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Small Business Saturday

November 25, 2013

As a small business owner the holiday season can be a time that can make or break your business. Over the years the concept of “Black Friday” has been popularized and swarms of consumers can be seen  rushing to the big chain stores following their Thanksgiving day. The concept of “Cyber Monday” may be fairly new, but according to an IBM report, total sales reached $1.98 billion on Cyber Monday in  2012, a 17% increase from 2011. These statistics may be daunting for a small business owner, but there is something that can place small businesses on a similar playing field as the big chain stores and online outlets. “Small Business Saturday” is a concept popularized in 2010 by American Express during an advertising campaign. According to American Express consumers spent an estimated $5.5 billion at  small business retailers and restaurants in 2012.

All businesses should begin to reach out to their email contacts by sending out one email a week mentioning whatever promotions and sales your business will have on that Saturday. To build your email list it is important to obtain the  email addresses from all the consumers that shop at your store. It is important to keep in mind that this is time consuming so expediting the email collection process can be advantageous. Make it enticing for a consumer to give their email address by offering a discount at the register. Aside from email your business should take full advantage of its social media networks and schedule tweets and Facebook  posts regarding your Saturday specials. Another way to spark interest would be to run a Facebook  contest where user activity is rewarded. Businesses can visit https://www.americanexpress.com/us/small-business/Shop-Small/marketing-materials for customizable banners that they can add to their social media sites that will let users know that the business is participating in this year’s Small Business Saturday event. You can also encourage  consumers to shop at your establishment by re-investing a portion of the sales to a local need.

Make sure whatever promotional route you take is posted on all your social media networks and sent to consumers via an email blast. Utilize fliers and banners outside your storefront as well; it is important to let consumers passing by know about your sale as well as your participation in Small Business Saturday. If your business hasn’t already you can register for discounts and get additional information about Small Business Saturday here:  http://www1.nyc.gov/nyc-resources/service/2473/small-business-saturday

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