The insider’s guide to a stress-free Small Business Saturday
Getting ready for Small Business Saturday needs a bit of planning. You want everything to run smoothly on the day, and enjoy it. So, you need to spend some time thinking about how to maximise having all those people come into your shop or on to your website.
From practicalities to things to make sure it’s a fun day for everyone, put some time aside to think about what you’ll need. Here’s my list, but I’m sure you’ll think of loads more once you get started.
Have an email sign-up form ready
If you have a shop, then you definitely need an email sign-up form at the till. This is the perfect opportunity for you to add to your email list. Of course, you’ll have a mix of new and current customers through your door. You want to make sure each and every one of them joins your email list.
A simple, paper form will work, but if you want to save time, use a free app, like the one Constant Contact provides. I love this because people can join my email list by typing in their details into a tablet. Boom! There they are on my mailing list and even have my welcome email in their inbox shortly afterwards.
If you’re not sure about collecting email addresses, there’s one important reason why you should. Once you have people’s email addresses, you can make sure you keep them up to date with all the news about your business, including any new offers, so they keep coming back to shop with you.
Minal’s Tip: make sure you tell people the value they will get from joining your mailing list. There has to be a reason for them to give you their email address.
Keep customers coming back by collecting their email addresses and keeping in touch. http://ctt.ec/c8fBZ+ @minal2804
Make sure your website is in tip-top shape
If you’re an online business, you need to make sure your Small Business Saturday offer is front and centre on your website. If you can, have a big splash on your homepage with a punchy headline. Link this to the page where people can find out more about your offer and buy/download/register, or whatever action you want them to complete. Remember that your website is your shop window, so make the most of it.
Capturing people’s email addresses is equally as important for you. You also want to make sure that you’ll be able to communicate with visitors once they have left your website. So, here’s the thing you need to do: make sure your email sign-up box is visible on every single page of your website. This may seem a bit excessive, but you have to remember that you have no idea which page people will move on to from your offer page, so give them every chance to join your mailing list.
If people will be buying right from your website, give them the option to join your mailing list at the checkout. This will likely be the last page they’ll visit if they’ve decided to buy, so don’t miss getting their details. Make it stand out so people can’t miss seeing it. You also need to give people an idea of why they might want to join your mailing list, so remember to tell them what’s in it for them.
Minal’s Tip: you can use pop-ups, like the ones from Hello Bar, on your website to collect email addresses too. The trick is to make what you’re offering in return valuable.
Your website is your shop window, so put your offer front and centre on it. http://ctt.ec/xUbn0+ @minal2804
Are you stocked up?
Whether your offer will be available in a shop or online, you need to make sure you have enough of it. This is your chance to have a fantastic Small Business Saturday, and if you’ve followed the first two steps in my three-step plan, you’ll have done a great job creating and promoting your offer. So, don’t fall at the final hurdle by running out of stock early on. Work out what you will need and make sure you have enough.
Minal’s Tip: if you do run out of stock know what you’ll say or do, and make sure you tell your staff what they need to say.
Getting ready for @SmallBizSatUK includes having enough stock to sell! http://ctt.ec/yIa0o+ @minal2804
Flash, bang, wallop what a photograph!
If you have a smartphone, then this is easy. If the camera on your phone isn’t great, or you don’t have one, make sure you have a camera. Small Business Saturday is the perfect opportunity for you to capture what’s happened during the day. And it works just as well for people with shops or online businesses.
For those who have a physical shop, make sure you take pictures of people in your shop browsing and paying for what they’re buying. Get a few shots of people signing up to receive your emails. If you have a team, make sure you get snaps of them serving customers.
If you run an online business, make sure you take pictures of yourself at your computer, watching the sales come in on your website. You might be working on other things too, may something you want to build excitement for. Capture all the things you want people to see.
After Small Business Saturday is over, look through your photos and pick the best ones to share with your audiences on social media. Create an album on your Facebook Page, or create a collage you can share on other social media channels.
Minal’s Tip: when posting on social media, ask people to tag themselves in your photos. It will make your photos visible to your followers’ friends.
People love to see photos of your business. Share them on social media. http://ctt.ec/68co0+ @minal2804
Flash that smile
This is perhaps the simplest, but most impactful thing you’ll need. A smile goes a long way to showing people you’re approachable, and you’re having fun. Smiles are infectious – you’ll be surprised at how much more enjoyable your day will be with a smile on your face. And, your photos will look great too!
Minal’s Tip: No tip here, just enjoy yourself and the smiles will come naturally!
Remember to get all the things you need for Small Business Saturday ready well in advance. That will mean you can spend time making sure everything runs smoothly, safe in the knowledge that the rest will take care of itself.