Small Business Saturday, an annual celebration of America’s entrepreneurs, lands on November 30th this year. For millions of small business owners, the day marks an informal start to the holiday shopping season, a critical period that can make – or break – their year.

In 2019, there are only 26 days from Small Business Saturday until Christmas, including four weekends. Last year, business owners had 31 shopping days and five weekends between to two dates. It is critical for companies to take full advantage of every single day and pray for no polar vortexes or any kind of inclement weather during the holiday season.

Here are four suggestions for making the most of Small Business Saturday and getting a jump start on the final month of 2019:

Stand Out! – Shoppers will be bombarded with sales and marketing messages leading up to and throughout the long weekend of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday. How can your business rise above the noise? Think about your company’s Unique Selling Proposition (USP); it’s the main reason that your customers choose you over everyone else. Figure out ways to highlight your USP during the long weekend and remind shoppers of their relationship with your business.

Create Social Media Content in Advance and Work on Holiday Themes. Don’t wait until November 29th to start writing your Small Business Saturday blog post or your social media messages aimed at customers; that is a prescription for disaster. Create most of your social content in advance so you can review it (or have someone else review it for you). Make sure you are delivering the right message to the right audience at the right time!

Host a Contest – Most customers LOVE contests…especially around the holidays! I’ve been part of dozens of contests online and it never ceases to amaze me how many people will fill out a form, answer questions and jump up and down to win something. For Small Business Saturday, find the best platform (e.g. in-store, Twitter, Facebook) to promote the contest and to announce the winners for maximum exposure. One idea might be to have hourly contests during the day to keep customers coming back to your store, website, or social media platform.

Offer Free Shipping– Who doesn’t LOVE free? Few things put a bigger smile on my face when I hear “Shipping? It’s free.” If you want to compete with all the other online and retail stores on Small Business Saturday, free shipping is a great way to get the attention of potential customers. Personally, when I look at an offer of free shipping, it makes the decision to purchase an easier one because I don’t have to calculate the cost in my final payment.

Instead of raising your prices to negate the cost of offering to ship packages for free, I suggest checking out SendPro online from Pitney Bowes. The service helps you find the lowest possible rate among FedEx, UPS, and USPS to ship your packages (subscribers can use the Pitney Bowes discount for these providers). In addition, you can schedule pickups at your location which means you don’t have to wait in line at the post office during one of the busiest shopping days of the year!

Make the most of Small Business Saturday this year by being proactive when it comes to delivering an exceptional customer experience. No one knows better than you what it will take to get your customers and prospects to choose YOU over everyone else when it comes to their holiday shopping.

Brian Moran

Brian Moran

Prior to rejoining the world of entrepreneurship, Brian was the Executive Director of Sales Development at the Wall Street Journal where he oversaw the sales development and marketing programs for the financial and small business categories among the many Journal brands. From 2002-2010, Brian was President of Veracle Media and Moran Media Group.

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About Small Business Edge

Brian Moran & Associates is dedicated to helping small business owners and entrepreneurs run better businesses. Brian Moran, along with a team of experts, is leveraging his 20+ years of experience in publishing magazines for business owners to assist entrepreneurs with everything from social media to accessing growth capital to expanding into the global marketplace.