Small Business Saturday 2014 is just around the corner, and if you’re a UK SME owner there are only a few days left to make your plans, arrange your celebrations and get promoting!
Despite being only the second ever Small Business Saturday to take place in the UK, the effects of the SME tribute date have snowballed and been embraced by business owners and consumers up and down the nation. Figures from Direct Line estimate that the combined efforts of UK events will generate more than £540m for small enterprises, which is around £100m more than 2013.
With Small Business Saturday originating from the USA, where it generates a seriously successful average of $3.5bn on the day itself, it’s clear that this dedication to small and medium enterprises is here to stay.
So if you own or work in a small business and haven’t already got a plan of action together, it’s time to check out our ideas on how you can get the most out of this one day extravaganza.
1. Get your free stuff
The official CIC (Community Interest Company) that organises Small Business Saturday in the UK has some great marketing materials on their website, free to anyone acting as a small business (that’s any company whose turnover was £10m or less for the 2013 calendar year).
From posters to social media banners, all the official merchandise is there and free to use. Click here to check out what’s available.
2. Join the community spirit
This is a two-pronged attack. First things first, make sure you join your fellow SME neighbours in the local area and find out ways you can band together for support and increased footfall on Small Business Saturday. Check out what some SME shops will be doing in the section below.
The second ‘prong’ of joining in the community spirit means getting online. Many SMEs rely on word of mouth, so initially you need to make sure you are active on social media – it means you’re easier to find for customers and potential clients. Then, make sure you shout out that you’re involved in Small Business Saturday – from broadcasting your special promotions, to using the hashtag #SmallBizSatUK to get the attention of other S.B.S. supporters online. Get people talking.
3. Steal some ideas
Not sure how you can get more customers in? Take a few ideas from these small businesses that have already planned their promos.
This article from The Guardian features four small businesses that all have plans for Saturday 6th December. The first case study exemplifies how a community of local shops can band together and increase their return – by giving customers a loyalty card that gets stamped with each company they visit.
Another great example is this host of shops in Middleton, Manchester, who have all agreed to offer discounts just on Small Business Saturday. It’s a great way of encouraging first-time ‘small shoppers’, who still have plenty of Christmas shopping yet to do.
4. Take off the apron
…and be the customer for a day. We’re serious – there’s no better day to get out and explore your local SME shops and businesses, and you can network while you’re at it. Many town centres are offering free parking and, being the first weekend of December, there’s bound to be something you were planning on buying already to prep for the Christmas rush. Make the switch to small business and help make a difference to your local business community.