On Saturday, many holiday shoppers were out in force to support the small businesses in their communities as part of Small Business Saturday. If you’re looking for a way to keep the spirit of Small Business Saturday alive all year long, try these ideas out for starters.
Greet your customers quickly, and with a smile.
Business owners typically schedule all of their employees to be on the clock for Small Business Saturday, and the excitement and energy of the event can have a positive effect on everyone. The helpful, festive atmosphere in your store can be great for first impressions and make your brand a favorite among returning customers.
Put this energy to work for you throughout the year by doing your best to keep your small business fully staffed. If your team isn’t large enough to assist customers quickly, you could end up turning people away unintentionally. Customers and employees are happiest when employees are able to do their jobs quickly and efficiently.
Even if you can’t justify keeping the shop fully staffed all the time, you need to sufficiently cover peak shopping hours any time your doors are open.
Hold additional events all year long.
You don’t have to wait for November to roll around to hold a special marketing event. By hosting events throughout the year you can keep customers buzzing and increase foot traffic—even during times that are traditionally slow.
Events that have a tie-in with the local community and coincide with a local parade or celebration are a good start, but you could also create your own event for no reason at all. Giveaways, special sales, raffles, and coupons create incentives for customers to stop in and check out your business. Theme-driven sidewalk signs, window signs, and in-store signs create visual interest.
Launch a buy local campaign in your community.
Mirror the success of Small Business Saturday by working with the other small businesses in your area to extend the reach of buy local efforts. By connecting with local elected officials, civic organizations, non-profits, and store owners, you can generate a network that keeps money flowing back into the community. When small businesses partner with non-profit groups, shoppers can feel good about spending money and helping their neighbors at the same time.
Build lasting relationships with your customers.
Finally, make the most out of Small Business Saturday by using it as an opportunity to develop long-lasting relationships with customers. Get your customers’ names and contact information so that you can inform them of sales, share special offers, and recommend new items. If you have a way to track the items they frequently buy, that’s even better. It will help you customize communications and send only the messages they are most likely to be interested in.
Small Business Saturday is effective for small business owners because people like to support members of their community and it’s widely marketed. If you can build on that by marketing all year long, you can keep the spirit of Small Business Saturday alive long after the annual event is over.