Small Business Saturday is coming up soon (Nov. 24, 2018), meaning it’s time to encourage people to give somewhere other than Target or Walmart a chance. It’s a great way to get involved in your community and give back to others in the process. While Black Friday and Cyber Monday generally focus on large retailers and online stores, Small Business Saturday is all about local businesses. Beginning in 2010 through the efforts of America
n Express, the goal was to help businesses that may have been struggling during the recession, according to Small Business Trends. The Small Business Coalition was also formed that year; the combined effort helped catapult the small business movement to the national spotlight. American Express found that since the initiative began, consumers in the U.S. have reported spending around $85 billion at local, independent retailers and restaurants. The objective of this day is to effectively bring more holiday shopping to the small business sector. If you’ve never heard of this national event, then check out this blog below. Here’s how you can support Small Business Saturday, via Entrepreneur.com.
How to Make the Event Successful
Since Saturday is fast approaching, it’s time to prepare for the big day. What are some good ways that one can get ready? Check out how you can make the event productive and successful for years to come.
- Get web ready – This is the easy part. So don’t forget it. If you don’t get the news out there about your deals, then no one’s going to know about it. Make sure all of your info is correct on your website and social media handles.
- Utilize free resources – American Express offers free signs, email templates, web badges, posters, and other marketing materials to help jumpstart your business. There’s still time to download many of these materials here, with them being ready to use within minutes.
- Extend your hours – If you usually close at 5 p.m., then maybe it’s time to temporarily consider staying open for a little bit later. Make sure you’re aware of local events going on that night and plan accordingly to make the most out of foot traffic. Change your hours for the shopping event as well; letting people know via Facebook or Instagram what’s going on can help make your event successful.
- Prioritize customer service – If you want to really make a good, lasting impression on your customers, then take the time to retrain your staff. The ability to connect with a customer and give them a unique, specialized personal experience is something that’ll set you apart from the rest. While people still shop online, nothing takes away from that in-store experience. Give your staff the tools they need and the words to say to solve problems. If a customer hasn’t been to your store in a while, help them with extra care.
- Plan incentives – Give people a reason to want to come out to your event. For example, shoppers in Oakland County, Michigan last year had a chance to win $5,000 thanks to a special promotion that allowed shoppers to text photos of their receipts. Whatever you do doesn’t have to be as extravagant. Consider in-store incentives like raffles, collecting contact information for your own upcoming events and promotions throughout the year.
- Don’t compete with others – Yes, you might want to slash your prices. But is that going to benefit you in the long run? Sure, big corporations can afford those kinds of deep cuts. Not a small business though. It’s not about garnering a huge sale. It’s about supporting the local economy, one step at a time.
While these are just some of the things that you can do to get ready, you can also invite a local celeb for some exposure, join groups associated with the holiday, support local charities and celebrate other small businesses. Word of mouth travels far and you can get a lot done through these simple tasks. When the whole business comes together as a team, everyone prospers. Next is finding out some businesses you want to give your money to.
Local Businesses to Support
Just like how you want to buy corporate, you should also want to also buy local. For us, local would be Los Angeles. Here’s a list of some places you can support as a patron. Remember, shopping small helps jumpstart the economy and helps others make a sustainable living.
- Elegant Touch Hostess Gifts – A sister site to Sunday Champagne Brunch Club, eleganttouchhostess.com is a site meant for those who love to entertain guests at home or for those planning an event and want an elegant touch. Elegant Touch offers select gourmet foods, desserts and exclusive hostess/host apparel. There’s also camping and tailgate items for those who love the outdoors or sports. Elegant Touch is also great for caterers and event planners looking to have a stylish affair for a decent price. The founder of this website is an entrepreneur, dedicating her life to running her small business. If you’re looking for things that will give a tasteful touch in your home, then Elegant Touch is the place to start.
- Goddess Bazaar Pop Up Shop – Happening Nov. 24, 2,018 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Leimert Park (Los Angeles) is the Black Women For Wellness’ event called the Goddess Bazaar Pop Up Shop. Vintage clothes, handmade art, exclusive jewelry and multitudes of local small businesses will all be under one roof. Come celebrate and support small black-owned businesses and local organizations. It’s one of the many ways to keep LA thriving, says the event page.
- Shop Small Santa Monica – Montana Avenue Merchants Association, Buy Local Santa Monica and Santa Monica Travel & Tourism are just some of the organizations involved in this event happening in Santa Monica Nov. 24. It’s a great way to find the gifts you need, support your local businesses and celebrate the day outside in sunny California. Don’t miss out on holiday shopping and sidewalk sales in Santa Monica’s shops.
These are just some of the amazing local businesses that you can support if you’re in the LA area. But there will be more–don’t be afraid to call and ask a store if they are participating in Small Business Saturday.