Small Business Saturday, November 30th –Plan now!

Women’s Venture Fund

Initiated by American Express only seven years ago, this is an annual celebration of entrepreneurship that you should take advantage of in promoting your business locally. According to Fundera: In 2017, an estimated 108 million U.S. consumers shopped or dined at local businesses on Small Business Saturday; and 48% visited a local small business for the first time! Good reason for you to consider now how to best leverage the shopping frenzy occurring between Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Host an event:
Plan a party instore to increase foot traffic. Email your customers and distribute fliers and coupons well in advance. Know of another small business that complements your products or services? Approach them now to co-sponsor an event, making it more affordable for you and potentially attracting new customers from among their base. (Don’t make this a one-off event: Mutually agree to promote each other’s business year-round.)

With enough lead time, you could adapt a version of the ever popular show Family Feud to create tremendous buzz, giving away gift certificates as prizes.

Other game shows are available for adaptation as well. Family Feud strikes a cord with us because it conjures up the image of a Main Street with mom and pop stores. Why not partner with another business to pull off a gameshow, pitching owner and staff of one business against another? Local residents would be willing audience members—that’s the point, after all. The winning business distributes discount coupons to attendees, for example. Get creative. You’re welcome!  

Sponsor a community event:
Check your local chamber of commerce and neighborhood event calendar to see if there is an organization hosting an event that you might sponsor to increase your brand awareness by demonstrating your interest in (and generosity toward) the community and its residents. Make your event family-friendly to attract parents shopping and browsing with children in-tow.

Alternative to product give-aways::
Stand out from the competition with a raffle (think a basket of products or voucher for free service) or a contest with prizes to attract foot traffic.

Go over the top:
Do you have a business anniversary coming up, say between November and February 2020? Combine Small Bus Saturday with the launch of an anniversary celebration—no matter how young your business might be. You survived and deserve the spotlight. Not just for a day or a week but into the new year.

E-commerce only?
Create a virtual event…promote special pricing to your customer base…create a theme and utilize your social media presence to create more support for your business and excitement about your milestone. Hire a gamer to execute an online version of Family Feud!

All the above ideas and more are not limited to retail establishments. If you run a professional service, healthcare or daycare service, home improvement or educational service you need to offer value (in lieu of  tangible product.) For example: Offering a bundle of services at an attractive price (including services of complementary firms), extended warranties and weekend services by appointment only.

Need funding to pull off an exciting Small Business Saturday this year? Visit the WVF loan services page.