’s pertinent to your product and individuality, then make sure there’s proper signage - people love a good back-story, and it’s a great way to sell the product to those that aren’t sure. Be informed and confident when selling your products, but most importantly be consistent and clear with sales, and overall pricing information.
Prepare your employees
Make sure that your employees are well-trained and able to accurately discuss all products and services that you carry. Since this is one of the busiest sale days of the year, everyone in your store should be very well- trained on the register, and brought up to speed on anything that may be rusty to them, like voiding a sale, or how to take percentages off advertised items. These are the kinds of things that can slow down your store when it matters most. Another way you will want to prepare is to have enough coverage for that season, especially that day. When the holidays are near, employees tend to work more hours than usual. Make sure to tell them ahead of time so they can plan accordingly, or hire extra holiday help (and be sure to train them well.)
Know far in advance what kind of sales or promotions you’re offering, how you want to advertise and apply them.
This day is great for having sales and getting foot traffic into your store, so offering returning customer incentives is the perfect promotion for reaping the rewards after Small Business Saturday is over. You may want to have cards, flyer or a pamphlet printed to give out with every purchase, with your store name, stating the incentive (a percentage off their next purchase, or share on social and get a coupon etc.) and thanking them for shopping.
November is the time when we all start getting overwhelmed by the approaching holiday season, so send a friendly reminder to shop small on Small Business Saturday to all your social media followers, a mailing list if you have one, and possibly even advertise locally. Some towns offer a Small Business Saturday event by advertising it and listing all stores participating- so be sure to be on that list if it exists. At the very least, there’s always flyers, Facebook or the good old fashioned newspaper to get the word out.
Call your vendors and partners well in advance to make sure that deliveries are still scheduled and confirmed in preparation to stock up for the influx of shoppers. Do an inventory count and check for quality of all the items on your shelves. If new faces enter your store and see dusty old items, broken items or hear that you’ve run out of something they wanted quickly, they won’t recommend your shop to anyone else.
Plan a partnership
Since the holidays are all about coming together, it’s the perfect time for businesses to do the same. For example, let’s say you own a boutique. Partner up with the local bakery and offer little sweet treats to your shoppers while they’re browsing your store. Make sure the bakery they are from is properly credited so if customers like them, they know where to find the bakery. The bakery in return could have a flyer near their register about your store, with coupons to hand out to shoppers.