Small Business Saturday is more than a movement.

It’s also a chance to encourage new customers to stop by your store, and entice previous customers to return–but only if you take the time to develop a strategy now.

This year, Small Business Saturday is on November 30th, 2013–less than two weeks away!  With that in mind, let’s get started:

small business saturday logo

1. Spread the word on social media.

Social media should be your go-to advertising option: it’s largely free, and the customers you reach through these channels have already indicated their interest by “liking” your page.

Tell your followers you will be participating in Small Business Saturday, and give them a head’s up about any promotions you will be running.  Don’t overlook how important it is to educate customers who may not know what Small Business Saturday is: explain that it’s about supporting small businesses, the building blocks of local neighborhoods and communities, and you’ve given them a compelling reason to shop with you.

2. Add an “About Us” video to your homepage.

An introduction video on your website signals that you are a tech-savvy business with a story to share.  Customers can watch your video and understand what you’re all about in a minute or less!

3. Download personalized advertising materials.

Take advantage of the great resources available on the official Small Business Saturday site, including free personalized marketing materials, a welcome mat, and reusable shopping bags.

small business promotion

4. Follow through with an incredible in-store experience.

This is perhaps the most important step: once you’ve spread the word, make sure the in-store experience lives up to the expectations you’ve set!

You could throw an in-store party, offer discounts and free samples, or optimize your store for holiday shopping by making a few gift suggestions.  Also consider contacting other small businesses in the area.  Can you offer a joint discount and reward customers for shopping at multiple small businesses? At the very least, be sure to interact with your customers, and thank them for coming out.

Finally, make a plan for how you’re going to encourage these customers to come back.  For example, you might collect emails for your email list at the register, or make fliers reminding those interested to follow your business on Facebook for updates and promotions.

in-store experience

Check out last year’s post for more Small Business Saturday ideas, and see how other small businesses get ready for the holiday season!