Internet and retail businesses, listen up. For years, we’ve had Black Friday and Cyber Monday as important dates on the holiday retail shopping calendar. This year American Express came up with the really good idea to create Small Business Saturday, Nov 27, 2010. So instead of going to bed early to hit the stores bright and early Friday morning, many people will be buying locally and online from small businesses on Saturday to help the economy.
Thank goodness people have finally figured out that it’s in everyone’s best interest to support America’s small businesses. Now in order to take full advantage of this opportunity, I have pulled together a few tips that will help small business owners hear the cash register, Paypal or online shopping cart go “ka-ching” on Saturday!
1. Use your Facebook fan page and Twitter to start circulating your coupons and deals.
2. Pick up the phone. Call loyal customers to tell them about three big deals you are going to offer on small business Saturday. Everyone is looking for a deal.
3. E-mail all previous and current customers 3 times this week. I suggest Monday, Wednesday & Friday. Each time, change something in the email blast and make it more urgent.
4. Successful businesses on Small Business Saturday are going for volume deals not pricing. Offer a temporary or early-bird price cut of 50% or more. Don’t do a deal that will make you lose money; the idea is to get your customer in your store or surfing your site.
5. Offer new payment options. You should consider 90 days same as cash or payment plans.
6. Offer an astonishing money-back guarantee. Make it an unbelievable offer so amazing that your competition would balk at it.
7. Use flyers and handbills. Hire your kids and their friends and your interns to hit the streets with your coupons on Friday and Saturday. Tell them to talk about Small Business Saturday and how it will lead to more jobs in this country. That’s a compelling message coming from a kid.
The bottom line is–go all out. Be relentless! Small Business Saturday, Nov 27, is a fabulous opportunity for an aggressive, creative small business owner. Go out there and tell your customers the benefits and deals you offer.
Melinda F. Emerson, known to many as “SmallBizLady,” is one of America’s leading small business experts. As a seasoned entrepreneur, professional speaker, and small business coach, she develops audio, video and written content to fulfill her mission to end small business failure. She also hosts #Smallbizchat every Wednesday from 8:00 p.m.- 9:00 p.m. ET on Twitter for small business owners. Melinda is also the author of the best seller Become Your Own Boss in 12 Months: A Month-by-Month Guide to a Business That Work.