Small Business Saturday takes place on the 3rd December 2016. First launched in America in 2010 on the Saturday that sits between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the not-for-profit campaign champions the importance of supporting small businesses by encouraging people to ‘shop local’. After making its way to the UK in 2013, it has become somewhat of a phenomenon, giving small businesses and independent retailers a platform and inspiring them to use it.
Regardless of whether you’re a customer, business owner or local authority, there are plenty of ways to get involved with Small Business Saturday. If you’re a large company or local authority, you can pledge your support and get behind smaller businesses in your area. If you’re a consumer, you can adapt your shopping habits to include local companies, for example: instead of going to your usual coffee chain for your morning caffeine hit, give your local coffee shop a try; instead of picking up all your groceries at the supermarket, pay a visit to the fresh food market in town. Small Business Saturday aims to change the way we think about business, not to dissuade us from using large companies, but to help make us more aware of spreading our business to smaller companies too.
If you’re a small business owner, Small Business Saturday is your opportunity to really make some noise about your product or service. A great way to do this is by using print products such as flyers and posters to spread the word around your local area. As print products are tactile and using them often requires you to interact with your audience on a face-to-face basis, they go hand in hand with encouraging people to shop local.
If you’re unsure of how to market your business with print, here’s a roundup of 7 ways that print can be used to help you get the most out of Small Business Saturday…
- Hand Out Flyers
If you want to get people on your website or into your store for Small Business Saturday, there’s nothing better than telling them all about it in person! Flyers are a great conversation starter, and can often grab attention, whether you hand them out or post them, because of their potential for creative design.
There’s a lot you can do with a flyer. You could advertise your service as a whole; you could highlight your best product; you could focus on an event you’re hosting for Small Business Saturday; or you could even offer a special Small Business Saturday promotion to entice customers your way! However you choose to use them, flyers are a fun and cost-effective way to give your audience a glimpse of what you’re made of!
- Hang Posters
A creative and compelling poster placed in a prime location can do an amazing job of increasing local awareness of your business. Use them to promote your Small Business Saturday offers or campaigns and hang them in windows, stick them on walls or pop them in an A-board outside your store. With an eye-catching design, short, snappy text, and some Small Business Saturday branding to draw people in, you’d be surprised how much footfall a poster can send your way!
- Start a Loyalty Programme
Using loyalty cards is an effective way to bring in new customers and keep your existing ones keen. The concept is easy to establish– when a customer uses your service, they get a stamp on their loyalty card. Once they’ve acquired a certain number of stamps, they get a reward that’s relevant to your business, whether that be a free muffin, 10% off or a free treatment. If you’d prefer not to use the stamp method, you could add a card to every shopping bag that offers your customers a discount on their next purchase for referring a friend.
The great thing about loyalty cards is they help to boost reach and increase frequent sales. If you offer a special Small Business Saturday loyalty programme, such as an extra 10% off your next visit or two stamps with every purchase on the day, then any new customers you gain from the day will have more of an incentive to return again in the future.
- Send Out Mailers
If you’re putting on a promotion for Small Business Saturday, why not send out mailers to tell people all about it? You could do this using your existing mailing list, or you could go out and post them around your local area. The great thing about mailers is that you can get as creative as you like with them. You could use postcards, greetings cards, flyers, folded flyers or perhaps even invitations. Adding something along the lines of ‘Come join us to celebrate Small Business Saturday – offers and discounts in store!’ would certainly grab attention, and even if a recipient can’t make it down for Small Business Saturday, they might just refer back to the mailer at a later date and try your services then.
- Have Fun with Stickers
Show potential customers your playful side by giving out stickers on the weekend of Small Business Saturday. Add them to shopping bags, use them to seal packaging or hand them out to passers-by. You could pop your logo on them alongside the line ‘come back soon’, or you could use a fun, creative hashtag that people will remember. You could even hand out stickers that read ‘I shopped local for Small Business Saturday’ for consumers to wear proudly! It may only be a sticker to some, but to others, it will leave a lasting impression and may even inspire them to return.
- Use a Vinyl Banner
If you want to stand out on the high street on Small Business Saturday, a vinyl banner will get the job done! You can hang them on walls, attach them on railings or display them loud and proud in your establishment. They’d be particularly effective if you’re having a special Small Business Saturday sale or hosting an event on the day, and as they’re ideal for outdoor use, they’re sure to catch the eye of locals passing by.
- Show Off Your Business Card
The incredible thing about Small Business Saturday is that it opens the door to form bonds with fellow local businesses. The campaign goes out of its way to encourage collaboration, whether that be an independent café hosting a ring making event for a craft jeweller, or a local bar holding an exhibition evening for a resident artist or photographer. Teaming up with another small business can bring about some fantastic opportunities, as well as exposing your service to a whole new audience. Of course, if you’re going to start networking with the locals, you’re going to need an impressive business card! Your business card is an extension of your brand, and quite often, the first impression a recipient will have of your company. Have it on hand for every meeting, and hand it out at every opportunity. You could even have a stack of them laid out for people to take at any Small Business Saturday event you might host. You never know what it will lead to!
How will you be taking part in Small Business Saturday this year? Let us know, we’d love to hear about it!
To find out more about Small Business Saturday, head to the campaign site where you can pledge your support. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #SmallBusinessSaturday if you plan to get involved on Social.