Small Business Saturday is a day to highlight your business and show appreciation to your customers. It also provides opportunities to promote your business, sell products and services and get more customers and clients for your business.
With so much going on, it’s important to create a Small Business Saturday plan so that you can align your promotions with your business goals and get the most out of the day. Your promotions are a major part of your plan, so here are some ideas to help get you off the ground.
Small Business Saturday Related Promotions
There are many simple ways to promote your business on Small Business Saturday. In fact, you can tie just about any of your sales promotions to SBS. Here are a few ways to do this:
- Create a discount redeemable during the week before or after SBS.
- Purchases made on this day (product, demo, appointment, or consultation) are discounted or come with a free gift.
- Provide a special promotional code on SBS only, for discounts on appointments or purchases booked during a period of time in the near future (such as teeth whitening during the holidays, fitness classes after January 1).
- Purchases made on this day qualify you for a discount on a future related holiday. This holiday can be small business-related holiday, such as Small Business week in May, or National Mom & Pop Business Owner’s Day on March 29; or related to your business or target audience, such as National Dentist’s Day in March or National Home Improvement Month in May. If you want to learn about holidays related to your business or service, download our (free) Marketing Calendar.
Promotions for Gift Giving
Small Business Saturday occurs at a time when shoppers are looking for holiday gifts for their loved ones. Many people think that only retail businesses can leverage the gift-giving theme to come up with promotion ideas, such as through gift packages and free wrapping. However, services make great gifts too!
Think about the services you provide that people use throughout the year and see if you can bundle them into a package (or packages). Present the package with a holiday-themed coupon or envelope, and center your messaging around wishing the recipient a happy and healthy new year related to your service.
- Auto Mechanics: Offer an oil change and detailing services for keeping your car happy and healthy in the new year; or a “Winter Warmer” kit that includes an automatic starter, scraper, and pair of gloves.
- Landscapers: Provide a discount for spring lawn care or offer winter services such as snow removal or gutter cleaning.
- Financial advisors: Offer a “College Student Survival Plan” of quarterly check-ins, holiday budgeting consulting, tax preparation classes, or provide a downloadable document with money-saving tips.
Related: Holiday Marketing Ideas eBook
Other ways to incorporate discounts into these packages is by offering a certain percent off of a service with the purchase of a holiday gift package, or offer the services within the package at a lower rate than if purchased individually.
Promotions for Tired Shoppers
Small Business Saturday promotions don’t necessarily have to be geared for gift recipients. Don’t forget that gift givers and enthusiastic shoppers have needs too! Think about what products or services you offer that would appeal to shoppers in your neighborhood on this day. Examples of promotions for shoppers include:
- Massage Therapist: offer 5-minute walk in chair or foot massages for $5.
- Coffee Shop: buy one get one free promotion to encourage shoppers to stop by
- Salons and Spas: offer discounts on same day appointments
If you want to attract more qualified traffic to your business, get more specific and appeal to the needs of your target audience on this day. Are the members of your target audience parents? Are they public transportation users? Bikers? What can you offer to benefit them on Small Business Saturday, perhaps in exchange for their email address or blog subscription?
Side Note: Make Sure You’re Listed
Don’t forget that shoppers on this holiday aren’t just going to be searching for promotions and offers. They’re going to be using local directory sites like Yelp and Google My Business to find businesses near them that can meet their needs—whether that’s to find a cute scarf for a family member or a coffee to stay energized.
Promotions for the Season
People are preparing for the holidays with more than just gift giving, and they are preparing for more than just the holidays. After all, winter is fast approaching! As such, another way to promote your business on Small Business Saturday is through general seasonal-themed offers. Examples of seasonal promotions are as follows:
- Home services can create offers around cleaning, repairing, or refinishing before hosting holiday parties.
- Auto mechanics can create promotions around getting your car prepped to handle holiday travel, or winter weather.
- Financial advisors can offer a service around holiday shopping budgets or next year planning.
- Landscapers can create urgency around last minute lawn cleanup before the first snow.
In-Store Promotions for Small Business Saturday
If you do have a brick and mortar store that’s open for business, here are some ways you can promote your business in-store. For example:
- Get into the holiday spirit and set up a Holiday photo booth for customers.
- Offer a discount for imperfect items (or give them away).
- Offer a reduced rate on future services for first-time customers.
- Have a fishbowl giveaway for small items or candies to the customer who guesses closest to the right amount.
- Set up a gift-wrapping station for customers to gift wrap their purchases for free or for a small fee to donate to charity.
Small Business Saturday is for all small businesses, whether retail or service-based, in full swing or in the off-season.
For more help coming up with an effective promotion, take a gander through our Generating Leads eBook below:
This post was published November 2016 and updated November 2018