2016 News Releases
Big returns for entrepreneurs who plan for Small Business Saturday
Did you know 95 million Americans shopped on Small Business Saturday in 2015, spending more than $16.2 billion on that day alone? Falling between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, this special Saturday -- November 26, this year -- was established to encourage shoppers to support small businesses locally and online.
Small business owners should prepare in advance for this big shopping weekend, suggests Tina Mims, Ph.D., executive director of Texas Woman’s Hub for Women in Business and member of Texas’ Small Business Assistance Advisory Task Force.
“Small business owners have the opportunity to turn November 26 into a big revenue day,” said Mims. “They can prepare for this day by displaying the Shop Small® logo on all communication messages.”
American Express offers free Shop Small marketing materials online at https://www.americanexpress.com/us/small-business/shop-small/
Mims also recommends entrepreneurs contact their suppliers to work out one-time terms to navigate potential cash-flow issues that can arise when extra inventory is needed during a burst of sales this time of year. In addition, businesses should be set up to accept different forms of payment from customers.
TWU Marketing Professor Pushkala Raman, Ph.D., teaches a Small Business course each year, where senior-level students develop business and marketing plans for local entrepreneurs. Raman and her students provide these hints for owners to maximize returns on Small Business Saturday and throughout the holiday season:
Trained and healthy employees can make a big difference.
Hire seasonal employees in advance to ensure they are familiar with your product and the business. Train them well and provide resources to keep them healthy as they work long hours and may be exposed to germs. Have part-time or on-call labor on stand-by.
Prepare your storefront for the holiday sales.
Keep your storefront open longer hours and on Sundays, if possible. Use food and beverages to entice people to come into your shop. Set up fast-selling items so they are visible and easily accessible. Place impulse-purchase goods near your fast-selling items, not just on the check-out counter. Stock-up on every-day supplies, such as bags, printer ink and register tape, in addition to your inventory.
Twenty is the magic number.
When offering discounts, target 20 percent to grab the attention of potential customers as this is the threshold when they tend to take action. Offer smaller goods priced under $20 for impulse buys.
Digital marketing helps customers find your business.
Use social media to advertise special deals during the holidays. Hashtags and images will attract customers when they search key words. Ensure your website is current and easy to use for online purchases. Include directions, map links, hours and contact information so customers can reach you easily. Send email blasts to established mailing lists.
Follow-up with new customers to turn them into repeat customers.
Develop a plan to entice customers to come back after the holidays. Add personal touches to packaging, such as holiday-themed personalized notes and coupons good for their next visit. Contact customers to get their feedback on your products or services.
Deanna W. Titzler
Interim Director of Public Relations