Whether you agree with the “Occupy Wall Street” group or not, I think we all agree that it’s time to come back to shopping on Main Street. I’m sure you’re as tired as I am of supporting nameless, faceless, send all the jobs to Asia, only in it for the money, don’t give a s–t about us, corporations. I’m taking a stand and I’m doing it firmly. I’m going to be supporting local business this season.
SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY RULES!
The day between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday is the day to get out and support local businesses. So, what are you doing for Small Business Saturday this year?
Here are some ideas a small businesses can use to make the day special for their customers, or clients and even their neighboring businesses. Take a look at these and see if something strikes your fancy.
No mater what you do, celebrate the day. Finally, there’s a day focused solely on small business. Celebrate it!
TURN IT INTO AN EVENT
Whatever you do, make it exciting. It should set the stage for a fun, creative and dynamictime. It’s important to have people feel special this day and be rewarded for their participation. Feed their senses. Go all out. If the environment is exciting, they’ll be happy they attended.
MAKE IT A PARTY
The party might have a theme, reward or destination. Maybe it’s a group of businesses that come together to offer a progressive party and a reward at the end for those who visit each place.
INVITE, INVITE, INVITE
Start promotion efforts early and don’t stop for a minute. Use every possible method of communication to get the message across. Don’t just post on Facebook and expect a crowd to show. You need to think outside the box by calling, writing, posting videos, signage, etc. Check out Small Business Saturday for a Promote Your Business Checklist and some FREE offers.
CO MARKET, CO BRAND AND PROMOTE IT TOGETHER
There’s a lot to be said about strength in numbers. If you work together with other local businesses you dramatically increase everyone’s chances of success. Sure it takes a little more effort initially but the benefits could be greatly enhanced. Plus, and some might think this is the largest benefit, the big boost in your contact data base when loyal customers from your neighboring businesses are signing in.
A FREE GIFT
Everyone likes to get something for nothing. The free item could be a gift with purchase, as an incentive to bring a friend, a glass of wine while they shop, or complimentary gift wrapping. Let your customer’s tastes be your guide.
OFFER TO DONATE A PORTION OF SALES TO A CHARITY
Is there a charity that your company or your customer base supports? You could share some of the wealth and stimulate sales at the same time? It would be really powerful to educate your customers beforehand about the difference the organization makes in the lives of others. If they can understand the value and tie in emotionally to the result, they’ll be more motivated to participate.
GIVE A DISCOUNT
Who doesn’t like to get a deal. A discount just might be a draw for your customers.
HAVE A GREAT DOOR PRIZE
A door prize is always a nice perk. It’s also a great way to collect names of those who attended and any new people you can add to your data base.
WHATEVER YOU DO…
Put your best foot forward. Be happy, gracious and friendly. It’s a good idea to do something that reminds people that their business is not only vital to your success but the local economy is dependent on their support. Most of all, this is the time to let your customers know how much you value them.
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