Small businesses are the backbone of America’s economy — as noted by President Barack Obama during an address to industry leaders in New York — and Small Business Saturday is designed to remind American consumers to support these companies. Small Business Saturday occurs on the Saturday between Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, and Cyber Monday, a day when consumers traditionally go online to continue their hunt for bargains as they buy gifts for the holiday season.
Sponsored by American Express, Small Business Saturday is a great opportunity for you to let your customers know about special offers and deals at your store. But you need to prepare well in advance to make sure that everything is ready for the big shopping day.
Get the word out
Don’t wait until the last minute to tell customers about your Small Business Saturday event, or you risk reducing the impact of your message.
Use all the social media tools at your disposal. For example, prepare what messages you will tweet from your company’s Twitter account ahead of time, so you aren’t stuck trying to think of what to say in the weeks leading up to the event.
You’ll want to spread the word on Facebook, Google+ and other services that you use for engaging with customers and clients. Rather than pushing promotional texts and sales pitches, use social media to give your readers a sense of what you’ll be offering, along with helpful articles and tips that they can use.
It’s a good idea for you to follow Small Business Saturday on Facebook as well, as it provides motivational information to small business owners and advises them about how to make the most of this shopping event. It also features the Small Business Saturday Toolkit, which you can use throughout the year to boost your business. The toolkit includes signs, marketing materials and coupons for free Twitter ads.
If your business puts out a printed or digital newsletter, make sure to mention the details about Small Business Saturday to let your customers know about the big day and remind them to mark it on their calendar.
Web hosting plan
As anticipation grows about Small Business Saturday, you need to make sure that your company’s website is prepared to handle a potentially huge increase in traffic surrounding the day. You must find a Web hosting plan that can accommodate greater than usual activity.
An excellent way to accommodate increased traffic is to use a cloud hosting package instead of a conventional hosting company. Cloud hosting allows you to pay only for the traffic that you see, while also enabling you to quickly grow to meet the needs of users during the Small Business Saturday spike in traffic.
Prepare your employees
Your website is constantly evolving as you add or update new information about your goods and services, adjust prices, provide details about the work you do and otherwise adapt to changing market conditions. If your company’s website maintains forums where customers can discuss and ask questions about your products, make sure that you have employees standing by to moderate and answer queries in the days leading up to and including Small Business Saturday.
Businesses that have an online chat option through their website will need to make sure they have enough employees available to handle incoming chat requests.
The work you do preparing your company and its website for the anticipated surge of business surrounding Small Business Saturday is likely to help you grow your business throughout the year.