preparing for small business saturday

Image Courtesy of Createher Stock

I can’t believe it’s the middle of November. Already stores are reminding customers that Christmas is around the corner. I even saw a Christmas tree in the center of my local mall! I don’t know about you, but I can remember when retailers waited until after Thanksgiving Day to begin marketing.

But that was yesterday. And today is today.

Just as retailers are marketing their businesses earlier and earlier to customers for the holiday season, so should you.

Since Black Friday belongs to brick and mortar stores and Cyber Monday belongs to online retailers, make Small Business Saturday all about you. Whether you are running a full-time enterprise or you’ve got a side hustle, this is your opportunity to share your goods and services with prospects.

But Small Business Saturday is not for the faint at heart. Like all things in business, you’ve got to set up a plan and then, be ready to execute. So let’s check out these tips that will help you have a profitable Small Business Saturday.

Create a plan of action and have a goal in mind

Saying that you are going to take part in Small Business Saturday is one thing. Actually doing Small Business Saturday is a different story. Remember that famous adage: if you fail to plan, you plan to fail? Yeah. It’s absolutely true. If you want to run a successful Small Business Saturday campaign, you’ve got really think about what your promotions will be, how you will market to customers and prospects and finally…how you will deliver your products and services.

And probably most importantly, you are doing all of this to achieve a particular goal.

For instance, in my business The Write Impression Consulting Services, I have a monetary goal for Small Business Saturday and a goal to add 100 new subscribers to my site. To do this, I am going to offer specific services to specific groups and ask that they subscribe to get the promotional deal? Sound like a plan, huh? Yup. I think so, too.

What will be your special offers?

Remember what’s driving customers and prospects during the holiday season is always a sale.What will be your sale? How long will you offer this sale? Why? Only you can answer these questions but just make sure that you’ve got a few specials that won’t exhaust you as a business owner and will also make customers take you up on your offer.  

Need some ideas? Check out the B.L.I.S.S. Holiday Guide for some ideas on how to give great offers to customers.

Develop a social media strategy for targeting customers

How will you promote your participation in Small Business Saturday? Your social media accounts are one way to let your loyal customers know you are offering specials. It’s also a great way for new customers to discover the greatness of your business.

The rule of thumb for social media is to market specific products and services to target markets. So if you sell jewelry but your day job is as an accountant, LinkedIn might not be the best account to share your sales. However running a  few posts on Facebook or Instagram leading up to Small Business Saturday might help you move some inventory.

Use your email list to promote your Small Business Saturday specials

Remember that robust email list that you’ve worked so hard to build? Now is the time to start reaching out and letting everyone know you are running holiday specials.

Forgetting all those people would be a crime you don’t want to commit. In the days leading up to Small Business Saturday, I’d send out a short newsletter reminding your subscribers that you will be offering special promotions. And then on Small Business Saturday, I’d send another–sharing your specials.

Don’t have an email list? Small Business Saturday is the perfect day to get subscribers. Offer an extra discount to purchasers if they give their email information. Provide a freebie or enter people into a giveaway if they share their email.  

Check It Out: How to Build Your Email List Quickly

Print marketing materials

Business cards, flyers, promotional items, boxes, labels, shipping supplies…you name it, you’ll need it to handle Small Business Saturday successfully. If you have time, you can always order these items. Or, if you’re short on time, head over to Staples or your local printer to get the job done. Just be ready. There’s nothing worse than scrambling while you should be running your business.

Make sure your website is running at top speed

Need I really say more? If you have time, you might even want to change your home page around to share your special offers.

Perform an Inventory Check

Now that you’ve planned what specials you’ll offer, scheduled some social media posts, updated your website and worked on your email list, make sure that you’ve got every single item you’ll need to run your Small Business Saturday campaign. This way, you won’t have to worry about turning customers away, offering a similar product or back ordering an item.

Be ready for the workload

Keep Thanksgiving Day as easy as possible so you can focus on growing your business. That means you’ve got to be well rested with enough time carved out to deliver orders. It means that you’ve got to have time set aside to deliver the services people purchased. Do what it takes to be ready to tackle the holiday season and find success on your own accord.