small business

Top 8 Small Business Saturday Ideas to Stand Out from the Crowd

Two women shopping during Small Business Saturday

According to a survey, American shoppers spent over $23.3 billion on 2021’s Small Business Saturday. That’s definitely not a tiny number!

And if you are a small business owner, you’d know the importance of this day.

While there’s a reason for the small business community to be hopeful this holiday season, you need to implement a targeted approach towards attracting the right crowd to your business.

And to help you get started on this, we have curated 8 simple, last-minute Small Business Saturday ideas that can help you gain traction as well as guide you towards building new connections.

Without any further delay, let’s jump right in!

1. Get online-ready

Before you get started on absolutely anything, make sure your business is visible online. Here are a few quick ways in which you can not only maximize your online visibility but also expand your clientele.

A. Get listed on Google and popular online directories

This is probably one of the most important Small Business Saturday marketing ideas. Being present on the right places online can ensure that your customers find you when they look for you and as a result, you can gain traction on the big day.

Let’s take a look at the most important online directories that have gained popularity over the past decade.

I.) Google My Business

Having your business listed on Google is a sure-shot way of ensuring that your clients will find you on Google search results. 

And once they do, your listing shows them where and how to visit your shop on Google Maps, along with your web and physical address. Your searcher can also go to your website, get directions, contact information, open hours, and more!

II.) Yelp

Yelp is another free business directory that can help in expanding your clientele and attracting more customers to your business. 

This business platform comes with a multitude of features. You can update your business information, add photos of your business, create and run ads, get customer reviews, and do so much more. 

III.) Other online directories

Getting listed on local directories can help in increasing your business visibility in the local area. Your small business can show up in the results when your potential customers search using the area zip code.

B. Perfect your website for the occasion 

Does your small business have a functioning website? Put that to use this Small Business Saturday.

Here is a quick run-through of what your website needs to have and how it needs to be before you get all set for D-day:

  1. Ensure that your website is mobile-friendly. If your customers cannot make it to the shop for making purchases, they can easily do so by visiting your website and ordering from there.
  2. Make sure the business information provided on your website is up to date. Operating hours, directions to visit your shop, services, service prices, and everything in between need to be updated.
  3. If you are pushing any discounts or offers, specifically created for Small Business Saturday, don’t forget to exhibit that on the homepage of your website (maybe add some vibrant colors to catch your website visitor’s attention as well!)

C. Send out an email to existing and potential customers

A small business owner sending Small Business Saturday email to customers

This strategy can help in adding more and more customers to your email list. If you are celebrating Small Business Saturday, why deprive your business of an idea that can ensure an ever-increasing customer base? 

Send out an engaging and pleasant Small Business Saturday email to your existing as well as potential customers, letting them know about your small business’s participation in this year’s SBS. Invite them to your store and promise an exceptional in-store experience. 

But don’t forget to mention your website URL along with the email. This ensures that in case someone can’t make it to your store, they can simply visit your website and place an order. 

Let them know how much it would matter to you if they visited your shop on Small Business Saturday – this can, undoubtedly, go a long way!

2. Create Small Business Saturday special offers and discounts

Shopping bags indicating Small Business Saturday deals

Celebrating small businesses is what Small Business Saturday is all about.

But if you want to stick your head out of the pack, you need to do something spectacular (in your customer’s opinion!). And that is what the best Small Business Saturday deals and specials can help you create!

For the orders that are placed on Small Business Saturday, you can design the following offers to attract more customers:

  1. Buy one get one free deal for those who refer a friend (and convey that the deal applies to the friend as well!)
  2. You can also bundle different services/ products into packages and offer them at discounted rates.
  3. Provide a discount on orders for those who sign up for your blog or newsletter, or even provide you with their contact information (not to forget that this can be a smart way of increasing your email list as well!)
  4. You can create and sell gift certificates online too! Design beautiful gift certificates and let your customers gift your services/ products to their loved ones or friends, and you can also sell them on your booking page and website.
  5. There’s one other thing that you can do before SBS kicks in. The purchases that are made in the SBS week can come with discount coupons that can be redeemed on Small Business Saturday!

3. Partner up with other local businesses

Two small business owners partnering up for Small Business Saturday

Time for one of the widely adopted Small Business Saturday ideas – partnering up! If you want to execute a full-fledged but more importantly, targeted promotion of your small business for SBS, partnering up with other small businesses can help you achieve that.

When you partner with other local businesses, you not only increase the chances of customer engagement at your store but also help the partner business gain traction through cross-promotion. 

In simple words, their customers can become your customers as well!

So, the first step – finding the right partner. This step isn’t about finding the most popular store in town and partnering up with them just because they have a huge following. This is more about finding a partner that not only fits in with your desired target audience but also syncs with your line of business.

For example,

  1. Personal trainers can partner with yoga instructors to offer discounted aerobic yoga classes to their customers.
  2. Landscapers can partner with hardware store owners and offer a free cleanup at discounted rates.
  3. Massage therapists can partner with healthcare providers, local chiropractors, and physiotherapy clinics, and provide their services at discounted rates. They can also partner with beauty salons, hair salons, or spas, and provide free chair massages to customers during peak shopping hours.

Moving onto the next step – promotions. Both businesses can announce their partnering up on social media channels, send out emails to their customers, and promote this to keep up the momentum on SBS.

4. Utilize local media

Using local media never goes out of fashion! Here are two simple ways in which you can grab the eyeballs of your potential customers:

A. Flyers

You can announce your store’s celebration of SBS, partnering up with other local businesses event, kick-off events, and more using flyers and posters. 

Post it at places where the posters/ flyers can grab attention. These can include fitness centers, libraries, supermarkets, parks with community boards/ announcements, etc. And you can also consider the door-to-door distribution of flyers in the targeted areas if you have enough time to spare.

B. Local newspapers, magazines, and online publications

Consider doing a write-up for the local newspapers, magazines, or any local online publications. You can write about your brand’s story and the history of how, when, and what motivated you to start your small business.

Describe your unique value proposition and goals, if needed. In the end, you can also mention any special offers that you have in store for your target audience. 

You can also consider writing about the importance of celebrating Small Business Saturday and why it is important to your business specifically. Let your readers know why it is equally important for them to support and celebrate small businesses on this day!

5. Make the most of social media

Today social media has become the most important and reliable platform for marketing, promotions, announcements, and so much more.

Here are a few Small Business Saturday promotion ideas that you can execute through social media:

1. Use relevant hashtags to make your posts and tweets more accessible. The relevant occasion-specific hashtags that you can use include #SmallBusinessSaturday, #SmallBizSaturday, #ShopSmall, #ShopLocal, #ShopSmallSaturday. 

2. You can also create a Facebook event to notify your followers about the upcoming holiday sale or even a kick-off event before SBS.

This is an amazing way to spread the word about your small businesses ’ participation in this year’s SBS. 

3. If it doesn’t seem like a hassle, you can even live stream on Facebook and Instagram.

Conducting a Small Business Saturday kick-off event? Go live and let everyone in your neighborhood (if they are your followers, or even if their friends are your followers) know about it!

4. You can also reach out to interested or potential customers on social media. Let them know about the upcoming sale and the tempting discounts/ offers that your business has in store for its visitors.

5. Joining online groups associated with the holiday can also help you navigate through a wider audience, your competitor’s approach to this holiday sale, what your target market might be expecting, and much more. You can join Facebook and LinkedIn community groups. 

6. You can also engage with official Small Business Saturday Facebook and Instagram accounts.

7. You can start by posting regularly a week in advance on social media. You can post about the following:

  • Any kick-off event that you might have planned.
  • The discounts or gift certificates that you’ll be offering.
  • What the big day would be like at your store – make a timeline of everything that you have planned for your customers. 
  • The winners of any event that you can hold before the occasion, and those winners can even avail discounts on any purchases they make at your store on SBS. 

6. Support any local cause or charity

You can also make use of SBS for a noble cause. 

Consider using a percentage of the money that you’ll raise on that day to support a few local causes. Additionally, you can sell certain items that are exclusively meant for raising money for donations. 

And this doesn’t have to go unnoticed! Go ahead and let your customers know the same in conversations, through social media, and even hang a board outside to engage those who walk past your store. Encourage them to contribute a bit to this cause as well.

7. Provide an excellent in-store experience

Now comes the day when you have customers in your store, buying your products! And while it may seem that the marketing strategies end here, it doesn’t really.

The way you deliver client experiences still plays a huge role in attracting customers to your business. Make sure you deliver exceptional experiences for each and every customer. Decorate your store and create a welcoming ambience to ensure that customers find it amazing to be present there. 

Create photo opportunities by setting up photo booths in your store. This is one of the smartest Small Business Saturday promotion ideas. 😉

You can even offer discounted packages or purchases to those who post these photos on their social media accounts along with your business and location.

Don’t forget to devise exciting deals for the occasion! Your small business can grab the attention of its followers which can, in turn, lead to more incoming customers and ramp up your Small Business Saturday sales!

8. Think beyond Small Business Saturday

Small Business Saturday isn’t all about gaining maximum traction on just this day. You need to work a bit after, as well. This involves thanking your new as well as existing customers and making them feel special.

Follow up a day or two after SBS by sending all your customers a Thank You email. State how important and amazing their presence was and how you appreciate their contribution. Do mention any future promotions that you can have in store for them. This email can act as a perfect carrier of the deals or discounts that your store offers. 

You can also encourage your customers to leave reviews on their experience on SBS and mention any improvement that they would like to see next year. 

Add every new customer to your email list and leverage this opportunity to maintain a healthy and long-lasting connection with them. 

In a nutshell, make use of Small Business Saturday to gain more loyal customers for your business. Reach out to new and potential customers and encourage them to try your products/ services.

All set to make the most of Small Business Saturday?

The most-awaited holiday season is already here. And if you are worried about the promotions of your business for Small Business Saturday, all we got to say is – don’t worry! 

These simple yet effective Small Business Saturday ideas can help you spread the word, attract customers to your store, and deliver an excellent experience to them!

If you are looking for a tool that can help you in promotions and managing tasks seamlessly, not just during the holiday season but throughout, check out Appointy’s online booking system that can ease the process for you!

Last but not the least, we wish you a Happy Small Business Saturday! 😃

About Appointy

We at Appointy, help business owners grow and run their businesses with our online scheduling software. This blog was a part of our ‘Manage your Business’ category, where we provide expert tips, and resources, or simply talk about the challenges that small and medium businesses face every day. 

If you have any thoughts on this blog or would like to chat about your business struggles and achievements, let us know in the comments below. 

We love a good talk!