It’s almost here – December 2nd, and it’s no normal Saturday this year, it’s Small Business Saturday! Square are proud to be supporting this important event which helps champion the small businesses of Britain. Last year’s event won small businesses an extra £717 million in sales and helped balance the bias many customers had towards chain stores due to Black Friday. So, if your brand could do with a boost, get informed, get equipped and get involved this Christmas!
What is Small Business Saturday?
Small Business Saturday is a national campaign which seeks to give hard working small businesses the spotlight they deserve. Promoting small companies and encouraging the community to ‘shop local’, the event will occur on December 2nd this year. Many businesses involved in the event will offer special events or discounts, and small businesses in local areas band together to promote their humble but important presence on a high street full of shopping chains.
You don’t need to wait until December to get involved, though, there are plenty ways to better your customer reach, support your fellow small businesses and help get more customers through your door or on your website:
Small Business Saturday is a national event, and to prove it, it goes up and down the nation during its bus tour lasting from October to November, visiting 29 stops in just 5 weeks. Starting in Dundee and rolling into Edinburgh, Belfast, Dumfries, Studley, Maldon, Ryde and London to name a few, the tour ends in Brighton. Wherever the blue bus pulls up, you can expect to find plenty of activities, workshops, mentoring on-board and promotion for your small business!
Small Business Saturday hosts a range of online webinars and live talks at various locations around the country. From online talks on how to be the ‘Best Boss’ to finding your local cosy coffee shop presentation on how to go omnichannel, Small Business Saturday has a wealth of knowledge and advice to share with the entrepreneurs of the nation.
Small Business Finder
Worried your business isn’t on the map? Small Business Saturday can help! Their Small Business Finder pinpoints the precise location of any local small businesses.
The tool, available in their app (see below!), lets potential customers search by business type (butchers, florists, home improvement services, etc.) and their local area. It’s a fantastic way for them to clearly see the sheer number of small businesses that help power their local economy, and realise just how easy it is to find these small businesses we’re working hard to promote! It’s easy to register online so that your company will appear alongside hundreds of others in your area.
Small Biz 100
Every day for 100 days leading up to Small Business Saturday, a business can enjoy a whole day of highlights on the Small Business Saturday social media pages as part of Small Biz 100. This is not only a way to enjoy promotion for your own business, but to cross-promote with others who made the list. Take The Spice Kitchen, who collaborated with fellow Small Biz 100 candidate Fifth Dimension Chocolates in 2016 to make a spice-infused chocolate that went on to win awards!
Registration opens in June for each year’s event, so if you want to enjoy 24 hours of online spotlight, there’s no better way!
On the Day
So, what actually happens when Small Business Saturday arrives? It’s a time to promote! Small businesses will mark the event by placing logos in their windows or on social media. The official website lets you download a marketing kit to make sure everyone knows you’re involved! Small businesses will also put on offers or flash sales to promote the event, and as customers follow the trail of sales, you’ll get to network with fellow small businesses in your local area, and enjoy bringing a definite buzz to your local independent shops and online businesses.
Follow tips from companies that have taken part before. Try offering something free, like a sweet treat or cup or something warming, to lure people in. Online businesses can also do this by throwing in a freebie for any orders placed on the day. If you offer certain services, like haircuts, eye tests or manicures, try having some of the proceeds go to charity. Not only is this in fitting with the charitable festive spirit, it also gives customers a feel-good feeling that will encourage them to book.
If you’re a bricks and mortar shop, try getting in touch with online businesses that are less able to benefit from the excitement up and down the high street – talk about how you can work together for some cross-promotion. Put their business cards on your counter, and ask them to post a guest post on their blog, or promotional tweet on their twitter.
Make sure you connect with Small Business Saturday online, so you can enjoy a shout out on the day, so you can gain new followers and customers via their social media pages. Last year, over 130,000 tweets were made on the day, leading to it being the top trending topic in the UK and the fifth most popular worldwide - not bad for small businesses!
You can even keep up to date with the offers and event of the day with the app! Available for both Apple and Android, the Small Business Saturday app will help you make the most of the day, just make sure you tell your customers to do the same, and make sure your local area can fully benefit from this important event.