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small business saturday 2014

It’s right around the corner. On November 29th, millions of people will flock to small businesses to take advantage of sales and to support the local economy. Small Business Saturday is a great idea and a fantastic opportunity to promote your small business, but how on earth can you take full advantage of it? How can your small business stand out from the crowd?

Before I answer that, let me be clear about one thing: Your small business does NOT have to be a brick and mortar store. You might host house parties (think Norwex or Tastefully Simple), tutor math students, sell jewelry, or run an independent consulting business. In any of these cases, Small Business Saturday applies to you.

  1. Run a Promotion

Nothing gets people to flock to your business like a good old fashioned promotion. If you’re a consultant, you might offer one free half-hour session for anyone who contacts you on Saturday. If you sell hand-knitted hats and mittens, you might give people a chance to enter a drawing for some free goods. If you run a pastry shop, you could give away free cookies. Whatever the case, make sure you thoroughly advertise your promo through all your marketing channels: social media, your newsletter list, your family and friends (you might be amazed by how willing people are to help you), etc. Need help getting started? This article gives you the basics on creating a great promo.

TAKE ACTION:

If you’re totally at a loss for how to create a successful promo, try creating a coupon (i.e. 50% off any one item from your Etsy store) and send it to all your email contacts and post it on Facebook.

  1. Start Talking

Don’t be shy about advertising your small business! Use all the marketing resources you have at your fingertips. That includes social media, word-of-mouth, your email list, your book club or church group, and your past customers. Generate a buzz about Small Business Saturday and start creating dialogues with those around you. Make an effort to post something about your business (or Small Business Saturday) every day until the 29th. If you’re in any business-related groups on LinkedIn, start a conversation about Small Business Saturday and see what others are doing to promote their businesses. Engaging your social media platforms accomplishes two things: 1) It creates excitement around your products or services and 2) It boosts your SEO since search engines are designed to search for fresh content (and that includes social media updates).

TAKE ACTION:

One of your greatest resources is past customers. These are people who can attest to how great your products are or how fantastic it is to work with you. Collect as many testimonials from past customers as possible and post them on your website or tweet about them. Also, don’t be afraid to ask your past customers to spread the word about your business on Small Business Saturday.

Small Biz Saturday 2014

  1. Collaborate with Other Small Businesses

Make Small Business Saturday a party this year! Invite other small businesses to join you in marketing and promotion. These might be businesses that are similar to yours (i.e. jewelry shops) OR they might be physically located next store to you (then you can work on attracting visitors to your specific neighborhood) OR they might simply be businesses with whom you have a good, long-standing relationship. By pooling your resources, you can create a more in-depth, far-reaching campaign and you’ll be able to draw on each other’s creativity. Plus, this kind of relationship with other businesses opens the door for collaborating in the future.

TAKE ACTION:

After Small Business Saturday is over, be sure to compare notes with your small business team. What went well? What didn’t? What would you do differently next year? This kind of dialogue sets the stage for next year and helps to keep marketing at the top of your mind as you march into the holiday season and the upcoming new year.

Good luck out there and be sure to send me an email on Small Business Saturday with this code:

SBS 2014

Sincerely,

Margaret Smith Signature, UXL

 

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