Entrepreneur Lisbeth Calandrino talks about the importance of Small Business Saturday
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WHY SMALL BUSINESS MATTERS SATURDAY MATTER AND 10 WAYS TO INCREASE YOUR STORE TRAFFIC
Small Business Saturday was founded by American Express in 2010. Unfortunately retailers have been slow to adapt and often because many don’t accept American Express credit cards. Sure this benefits American Express but it can benefit small businesses if they pay attention.
I have worked the event with several retailers and found it to definitely draw a crowd. It will attract customers and should grow yearly. It’s an opportunity to throw a party and have fun with old customers.
1. Make sure your web site is up to date; contact information, hours that you’re open and any specials you are offering. There will be plenty of shoppers online looking for deals on Black Friday and this whole week. You should also take advantage of Black Friday and what’s going on around your areas.
Make it more than a Saturday. If it were me, I would have an event for three days and utilizing all of the advertising that is being ‘hyped’ to bring in customers; it includes Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday. Make it work for you.
2. Get the balloons up and make it look festive. I know this sounds kind of stupid but it’s amazing how many businesses don’t know how to do ‘festive.’ Small Business Saturday is in the midst of the holidays. Get those posters up and get everyone into the mood.
3. American Express has all kinds of information, banners, signs, posters and other free stuff. Take advantage of it. Who else is out there promoting this event?
4. Add a couple on the end of the day and serve some wine cheese or have a chocolate tasting party. Sell little bags of goodies and give some money to a favorite charity. This will be a hit for you and
5. How can you go out of your way for your customers, what will it take? It doesn’t mean giving your business away, it means coming up with a special for them. Let’s say you are in the flooring business and for one week you are willing to install immediately. This takes planning but it may push some customers over the ‘buying edge.’
6. Make the day fun for everyone. But what about Pokémon now? Can you create your own version, what can they find at your store? What about an early morning Yoga or Zumba class and film it for your social media? You can’t lose with the Yoga and Zumba craze across the country. Serve some exotic teas, crystals or gifts that go along with the crazy. 7. Good health is the new indicator of wealth. A ‘culturally relevant” health and wellness brand for the multicultural, urban community is being led by Shawn Ullman and Quincy D. Jones, III, son of the multi-Grammy-award-winning artist. Want to be better at what you do, get healthy. How can you fit this into what you’re selling?
8. Please don’t cut your prices on everything. It will only give you a ticket ‘out of business.’’ Collaborate with your neighbors; pastry and coffee and working with others.
Let the Box Stores slash all of their prices. Consumers are shopping to help your business so “personalize instead of marginalize” what you have to offer. This won’t happen at the Box Stores. If you keep cutting you will get a reputation for being the cheapest and you’’’ never sell anything at your listed price.
9. What about inviting the local cheerleaders or band? It’s a good opportunity for photos for your social media. Get the buzz going and invite some local celebrities.
10. Make this a Holiday Tradition check out other events going on in your region and get in on the action. These holidays only come once a year, don’t miss out on the action