By Deborah Sweeney, CEO of MyCorporation
Are you ready to shop small?
On Saturday November 24th, Small Business Saturday (SBS) will be making its yearly (since 2010) return in an effort to help drive shoppers to local storefronts and merchants across the United States. Backed by American Express and FedEx this year, promoting the event has never been easier with the free marketing materials available to download on the official SBS website, along with the chance to qualify for free online advertising. It’s the execution of the day, and planning in the weeks leading up to it, that can get a bit trickier.
Whether it’s your first time hosting the day or you’re a seasoned pro at it, these five tips will rally your community together and prove that shopping small is big for business.
1. Make ‘Em an Offer They Can’t Refuse.
Offer something unique and exciting that applies to local residents. Small Business Saturday is wedged between Black Friday and Cyber Monday – in order to bring in business, you need a hook. Think about your target audience and what they want. Normally offer 30% off sales? Make it 50% and toss in free shipping or gift wrap. This year, my company will be conducting an open house where people have the option to either come in or call in to ask questions about how to start a new business.
2. Get the Word Out Early.
You have the free downloadable materials already at your fingertips along with Facebook and Twitter platforms. Advertise the day on local blogs, via the local “Patch” in your area, and on both your professional and personal Facebook and Twitter accounts. Encourage friends and family to help spread the word too, especially if they’re in the area. If neighbors, friends, and prominent community members are all in attendance, it will give it that much more of a local experience.
3. Focus on Giving Back.
As a small business, you have the advantage that retail department stores lack in that you can offer incentives to local residents. Our open house allows for visitors to pop on by and learn more about what we do. If you aren’t offering an open house, consider a special “neighbors & friends” discount instead.
4. Get Your Staff Involved.
Encourage employees to share the offer with their friends and family. Many employees would love to show off their working environment, so open your doors and introduce your products and services to friends and families of your team members. This helps to re-enforce the community feel and to engage the families of your workforce.
5. Offer Treats!
And while you’re at it, put out some festive decorations and good music. Customers will be drawn to visiting you when they see both your business and your staff having a good time and celebrating the day!
Deborah Sweeney is the CEO of MyCorporation.com. MyCorporation is a leader in online legal filing services for entrepreneurs and businesses, providing start-up bundles that include corporation and LLC formation, registered agent, DBA, and trademark & copyright filing services. MyCorporation does all the work, making the business formation and maintenance quick and painless, so business owners can focus on what they do best. Follow her on Twitter @deborahsweeney and @mycorporation.