5 Ways to Make the Most of Small Business Saturday
Saturday November 26, 2016 is Small Business Saturday, a program started by American Express in 2010 to encourage people across the country to support local and small businesses. According the U.S. Small Business Administration, there are 28 million small businesses in the U.S. generating 54% of all U.S. sales and 55% of all U.S. jobs. If you are one of those, the upcoming holiday season is an important time.
Here are five ideas to help you make the most of this year’s Small Business Saturday
Check and update your online profiles – even if your customers live nearby, many still use online profiles as part of their shopping experience. Brightlocal conducts an annual review and found that 74% of consumers say that positive reviews make them trust a local business more AND that 7 out of 10 consumers will leave a review for a business if asked. So, make sure your profiles on Facebook, Yelp, YP.com and other sites are current and in good shape before customers visit those sites. And ask that happy customer to post a review!
Start an email list – this is a great opportunity to re-invigorate your email marketing (okay, maybe you can finally get it started). This may be as simple as setting out a notebook or a sign-up sheet or asking customers if they will provide you their email address. Once you have a list started, there are a number of email services that work well for the complete novice to the full on marketing guru. Some of the most popular are Vertical Response and Mailchimp which provide templates for creating professional looking emails to tracking and analysis.
Make it easy for customers to pay – You want to get paid right? Mobile credit card processing makes it easy for any business to start accepting credit payments. However, giving your customers several options on how to pay will help ensure you don’t miss any sales. Flint is a mobile application that recently released a new and improved version allows any business to accept credit card payments, send invoices or add a Buy button to their existing website, blog post or social media page. No need for a dongle or attachment as Flint’s scan technology allows a business to capture and process the card using the phone’s camera to scan and process the payment. Need to send an invoice – no problem, Flint can send your customer an invoice with a buy button integrated in for fast and easy payment.
Bring customers back with coupons – Not only do you want to thank your customers, you want them to come back again and again. Services like Datasphere can provide a fairly comprehensive online marketing solution for small business that includes giving discounts and other great features. Flint’s mobile app also provide coupon and discount capabilities integrated right into the app.
Add a personal touch – Many consumers are looking for the personal touch of a local business owner. A store owner that remembers their name, a restauranter that knows their favorite dish or the mechanic that has been working on your car for years. Keeping these 7 Small Business & Ettiquette Rules and Manners To Never Forget as shared on SmallBusiness.com are great reminders heading into a busy and often hectic holiday season.