Small businesses offer a wealth of unique benefits bigger firms struggle to mimic.
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Small Business Saturday is a campaign that's all about championing small businesses and encouraging people to shop small and locally. In this article, we’ll talk discuss:
Everything you need to know about Small Business Saturday
How your small business can benefit from taking part
Promotional campaign ideas and marketing tips & tricks
Ready to get your business on the map and boost your marketing efforts this year? Keep reading, and we’ll show you how…
What is Small Business Saturday?
Small Business Saturday is a nationwide, non-commercial campaign that aims to promote and uplift small businesses whilst encouraging consumers to shop locally.
Any small business can get involved, and common types of participants include:
Businesses can participate by offering special promotions or hosting events online or in-store. These events tend to attract lots of social media attention, so even if a business has no physical footfall, there are still online benefits.
It’s all about championing small businesses during the run-up to the festive season to help local communities and economies thrive. The event has been running for over 10 years in the UK, helping businesses across the country by encouraging millions of people to 'shop small'.
When is Small Business Saturday 2022?
The day takes place on the first Saturday of December each year and aims to offer lasting benefits for everyone involved. This year, the event takes place on the 3rd of December.
What are the benefits of taking part?
Small Business Saturday aims to remind consumers that they have a role to play in keeping the local community thriving, along with all the businesses within it.
For example, did you know that about two-thirds of UK SMEs are run by a single person? How about the fact that more than 99% of businesses in the UK have less than 50 employees? Or that 1 in 5 new businesses fail each year? Small and micro-businesses play a huge part in the UK economy, but they are often eclipsed by large international ones.
During the festive season, plenty of larger businesses dominate advertising spaces thanks to inflated marketing budgets and glossy advertising campaigns. This behaviour often results in smaller outfits getting lost in the background, but that shouldn't be the case.
Smaller businesses offer a wealth of unique benefits that large organisations just cannot, for example:
One-of-a-kind offerings and services
Local knowledge and awareness
Support for the local economy
Stocking more diverse products
Can directly serve local needs
That’s why the day is so powerful – it supports and empowers local businesses that don’t have the resources to spend on large marketing campaigns. Instead, it puts them at the forefront of the customer's minds, right where they should be.
It can help to increase footfall in-store, raise awareness everywhere, drive online traffic and boost your local presence overall – the benefits are endless.
At its core, Small Business Saturday allows businesses to increase their visibility by exposing them through a centralised social media campaign. It's up to businesses to set themselves apart and increase their local impact through things like online listings, physical events, social media hashtags, and marketing activity.
Ways to get involved with Small Business Saturday
Taking part is easy, and if you want some ideas to get you started, visit the Small Business Saturday website to sign up, check out their blogs and discover handy tips to set you up for success.
Take part on social media
One of the easiest ways to get involved is by posting on social media, detailing your promotions and using the event hashtags: #SmallBizSatUK, #SmallBusinessSaturday or #shoplocal.
To prepare for increased exposure, it’s a good idea to come up with a social media plan beforehand. Some ideas for things to post on the day include:
Intro posts – who you are, what you do, and how people can use your services
Offer posts – detail any promotional offers that you’re running for the day or in general
Competitions – boost your exposure and gain followers by hosting share-to-enter giveaways
You can also add the Small Business Saturday logo to your social media display icon or imagery to let people know you’re taking part – it’s all in within the free marketing pack on the website.
Get on the map
Register with the Small Business Finder to link up with businesses and consumers. The map can be filtered via business type and location, and the results serve handy links such as your social media, website, and general information.
It’s crucial to be prepared for all the extra footfall or traffic during the weekend, so ensure you have enough staff and inventory and have devised ways to earn customer loyalty.
As you’ll likely be winning new business during this promotional period, it’s a good idea to plan how to capture that data. For example, capturing email addresses for remarketing or signing customers up for loyalty cards or schemes.
Create special promotions
It’s important to plan ways to capitalise on the extra exposure from the event and offer something of value to potential new customers. This could involve percentage discounts on certain products, early bird discounts, loyalty points or free gift wrapping.