Friday, November 28, 2014

Why Shopping Small Matters

Small businesses should show off their uniqueness all year—but especially on Small Business Saturday. November 29 marks the fifth year for this successful event, and all signs indicate continued growth. Originally conceived as a marketing campaign by American Express, Small Business Saturday has evolved into a mainstream holiday shopping event that complements Black Friday, which earned its name because large retailer sales went from operating on negative earnings (red) throughout the year to positive earnings (black) in a single day, and Cyber Monday, an earnings coup for online retailers with sales topping $2 billion last year.
 
Small Business Saturday is still relatively young, so the numbers are smaller, but increasing consumer awareness contributes to larger crowds every year. And small businesses are paying attention and taking action. It’s a win-win. Showcase how shopping local and shopping small makes a difference, and reap the benefits for holiday sales.

So what’s the best way for a small business to capitalize on Small Business Saturday? First and foremost, remember what makes your business special. Each business is unique, just like the neighborhoods they serve, and this is the time to highlight what makes each one exceptional. While large retailers rely on conventional marketing and offerings, small businesses can tailor products and services to the needs of their local communities—even the needs of individuals—and that’s the experience you want to shout from the rooftops.

Small business owners who already have this strategy down pat can move on to more tactical issues. Some questions to consider:
  • What percentage increase did you see during last year’s event?
  • Are you prepared for even higher sales?
  • Do you need more inventory or temporary sales people?
  • Do you have a plan to engage and retain new customers?

Most of this advice applies every day, not just Small Business Saturday. The difference is that American Express invests marketing dollars and resources toward getting the word out and driving customers toward small businesses for this event, and not having a strategy will undoubtedly mean lost revenue. So, don’t miss out on the opportunity to join forces with businesses like your own to raise awareness about why spending dollars on Main Street matters.
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