Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the biggest shopping days of the year. Get ready for Small Business Saturday. The ShopSmall movement, sponsored by American Express, encourages consumers to support small businesses in their communities. This coming Nov. 26Â is Small Business Saturday–and the unofficial kickoff time for small businesses to launch their holiday campaigns.
At the New York City Small Business Saturday Boot Camp event in New York City on Thursday, a lineup of small business leaders and experts provided solid tips for entrepreneurs to make 2016 their most profitable season yet:
- Put the ShopSmall logo on your storefront or website.
- Get your merchandise in order well before the holiday season.
- Don’t just market to new customers, market to existing customers.
- Email newsletters do still work.
- Build your social media campaigns.
- Think about incentives for returning customers such as discounts or some other kind of reward or customer appreciation events.
- Let others know how important shopping small and locally is for the community even if your business is B2B.
- Create gift bundles, for example, baskets for him/her/pets.
- Hold events; events done in neighborhoods are tremendously important in driving people to your community and business.
- Offer customers some sort of training as a free benefit; you want to create a strong customer relationship.
- Train employees to provide great customer service.
- Learn customers’ names
- Online businesses–merchandise your virtual windows–create holiday-themed landing pages.
- Check your SEO before the holidays to make sure your business comes up in relevant searches.
- Offer free shipping to online customers.
- Sell gift certificates.
- Use free marketing tools such as Americanexpress.com/ShopSmallMap to help establish your businesses’ online web presence.
- Build an email list.
- Capture data on who is frequenting your business.