Small Business Saturday: Success Or More Of The Same?

Saturday, November 26, 2011, was the second annual Small Business Saturday. Originally launched in 2010 by American Express, the idea was to help shift the focus on local small businesses, who do not normally get the same boost in the arm that Black Friday does to big box stores.

Are you a small business? Did this nationwide focus on you help increase traffic/sales, or was it just another Saturday? Like it is with the larger companies, an event means nothing without the proper planning, preparation, and effort. If you were simply hoping shoppers flock to your business due to the warm and fuzzy feelings of supporting the local economy, then I’m glad you visited this blog.

People want a deal. They want an event. It is what they have been trained to seek out since birth. So, what did you give them?

Did you…

  • Take advantage of the support Small Business Saturday offered? E-Marketing templates and hints, collateral signage, or the $100 in free Facebook ads?
  • Offer any incentive for shoppers to avoid the malls or chain stores and visit you instead? This could have been as straight forward as a discount, or as profit friendly as “Buy this, get this!” using slow-moving overstock. There are lots of ways to increase sales without sacrificing profit – a blog for another day.
  • Promote your event to your current client base? Send out details to your email list (you do collect emails, right)? Display signs leading up to the day? Post it on your home page? Post it on your Facebook page? Tweet it?
  • Collaborate with relationships you’ve made in the community? Schools? Libraries? Social clubs? Places of worship? Offer to exchange with them literature about their upcoming events?
  • Collaborate with fellow small, non-competing businesses? Craft a “Buy here, Save there!” deal with other businesses with a similar customer demographic? Create a “block party” atmosphere with neighbors?
  • Collaborate with big box or chain non-competing businesses? If you offer a service or carry products that your local big box doesn’t, did you work out a deal to support each other? For example, I used to do cross-promotions with a big-name video store chain all the time, as well as other businesses, for tie-ins.

The bottom line is, did you make the effort to use the NATIONAL CAMPAIGN dollars and exposure work for you?

If so, great job! Please post replies that worked for you and share them with others.

If not, what will you do differently next year?

Your Guerrila Marketer,
Rick Verbanas

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