As the wild and unpredictable year of 2021 is headed into the holiday season, it can only mean that Small Business Saturday is just around the corner.
What is Small Business Saturday you ask? Small Business Saturday was created by American Express in 2010 and has been held annually on the Saturday following Thanksgiving to piggy-back off the Black Friday shopping fever. Surveys have shown 96% of consumers who reported shopping on Small Business Saturday said the day makes them want to shop small all year.
With that in mind American Express has begun promoting Shop Small to promote Small Businesses all year long. The program is embraced by independent merchants of all kinds including traditional brick-and-mortar retailers, service providers and e-commerce businesses. This year Small Business Saturday is Nov. 27.
Because American Express is doing a lot of the heavy lifting (i.e. marketing spending) on behalf of small business owners, the Team from Guerrilla Marketing wants you to be able to take advantage of the national advertising. They have put together the following 15 suggestions on how to make the most of Small Business Saturday.
1. Get listed
If you take American Express card in your business, make certain your business is listed on the American Express Shop Small Map. Register at https://amex.co/3FFfdj2. If you don’t take the American Express Card, you can still take advantage of the program. Read on.
2. Download your toolkit
Post Shop Small signs throughout your business for Small Business Saturday and throughout the year. Visit https://amex.co/3Avn27a and download the free marketing materials for your business. There’s a range to choose from, so you can find something that’s right for your business. You can create customized materials to let your customers know what makes your business unique and encourage your community to Shop Small.
Take a good look at your business through the eye of your customer and potential customer. What do they see when they encounter your business? Does the first impression of your business make people want to enter or call or click through? Take some time to look at what your customers see, in person and online, you may want to freshen up what’s there.
Does your in-store signage clearly communicate your vision? Are you clearly communicating your hours, pricing, promotions and policies?
Free, easy and clearly marked parking is always a benefit for your prospects and customers.
Who doesn’t like to receive something for free? It not only creates a warm introduction with your prospects, it also creates a desire to reciprocate.
Are they simple to understand and clearly communicated by your employees?
8. Gift cards
This year especially, the popularity of gift cards is expected to rise. If your business sells a significant percentage of cards, consider having an express line during busy hours.
Are you prepared to make your customers purchases quick and effortless? Guerrillas spend time training, incentivizing and testing their employees to ensure that they represent the business and deliver the desired message.
Are you creating an atmosphere that encourages purchases? The attire of your employees, the fragrance of your store, the music and even the temperature of your store — every detail entices or detracts.
Remember that many occasions are celebrated during the holiday season and as a Guerrilla you want to make every customer and prospect feel welcome and appreciated.
12. Affiliate/fusion marketing
There has never been a better time to work with other businesses to refer customers and prospects. Your knowledge of your customer’s needs and your relationship skills with other businesses are put to great use this season.
13. Selfie station
Create an engaging selfie station (with your business name and a QR code prominently placed) and encourage prospects to snap photos and share. If you need some inspiration, begin with your USP and, if needed, remember that people love to share images of oversized objects (e.g. a giant candy cane, holiday tree or other symbol, etc.).
14. Free wi-fi and comfortable seating
Whether it’s your prospect or for those who might be along nearly against their will, having a place to rest for a moment is a welcome find to shoppers.
Have you created programs that motivate your customers to make repeat purchases? This is your opportunity to over-deliver and make your customers want to come back and to want to connect with your business. Take advantage of this opportunity to create relationships by letting customers know their appreciated and you welcome the referral of their friends and family to your business.
Your job as a Guerrilla Marketer is to turn what could be an ordinary experience for a prospect into an extraordinary experience that turns them into a customer that can’t wait to tell everyone they know about your business. Guerrilla profits soar when delighted customers share the memorable experience of doing business with you.
Guerrilla Marketing, founded by Jay Conrad Levinson in 1984, sees this fantastic marketing campaign as a gift to Guerrilla Marketers. The concept of Guerrilla Marketing was developed as a system of promotions that rely on time, energy and imagination rather than a big marketing budget. Guerrillas embrace marketing opportunities that are low cost, proven successful and easy to small businesses.