How B2B businesses can get involved in Small Business Saturday
Many business-to-business (B2Bs) think that they can’t take part in Small Business Saturday. They think it’s a day for retail businesses. They are wrong! Small Business Saturday is for all small businesses. You just need to work out what you’re going to do.
I’ve been involved in Small Business Saturday, as a small business owner, for the last three years and in total since it began. My target customers are you, other small businesses. In addition to being a Small Biz 100 (I got that in my first 5 months of business), I’ve also run my own offers and campaigns. In fact, this blog post is part of this year’s campaign!
So, what can you do? Here are some ideas to get you started.
Don’t go it alone
Sometimes, two heads are better than one. So, why not partner up with another business? Work out who would be good to work with, complementing the services you provide. Then work out a plan of how you’re going to work together. Here are a couple of ideas:
- Joint giveaway (maybe a competition)
- Joint offer (create a bundle of your services)
- Create a networking event for other local businesses
Whatever you decide to do, remember that you will extend your reach because you’ll both be promoting your activity to your respective audiences.
Give away some expertise
You know your stuff. You are the expert on the product or service you offer. So, why not give some of that expertise away for free?
Shock, horror! Free? Won’t people just get the free stuff and never buy from me? No! Because sharing your knowledge gives people a reason to trust you. Once they develop that trust, they will grow to value your expertise and will become a customer.
I know you’re wondering if I practice what I preach. Well, the answer is yes! If you want to put together an offer for Small Business Saturday, I tell you how in my free webinar.
Here are some ideas for you to try:
- eBook (see if you can take some of your blog posts to create this)
- Webinar with useful information (Check out this blog post for planning a webinar)
- In-person events (see above and team up with another business)
There will be other things you think of. Just remember that they need to add value to your audience.
Get on video
Video is BIG news! It should be a regular part of the marketing you do for your business. Plus, it doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated. All you need is a smartphone and a bit of creativity. What should you do?
- Try a Facebook Live on your Page. It does wonders for engagement stats. (Read this blog post on how to prepare for your first Facebook Live.)
- Shoot videos of your team in action. Or maybe they are involved in a voluntary project. Let your audience see what they’re up to.
- Shoot yourself (or a member of your team) giving tips based around your industry. If you’ve written blog posts before, use these as content and shoot a few in one go.
- Show people behind the scenes. Show them where you work. Give them a sneak peek into a new project you’re working on. The possibilities are endless.
There are lots of apps out there that can help you with everything from adding music and subtitles to creating a time-lapse video. Experiment and see what works.
Get involved in local Small Business Saturday activities
If you’re a little unsure of jumping right in and doing your own thing, do some research to see how else you can get involved.
Will your Chamber of Commerce be doing something? Ask them if you can help. Or perhaps there’s a local networking group that you can get involved in. Many hands make light work and people will not turn down your offer of help.
Alternatively, go check out offers from local businesses on the Small Business Saturday app. You can search for businesses in your area and see what they’re up to. Then get out there and support them! They’ll love you for it and you’ll make new small business friends.
Make some B2C friends
B2Cs (they sell to other people) are plentiful in any area. There are so many kitchen-table businesses, you’d be surprised. And take a look at your high street. How many independent businesses are there?
We could all do with a helping hand. So, why not give these businesses some love? Just like Small Business Saturday is spotlighting 100 businesses in the lead up to the big day, you could do the same.
Make a list of businesses you want to profile and then do some research about what they do and what their story is. Next, create a plan of where you’ll share the love – all your social networks, or maybe a select few?
Then get started. Make sure you tag the business, so they see you’ve mentioned them. They will be happy for the extra promotion you’re giving them, and you’ll have made new business buddy.
List your business on the Small Business Saturday app
I’ve already mentioned it once. Yes, there’s an app. What’s more, it’s free to list your business and any offers or events you have right now and up to the big day.
How do you do this? Head over to the Small Business Saturday website and create your account. It’s really easy to do. Once your account has been confirmed, get in there and fill in all the details about your business, including your location. This is important and helps you be found.
Next, head over to Google Play Store or Apple Store and download the app to your phone. You’ll be able to use your account details to log in. Now, you’ll be able to add and edit things on your phone, as well as the website.
What are you waiting for? Do it today!
Take to Twitter
One of the great things about Twitter is being able to talk to anyone, anywhere. But, more impressively, it can put you in touch with local businesses you may not even know.
How, you ask. Well, every day on Twitter there are Tweetchats happening. These are small events that take place on Twitter where participants can interact with one another by following a specific hashtag.
Most last an hour, hence hashtags with ‘hour’ included are popping up. #Ealinghour #Belfasthour #Londonhour. There are location-based Tweetchats happening regularly. All you need to do is find yours.
Why is this important? Well, it gives you the opportunity to make local connections. Once you chatted with someone on Twitter, you may decide to meet up and talk about how you can work together. Or perhaps you can offer advice to a participant on the chat. There are lots of ways they can benefit your business, so go check them out and then ask everyone what they’re doing for Small Business Saturday.
What’s one of those? Well, it’s when you hand your Instagram account over to another business owner and let them share content on it. It might sound a bit scary. After all, you’ve spent time building up a following that trusts you.
That’s OK, you can get over these by having some very clear, written ground rules of what’s acceptable and what’s not.
Who can you choose to do an Instagram takeover? Well, why not let one of your customers do that? They can tell your followers about their business and talk about why they work with you and how you’ve helped them.
It’s another way you can help your customers because some of your followers may be potential customers for them. You get a warm glow at helping another business and your followers see why you’re such a great business to work with.
If you are going to do this, remember to plan it and tell your followers up front that it will be happening, together with the date.
So, who said B2Bs can’t get involved in Small Business Saturday? I hope I’ve given you some ideas that will work for you and set you thinking of even more ways you can get involved.
If you want to put together an offer and you’re not sure how to do that, watch my webinar. I’ll take you through what you need to do to create a successful offer for the big day and find new customers.
Also published on Medium.