2020 has been an absolute shocker for small businesses hasn’t it? Let’s be honest, we can try and spin it as many different ways as we want, but for one reason or another, it’s beanbag for people’s health, the economy, your business and definitely highlights, no matter what you do, rolling a turd in gold means it’s still a turd.
As I write this many small business owners are holding their breath as lockdowns are hurting them and with Black Friday deals about to explode all over the internet and social media, small business owners that aren’t deemed essential will miss out on one of the key dates of the economies diary. So how can you and your small business fight back?
Well the good news is that any business with some imaginative thinking can benefit from special events throughout the year and when it comes to special events, Small Business Saturday is hotly speaking towards us on Saturday 5th December 2020.
So, let’s explore a few things you can do when Small Business Saturday comes along.
Highlight Your Capabilities
Although it’s important to take advantage of these events you shouldn’t do things for the sake of it. Any promotion should be done to highlight your business and it’s capabilities….show everyone how bloody amazing you are! The world is a stage and Small Business Saturday is yours to show that not only do you have the skills but you my friend have the talent to help your customers.
Relevance is also very important when taking advantage of special events. Your capabilities will only be highlighted if it’s relevant. SO you have to remember that this year more than ever is different…for everyone. This is not about you, it’s about your customers. Every business exists for it’s customers so if you’re writing the words, “me, we, us, etc…” you’re NOT relevant, but you ARE massaging your ego.
What problem can you solve for your customers if they buy from you on Small Business Saturday? How are you going to make their lives better?
I go back to what I said earlier, this year is different. So whilst people may not be able to have kids parties, facials, massages, spa’s, haircuts, afternoon teas, gin tasting and wine tasting, etc, we all live in hope that in 2021 we will. So if people can’t have them right now at this minute, what is stopping you from selling vouchers and payment terms for experiences and services for 2021. Paint the picture of what things will be like and can be like, because as human beings we but on emotion and not logic. Tell as story of how Little Jimmy, has had an awful birthday this year, but imagine what he will feel like with a Marvel Superhero party for him and his ten mates with a disco in 2021? Or how Felicity has been stuck indoors since March and how having a private Karaoke Party, with her friends in her back garden with copious amounts of Gin, will cheer her up on her birthday compared to the one she had in Lockdown this year.
Show people what YOU can do for them and how it will make them feel if they buy from you.
Nothing to Sell? Stay Relevant
Not all businesses can highlight their capabilities while staying true to Small Business Saturday. If that is the case with you then staying relevant is the next best thing you can do.
For example if you’re selling cameras you can create a photography contest. What can you give-away for signing up to your mailing list?
If you sell beauty or self care products what kind of challenge can you come up with so despite the current world situation, people can feel good about themselves at Christmas and New Year?
How can you show yourself as the expert by giving something g of value and relevance that will leave a ‘good feeling’ with your customers and clients for the future?
The number of possibilities are almost limitless…just use your imagination!
Use Being Local To Your Advantage
Okay, you are not an international brand. You are not a well known business in the UK. And you probably haven’t been on Dragon’s Den. BUT you are local to someone, somewhere. And right now in a time where our backs are up against the wall and we’re also approaching that cliff we call Brexit, NOW is certainly the time to play the ‘local’ card.
Being a small business has it’s advantages. It means you can react quicker, deliver quicker, produce marketing materials quicker and produce products and services quicker. If you had a bike you could probably deliver it faster too if you wanted to. So what’s stopping you?
Leading up to Small Business Saturday, you can be building visibility and excitement for your offers or awareness of your business by using the local business pages and groups on social media on the run up to the day. The buying and selling pages, the local community groups, the local ‘Twitter Hours’ are just some of the FREE ways to get eyeballs on your small business and what you have to offer.
How Do I Tell People About What I’m Doing?
Okay, you have created a promotion and decided on a discount. What’s next? To talk about it whenever you can and NOT just on the day. You should start talking about it NOW…build up some anticipation, some excitement and let people KNOW what’s happening.
It goes with the rule of 21. Customers generally have to see something 21 times, at 7 different times in 3 different places for them to notice it once. Scary isn’t it?
Robert Craven in his book ‘Bright Marketing for Small Business’ states that on the average day we are subjected to thousands of marketing messages BEFORE mid-day and we don’t even realise, simply because we’re being trained to ‘tune them out’. The solution is to start earlier and consistently to attract the customers that will buy from you.
So here are a few ideas of how to do it:
• Send e-mails.
Small business hack: a good promotion is not only an information guide for your own database, but also for the partner base.
Offer 50% of sales to those who will advertise your promotion on their home page, and increase coverage times;
• Post news on your site;
• Display information on your website itself;
• Send banners to partners;
• Enable re-marketing to people who have recently visited your site;
• Write a post on Facebook and boost it through a paid ad or post organically in Facebook groups;
• For the sake of a good promotion, turn the contextual advertising.
For us, e-mail remains one of the cheapest ways of informing people, so it helps to deliver the largest return on marketing investment (ROMI). We use MailChimp to distribute our emails.
Timing is Everything
Timing is very important if you’re targeting special events like Small Business Saturday. In most cases it is a good idea to start the promotion well before the actual event, so today is a good as any!
Let’s take Valentine’s Day as an example. If they published those cards the day before the Valentine’s Day then people hardly get a chance to see the before the actual date. Also they might have already bought a card for the special day. And without time on your side chances of any promotion going viral is considerably reduced.
In more general terms you will have little to no time to come up with a promotional campaign that might even spark a feint interest let alone put money in your small business bank account. If you have invested significant amount to time preparing the content for the campaign then you wont be able to reap the maximum benefit from it. Considering all this it’s always a good idea to start promoting at least a week before the actual event.
Are you taking advantage of these special events ? What are the methods you use to get the best out of these situations?
These are just some of the ways to use Small Business Saturday and if you want some more ideas, thoughts and how to approach it, please feel free to get in touch and we can brainstorm together on a 30 minute FREE call with yours truly, to help you be visible and viable in a year that has been rough to say the least….