Small Business Saturday isn’t just a day on the calendar. It’s a massive day for making sales. In 2022, an estimated 51 million shoppers participated in the event. Small Business Saturday can be a huge opportunity to meet new customers and grow your business’s profile.
This year, Small Business Saturday falls on November 25, 2023. Are you ready to make the best of this one-day event? Here’s how to prepare for Small Business Saturday before, during, and after the event.
Before Small Business Saturday
Small Business Saturday is a marathon, not a sprint! Start planning for the big day today with these strategies and considerations.
Take stock of your team
Think of Small Business Saturday as a new beginning for your business. It’s the perfect time to take stock of the team you have, what you need to succeed on the big day, and what kind of help you need for the upcoming holiday rush.
If your team needs help, now is the time to hire and grow your team. Otherwise, you might face a burnt-out team and low retention. Start training staff a few weeks before Small Business Saturday to ensure they’re ready to hit the floor on the big day.
Eye up your inventory
You can’t beat all your sales goals if you don’t have the inventory ready. Look at your books and track sales for the past few months or up to a year if you have it. What sold well last year during Small Business Saturday?
While you can’t predict what might be a hit this year, make sure all items are well-stocked, including past best sellers.
At this point, we’re all familiar with the shipping delays that plague the holiday season. Try to prepare stock well in advance to ensure it’s ready for Small Business Saturday.
The ramp-up to Small Business Saturday is as important as the day itself. If you regularly run ads on social media, consider increasing your budget to get more eyes on your business.
Your advertising doesn’t necessarily have to revolve around the Small Business Saturday event, but making customers, and potential customers, aware of your business leading up to the day can increase foot traffic (or digital visitors) the day of.
Small Business Saturday is about supporting your local community, which includes other small businesses. Working with another small business or influencer on Small Business Saturday can benefit you in several ways.
First, it takes the pressure off you to create content or promote an event by yourself. Secondly, partnering with another business can draw in their customers, who may be new to your offerings.
Consider reaching out to businesses in your area that offer a complimentary service or entice a similar audience. What kind of collaboration can you create for Small Business Saturday?
- A small business crawl, where each shop offers a discount when you’ve purchased from another.
- Popping up with your product or service in a local neighborhood business.
- Hosting a local artist or musician in your space during Small Business Saturday.
- Having a local popup service in your business, like massages, during Small Business Saturday.
Shine on social
Don’t wait until a few days before to publicize all your planning. Start posting on social in the weeks leading up to Small Business Saturday to:
- Build anticipation. Get customers excited about visiting the store on Small Business Saturday.
- Create a narrative for followers to connect to. Share the work that’s going into the event, giving followers a peek behind the curtain and a person behind the business they can connect to.
Utilize free resources
Small Business Saturday was founded by American Express, which continues to support the local holiday. Consider checking out the company’s Small Business Saturday free resources and add your business to the Shop Small map.
Check your toolbox
Has the shop been operating as cash only? Or have you and your team been suffering through a lackluster POS system? Now is the time to consider an upgrade.
You want both your in-store and online experience to be the best it can be for customers, and upgrading your POS can be a relatively simple change that will dramatically improve their experience. It can also save you and your team the headache of glitchy software during a busy day.
During Small Business Saturday
After all your prep and hard work, make sure to keep these details in mind as Small Business Saturday kicks off.
Add on hours
During the popular holiday weekend, you should anticipate more visitors over the course of the day. Since there are so many small business events occurring during the day, consider extended shop hours to accommodate later-in-the-day shoppers.
Make it memorable
With such a busy day for many small businesses, don’t hesitate to make the store experience memorable. This could mean everything from:
- Offering small snacks and beverages
- Hosting live music
- Having a food truck on-site
- Doing a giveaway or raffle for in-store guests
Make an effort to snap pictures and video content during the day. Post the store experience in real-time, but also store some of the images for future social media posts of the store to show the positive customer experience.
If photography isn’t your thing, try appointing another employee to be in charge of this task or hiring a local photographer for a few hours to get picture-perfect images of your Small Business Saturday event.
Small Business Saturday brings out bunches of new customers. Don’t let those interactions disappear. Take down customer’s emails at checkout so you can reach out to them after the big day.
Today is the start of a new relationship with some visitors, so it’s time to start out on the right foot.
Reward a repeat
If you don’t already have a frequent guest program, consider kicking one off on Small Business Saturday.
Whether it’s a punch card or a digital tracking program, this could encourage visitors to stop by again, leading to repeat business. Once shoppers complete their frequent buyer card, reward them with a discount or free item.
After Small Business Saturday
The fun doesn’t end on Saturday. Use the momentum to connect with customers and more.
If you collected contact information from customers on Small Business Saturday, start drafting a follow-up communication. This could be anything from a newsletter to a discount towards their next visit.
Staying in touch keeps you top of mind for your newest fans.
Keep using collateral
If you captured images of the store and customers enjoying themselves during Small Business Saturday, continue sharing them over social media. Since you put in all the effort for a special occasion, don’t let that great content go to waste.
Dive into the data
It’s never too soon to start thinking about next year’s Small Business Saturday. After the event, take some time to look into your books. Did certain promotions work better than others? Did you sell out of an unexpected product?
Take a look at the numbers and try to discern if there are any trends. This will not only inform your strategy for the next few months but can help you predict how to tackle Small Business Saturday next year.
Small Business Saturday may just be one day on the calendar, but it can impact your entire year. Prepping for the event is just as important as what your business does the day of. And, maintaining the momentum after the big day can also be helpful for your business.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the prep, remember you don’t have to do it alone. Get Beyond offers the tools to help run your business more efficiently. From streamlined payment processing to payroll management, Get Beyond helps manage your backroom so you can get back to business.