Small Business Saturday | Ho, Ho, Holidays!

It’s the Hap, Happiest time of the year!  It can also be the craziest time of the year for small business.  Are you ready?  Do you have a plan to capitalize on the “Small Business Saturday” shopping initiative?  In today’s blog, we’ll give you some fun, inexpensive and quick-to-implement things you can do to gear up for Small Business Saturday.

 

What is Small Business Saturday, you ask?

Or maybe you didn’t ask, because you are well aware that Small Business Saturday is every retail, local, small business’s opportunity to boost sales and to profit from the spending spree we hope everyone will be on. Black Friday sales started early this year, priming everyone to spend money buying holiday gifts.  Whether you realize it or not, all the advertising by the big chain stores is helping you, the small business owner. You can capitalize on the “spend early” frenzy and ask people to “Shop Local.”

Add your business to the Shop Local map with AMEX  or download the posters 

Downtown Paris to host Small Business Saturday   Get more info by visiting the Downtown Paris Association

 

How to kick this thing off:

Advertising:

It’s okay if you don’t have a big advertising budget – you can use local and free advertising.

  • Consider making flyers, highlighting the specials you will offer on Small Business Saturday.
  • Use the internet! Start now posting on Facebook, Twitter and the other platforms you are (hopefully) using to build interest in your products and business.
  • Email, or snail mail – get the word out that you are open for the holidays and are ready to sell, sell, sell!

 

Know Your Holidays:

Christmas shopping isn’t the only holiday people are gearing up for right now. Do you know your holidays and what to advertise for?  Here’s a short list to spur your imagination for holiday hullabaloo:

  • November:
    • Thanksgiving
    • Diwali
    • Black Friday
    • Small Business Saturday
    • Hanukkah
  • December:
    • US National Guard Birthday
    • National Free Shipping Day
    • Winter Solstice
    • Christmas
    • Kwanza
    • Boxing Day
    • New Year’s Eve
  • January:
    • New Years Day
    • National Hangover Day (Yes, that’s an actual day…On Jan 1st, of course)
    • Walk your dog month
    • National soup month
    • Epiphany
    • Orthodox Christmas Day
    • Martin Luther King Day

In fact, if you are looking for some holidays or other days to promote and celebrate (and sell products during) you don’t need to look far to find something you can capitalize on as a small business. For instance, you could offer hot chocolate on “National Hot Chocolate Day” or a discount for those savy enough to know to wear brown shoes on “Wear Brown Shoes Day” (It’s December 4th, in case you were curious.)

Here’s where to find a list of all kinds of “special days” to keep you selling and to keep you motivated:  National Holidays

 

Blue and Silver Ribbons:

Collaborating with your fellow small businesses is a beautiful thing. One easy way to say to your community: “Hey, we’re all in this together” is to have a quick, visual reference.  Blue and Silver Ribbons, for instance.  Coordinate with your local chamber of commerce, other businesses, and plan to display blue and silver ribbons in your business. Let everyone know that small businesses in your area support each other and everyone is a team. Be aware of what your competitors sell for some “coopetition” refer them as well and support shop local for your community of businesses.

WHY would you want to promote a business other than your own?

Because the more shopping opportunities you give buyers, the more sales occur—for everyone. Not to mention, you are helping to make people feel good about shopping local and shopping from small businesses.  In fact, check out our blog: Retail Holiday Sales Strategies to see why it makes good business sense to partner with your competition for the holidays.

 

Adjust your hours:

Most people are back to work, which means “regular business hours.”  If you run a small business, and want to maximize your holiday sales – you may want to adjust your hours:

  • Open early to capture the “on the way to work” crowd.
  • Plan to say open late – even if it’s a few nights a week to cater to those 9 -to- 5 workers.
  • Be open on Saturdays (yes, that one is a no-brainer).
  • Extend your “Super Saturday” to “Super Sunday” and offer special perks for the customers who missed Small Business Saturday.

 

Capitalize on the Supply Chain Shortage:

If you are local, you probably have inventory you need to move. You can let people know, that as a small, local business, you have plenty of inventory and are ready to “make a deal.”  Assuring your customers that you have items in stock (and are not waiting for a shipping container to make it to shore in California) will help boost sales.

 

Small Business Saturday is in 10 days – – go get your blue and silver ribbons, make up some flyers and LET’S DO THIS! 

 

For additional information on Small Business Saturday and how to capitalize on the holiday shopping season, please contact us at the Small Business Development Center – SBDC – Serving Paris area:  Lamar, Hunt, Hopkins, Delta, and Red River counties.