Make the Most of Small Business Saturday

By SME Insurance

Posted 30/11/17

The 5.2million+ small and medium businesses (SMEs) in the UK are vital to our economy, accounting for around 60% of private sector jobs and 47% of private sector turnover last year [1]. Small Business Saturday, which will be celebrating its fifth anniversary on 2 December 2017, is a grassroots campaign which provides support to small businesses whilst promoting them to the public [2].

On Small Business Saturday customers are encouraged to take time out to support the independent businesses in their communities and “shop local”. This also represents a great opportunity for small businesses to generate more business for themselves – which was proven in 2016 when an estimated £717m extra business was recorded on the day, a 15% increase on 2015 [3].

So, whether you run a shop, restaurant, pub, hotel or salon, how can you make the most of Small Business Saturday? This is a fantastic opportunity to make money, create new customers, increase foot-traffic, and raise your profile.

Let Small Business Saturday UK Support You

Don’t forget to sign up to Small Business Saturday UK on their website. You will gain access to free online and offline marketing materials and be added to the database of businesses taking part in your area. If you have any special events or offers going on during the day, get in touch and you may be given a mention on the official social media accounts [4].

Promote Yourself

You may find a natural uplift in sales and traffic due to the national promotion of the event. However, promoting your business yourself will help you make the most of the day. Make sure that you’re promoting your involvement in the event to current and potential customers including using your social media channels to spread the word. Use the hashtag #SmallbizsatUK to take part in the conversation on Twitter [5].

Use Incentives

There are many incentives you can use to encourage people to visit you on Small Business Saturday, such as discounts, limited edition products and services, or a special offer that’s only available on the day. You could even incorporate this with a charity initiative – for example, anyone who brings in a coat or warm clothing to donate to a local homeless shelter receives a thank you, such as a free drink at a café or pub, or a money-off voucher for a treatment at a hair salon or beauty salon [6]. Not only is this a great way to do something good for your community, it could create a positive buzz around your business and encourage people to promote it for you [6].

Run an Event

Running an event is a great way to encourage footfall, create a memorable day for customers and help you stand out from your competitors. There are many different things you can do depending on the type of business you run. For example, a book shop might have children’s entertainers and an author come in to read to young children whilst parents do their shopping, a boutique might have a Buck’s Fizz and mince pies event to encourage Christmas shopping, and a pub or bar might put on some local bands and food to create a community atmosphere.  

If you do decide to run an event make sure you consider costs and promote it beforehand. Get in touch with Small Business Saturday to let them know what you’ll be doing and they could help promote it using their popular social channels [7].

Cross-promote With Your Neighbours

If you’re based in an area that has other independent businesses, chances are they will be taking part too. Why don’t you speak to them about doing a joint promotion? For example, someone who owns a bar could offer a deal on a bottle of prosecco for anyone who has their haircut in a local salon, and a florist could team up with a sweet shop and an off-license to put together a limited edition gift hamper. This is a great way to get more involved in your local community, and you will have access to double (or treble!) the publicity [8].

[1] http://www.walesonline.co.uk/business/business-news/5000000-small-business-one-big-8883212

[2]  https://smallbusinesssaturdayuk.com/about-us

[3] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/connect/small-business/small-business-saturday-results-717m-in-sales/

[4] https://smallbusinesssaturdayuk.com/

[5] http://www.commercialdomesticinvestigations.co.uk/make-small-business-saturday/

[6] https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/285606

[7] https://www.americanexpress.com/us/small-business/openforum/articles/3-ways-make-small-business-saturday/

[8] https://www.americanexpress.com/us/small-business/openforum/articles/3-ways-make-small-business-saturday/

Posted 30/11/17

Author: SME Insurance

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