Small Business Saturday, whose motto is Shop Small, encourages buying from local retailers. The goal is to deliver to small business owners revenue similar to what so-called Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, which is the busiest shopping day of the year, generates for big-box stores and mall merchants.
Of course, it goes without saying that Small Business Saturday is a great cause, for the more we support small business, the more we develop and support our local communities. Having local businesses that know and support us, providing one-on-one help that larger companies cannot provide, is so valuable, but often overlooked.
But as I watched the ads on TV, I have to admit I felt like I was missing out. Let’s face it: there isn’t much chance of someone choosing to shop with a small business marketing consultant on Small Business Saturday. Although the day is geared toward spending at brick-and-mortar stores, any company, even service providers, can support and benefit from the attention paid to this annual event.
Here is how to do it.
Promote the day. Tell people how you believe in small businesses, especially if some of them are your clients. For instance, this blog post is designed to call attention to the day and the opportunity. It’s calculated to help raise awareness to the day, the opportunity and, of course, my business.
Shop at the small businesses you know. Yes, it seems too simple, but it’s often forgotten. Here’s why it matters. Nothing makes a client or prospect feel better about working with you than seeing that you support them with your wallet. Get a jump on holiday shopping by spending with them on Small Business Saturday.
Tell a great story about a retail store. Everyone should have a story about how a retail store went out of its way.
For instance, there’s a pizza shop, Giovanna’s, located a few blocks from my home in Maryland. The owner, Michael, has accommodated our family’s need to steer clear of dairy products by making a pizza for us every Friday night that doesn’t include cheese. In fact, Giovanna’s staff not just makes the pizza with tomato sauce and meatballs, but they also only cook it partially so we can take it home, add some non-dairy goat cheese and cook it the rest of the way. After years of being unable to eat pizza because of the cheese, Giovanna’s pizza and its interest in helping us out has become so special to Laura and me that Friday night is now known as Pizza Night.
Promote your clients who have retail stores. It’s win-win-win. Your clients will appreciate you mentioning them in connection with Small Business Saturday to your clients, prospects and friends on social media like Facebook or LinkedIn, on your website or in your discussions with other people this week. Your clients will probably earn more money. As a result, they may have more need and interest in spending some of that money on what you provide.
Small businesses are key contributors to our communities, our economy and to so much of what we hold dear. Small Business Saturday is a brilliant way to celebrate these businesses, which must continue to grow for businesses like mine to thrive.