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Every year, the day after Black Friday, we celebrate small businesses. Small Business Saturday encourages people to holiday shop in their favorite local mom & pop shops. This year will be especially important to support local business and help keep their doors open, as many have taken a financial hit during the pandemic.

  1. Plan an online sales event. Drive web traffic to your online store by hosting an online sales event. This will encourage people to shop online and practice social distancing to stay safe.
  2. Spread the word. Spreading the word is easy and a virtually free way of getting the message out. Many people love to support local business, but don’t know about this special day.
  3. Prepare for crowds. Be sure to set up your store to be safe for social distancing in the event of a crowd. Staying open later makes it easier for people to come in after their other obligations and spread out the amount of customers at one time.
  4. Turn to social media. Head to social media to promote your sales. Consider setting aside a small budget to help promote your social media posts.
  5. Partner up. Partner with nearby businesses and cross promote to drive more business to your location.
  6. Reward your customers. Reward the customers that regularly shop with you. For example, send an email to past customers with an exclusive coupon.
  7. Stock up. Stock up on your most popular items. The last thing you’ll want to happen is run out of an item that people are going to want to purchase.
  8. Offer “Doorbuster” sales. Steal a page right out of the Black Friday playbook and offer doorbuster deals. Drive shoppers to your store by offering special deals right when you open. Who knows, you may even generate a line waiting to come in and shop your sales!
  9. Reach out to local news. Call down to your local news organizations and simply let them know about your event or special promotion. They may be able to give a shout out or post the information online.
  10. Utilize free resources. American Express offers free resources each year to encourage small businesses to take part in Small Business Saturday. They offer signs, email templates, posters and other free marketing materials.

 

Lisa Lovallo is the Southern Arizona market vice president for Cox Communications.