Next weekend sees the return of Small Business Saturday, the one day of the year where customers are encouraged to rebel against the retail chains, overlook the massive online shops, and buy from local stores instead.
This year marks the sixth anniversary of the event, and all small businesses are being encouraged to get involved, from family butchers to online sellers – if it sounds like something that could give your business a boost, here’s how to get involved…
The first thing you need to do is register your business, you can sign up here.
If customers don’t know about Small Business Saturday, they can’t get involved – download logos and banners to put on your website, and request a marketing pack from the Small Business Saturday website.
The marketing pack also includes posters you can print off at home to put in the window of your premises to encourage passers by to pop in and take part by giving you their business.
Free food is always an effective way to get people though the door, and it’s worth checking out the Small Business Saturday cook book, which was released a couple of years ago, but the recipes definitely aren’t past their sell-by date. You can download it here, and tempt people through the door with treats like Chicken and Chorizo Jambalaya, Gluten-free Mojito Cupcakes, and Mulled Wine.
Once your premises has been decked out with posters, take some pictures and share them on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using the hashtag #SmallBizSatUK and geo-tag your local region.
For more ideas, and some good ideas on how to use Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest to cover the event, check out the Small Business Saturday social media support and advice.
Next up, speak to other small businesses in your area to see if they’ve signed up and encourage them to spread the word among friends and family – you could print off flyers or cards that could be handed out across the two remaining weekends before the day itself.
You could also leave these flyers in the reception of local schools, community centres, coffee shops and libraries.
Once you know there are a few businesses on board, you should speak to your local authority to see if it is doing anything to support the event – if not, get it on board to help support the local economy.
It might also be writing to your local MP to get them to come down to the event – if they agree you should get in touch with your local newspaper and radio station and get them to help promote the event and cover proceedings on the day.
Go blog about it
If you’re website has a blog – and if it doesn’t have a blog, why doesn’t it?! – then make sure you write as much about the day as possible and promote your blog on social media – this way you can still reach all of your online friends or followers but let them know about the event in much greater detail that you can in a social media post.
You could even run a contest on your blog – maybe offering goods or services as a prize – to generate and maintain interest in the day. If you get together with other businesses this gives you the scope to give away bigger and better prizes.
What are you doing for Small Business Saturday? Let us know in the comments section…