If Saturday is only small biz marketing, then everyday is Black Friday

small business saturday logoSmall Business Saturday, slated for Nov. 26, the Saturday after Thanksgiving, tells a sad story about small business marketing.

Small Business Saturday, sponsored by American Express, proves small business owners don’t market themselves enough. And, more importantly, it proves small businesses MUST market themselves more.

After several down years, staffing reductions and other cost-cutting moves, many small business owners are cutting their marketing budgets. Worse, some never had a marketing budget. This approach to marketing is foolish.

Small businesses who market themselves see success in a myriad of ways, including more referrals, more new clients or customers and increased average spending.

The days of people finding a business on their own are long gone. In these tough financial times, businesses have to reach out to people with advertising, websites and social media.

It is too easy for people to go to malls, shopping centers and other conglomerations of big businesses, grabbing everything they want and need – and much, much more – in one trip. Heck, a shopper could make the case that going to a collection of big stores or buying online benefits the environment by saving gas. People find it too easy to bypass that cute, fun shop on the corner because it’s a block out of the way or they have to pay to park.

Note that Black Friday somehow grew this year to a two-day celebration of excess, deals and splurging, spurred by come-on deals that entice people into opening their wallets. Sales are starting Thursday, which means even less of a person’s dollar is available for small businesses come the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

Failing to compete could be ensuring failure, sooner or later. The time to plan for marketing in 2012 is now, not in March, May or never.

As a small business marketing consultant, I have developed cost-effective marketing strategies for small businesses as varied as barber shops to insurance agencies. Working together, we determine how to reach a business’ clients in ways that ensure sales growth.

Here’s the sad story: Small businesses who choose not to market themselves are allowing everyday to be Black Friday.




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