On December 2nd, it’s time for Small Business Saturday again – a day to celebrate all the small independent entrepreneurs out there. And as a participant it’s a great way of increasing sales and do some clever marketing.

 Small Business Saturday has quickly become UK’s biggest and most important small business initiative. Last year, customers spent £717 million with small businesses on Small Business Saturday. The event was trending on Twitter; 140,000 tweets were created reaching 130 million people. So let’s make the most out of SBS this year!

Prepare your marketing channels

Make sure your website is up to date with information, maps and current offers. Lay a foundation in social media by using the hashtag #smallbizsatuk and tag @smallbizsatuk. Spread the word when other local stores do the same and help them by retweeting and reposting. Many more guidelines can be found on https://www.smallbusinesssaturdayuk.com.

Last year, customers spent £717 million with small businesses on Small Business Saturday.

Put in some extra hours

Make a big deal about how you are open “from dusk ‘til dawn” on SBS, and engage some extra staff members. Maybe you should have a professional gift wrapper to add value and let the customers have some extra browsing time?

Create a great offer

Decide on one epic and specific offer that you’ll introduce on Small Business Saturday. Maybe you also have older products still in stock that you can sell at a cheaper price? On the contrary, you can even raise the price on some other things that might be great Christmas gifts.

Build an event around SBS

It’s much easier to attract customers – and friends and family – if you host an event. Maybe invite your artist friends to share a few tunes, have a DJ play for a few hours or create an open mic stand-up night for great embarrassment? Or, let some local deli showcase their stuff and ask a microbrewery to sponsor. Make sure people know about it by making tons of noise on Instagram and Facebook.

accept apply pay
Accepting contactless payments, including Apple Pay, is key to increase spending and speeding up the payment process when there’s a queue.

Accept all payment methods

This goes without saying, but accepting not only cash but also credit cards and contactless payments is crucial for increasing spending and speeding up the payment process when there’s a queue. Don’t forget that there are more than 108 million contactless cards in issue in the UK, according to The Guardian. iZettle Reader accepts all major credit cards and contactless payments including Apple Pay.

Engage the locals

Doing things together is more fun. Spread the word about SBS to other tenants and people in your building. Partner up with the other local businesses. Maybe you can help each other by bartering?

Build loyalty

Events like SBS are great because you’ll get many new customers through the door for the first time. Get them to sign up for your newsletters so that you can target them again. How? Have a prize that they can compete for.

Check-in for cookies

While building your social media presence, it’s not a bad idea to push this further during SBS. Encourage your customers to check-in at your place while using the official hashtags. Some stores even give discounts to customers who do this, but I wouldn’t recommend that. Instead, give them something smaller, like a really nice cookie to go with their coffee!

SBS started out in the US, and was founded by American Express, who is also a principal supporter of Small Business Saturday in the UK.