Tips to Prepare for Small Business Saturday
As a small business owner, you’re most likely already gearing up for Small Business Saturday.
This huge holiday shopping day fits snugly between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, so eager gift-hunters can search for that special something all weekend long.
At Electronic Merchant Systems, small businesses are our passion and our purpose. Our mission is to empower you to grow your business and improve your financial well-being.
So, naturally, we want to make sure you have the most pertinent information and helpful resources as you prepare for the big day. Keep reading for complimentary resources from American Express, along with important dates and tips to get your business ready for the holidays!
Table of Contents
- Download Marketing Materials
- Tips to Prepare Your Store for the Holiday Rush
- Important Dates
- The Holiday Experience
Tips & Resources from American Express
Small Business Saturday was founded by American Express in 2010 to help strengthen local economies.
Today, it’s a holiday shopping tradition and part of a nationwide Shop Small® Movement dedicated to supporting all kinds of small businesses. From the corner store to your favorite diner to a trendy online boutique, it’s unique small businesses like yours that help local communities stay vibrant.
Participating in Small Business Saturday is a great way to reach new customers and promote your business. Here are some tips from the day’s founders, American Express, for getting involved on Nov 30:
- Let your customers know that you plan to participate in Small Business Saturday. Click here for free promotional tools and materials, including social media templates that let you show your support and tell your Small Business Saturday story.
- Connect with your community. Contact your local chamber of commerce to see how your business can participate in Small Business Saturday events and promotions.
- If you accept American Express® Cards, your business could get recommended to potential customers. In 2018, nearly 17 million people received recommendations on where to shop. Visit American Express to learn more.
- You can also help attract more customers by displaying signage on your storefront or website. Show Card Members you accept American Express and that you’re ready for their business. Click here for your free signage.
5 Tips to Prepare Your Store for the Holiday Rush
Do you hear that? It’s the sound of people across the country compiling their family’s wish lists and creating a holiday shopping plan.
Before you know it, they’ll be at your door feverishly hunting for the perfect gift at the perfect price.
Increased traffic and high demand during this season can be overwhelming. However, if you prepare for the rush ahead of time and share the plan with your employees, it will help things run smoothly.
Check out these tips to get ready for the rush:
1. Stock Up on Gift Cards
Gift cards make popular holiday gifts and stocking stuffers – make sure you don’t run out! Gift cards make everyone happy. They’re an easy snag for a customer, they make a great gift for anyone, and they help you improve profits.
Most customers who enter your store with a gift card will end up spending more than the card is worth. They may see the card as a discount for a larger purchase they have been wanting to make or use it to buy a second sweater on their friend’s dime.
Often the last few remaining dollars on a gift card go unspent, which means you make a profit on that card purchase. These rectangular pieces of plastic are holiday gold. Be sure to order plenty before the holiday season and use them as an easy up-sell.
Don’t have a gift card solution? Contact us! Our creative team specializes in designing unique cards that will grab customer attention during the holiday season and beyond.
2. Update Your Website
Give your website some festive flare and be sure to include sales and promotions. Many customers start their holiday shopping by window shopping online.
You’ll need to meet your customers where they are and encourage them to visit your store to make that perfect gift purchase.
Consider updating your website with the following for the holiday season (if applicable):
- A badge or banner advertising your participation in Small Business Saturday
- Promotions, discounts, and special offers
- Extended store hours
- Special events or product demonstrations
- Holiday bundles or exclusive products
- Gift categories by people or price
- Your holiday gift guide
3. Build Your Holiday TeamHire the holiday helpers you need to keep your store running smoothly. Hiring seasonal cashiers or store associates can be a challenging process.
- Give yourself plenty of opportunity to find that perfect team by posting your call for applicants in store and online. You’ll also want to create a rigorous training itinerary to get new team members up to speed with current associates as fast as possible.
- Click here for more on building your holiday team.
4. Place Inventory Orders in AdvanceMake sure you have plenty of inventory on-hand for eager holiday shoppers. Depending on what type of store you own, your distributors may be overrun with orders for the holiday season.
- It is imperative that you place your holiday inventory order as early as you can, and don’t order too much or too little. You don’t want to run into a ton of overstock after the holidays. Do some digging into last year’s holiday sales to get an idea of how much you need to order.
- You should also listen to your customers in person and on social media. What are they most excited about this holiday season? If you happen to sell one of the products, consider ordering a little extra. This should give you a good starting point.
5. Create a Marketing PlanDon’t forget about a creative marketing plan to attract customers new and old. We discussed ten tips for marketing your business this season in last week’s post – check that out here.
- Remember to target different customer demographics in your marketing. Cater to the busy holiday shopper and encourage the cost-conscious shopper through your marketing efforts.
- For Small Business Saturday specifically, we recommend using the free resources and marketing materials available through American Express.
-back to top-
Key Holidays & Shopping Days
Don’t forget to remind your employees and customers of these important holidays and shopping days:
November 28 – Thanksgiving
November 29 – Black Friday
November 30 – Small Business Saturday
December 2 – Cyber Monday
December 3 – Giving Tuesday
December 14 – Last day for ground shipping by Christmas Day
December 20 – Last day for 2-day or rush shipping by Christmas Day
December 22 – First day of Hanukkah
December 25 – Christmas Day
Want to share these tips and dates with your team? Download our free infographic and post it in your store!
The Holiday Experience
Before we sign off for this week, we want to share one final tip.
While your team is preparing for the holiday rush, remember what this season is all about. It is a season of giving, of celebrating friends and family all gathered together, of giving gifts to treasured loved ones and showing them how happy we are to have them in our lives.
Even when the lines get long and grumpiness sets in, try to offer that true holiday spirit experience to your customers and teammates. They will all remember you for it.
Want more holiday tips for your business? Visit our blog again next week as we discuss strategies for and the importance of hiring holiday helpers.