Published: 30/10/2019

Get ready for small business Saturday - 7th December

Business Growth

We’re fast approaching one of the most exciting time of the year again, that’s right, on December 7th it will be small business Saturday (SBS)! It’s the UK’s biggest and most important small business initiative. 

SBS exists not only to celebrate all the small independent business owners out there, but it’s also a great way to boost sales and market your efforts. 

So, to do our bit, we’ve put together some top tips on how to get ready for and make the most out of SBS 2019.

Update your online presence 

Before the big day arrives, spruce up your online presence and ensure it’s the best it can be by checking all the information on your website is correct and up to date including maps, offers and contact details. It’s the first place people will go so you want their first impression of your business to be positive.

Use your social media channels to drum up interest and show what you have to offer too. Here are a few pointers:

  • Connect with SBS via their social channels, 
  • Search for SmallBizSatUK on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to keep up to date, and
  • Share anything you think your customers will find interesting or appealing on your feeds - but don’t forget to use the hashtag #smallbizsatuk!

Make the most of the opportunities on offer

This year SBS is partnering with iDEA (the Duke of York inspiring digital enterprise award) and offering free expert online training to small businesses all over the UK. 

The courses cover everything from cyber-security to customer relationship management, and, as part of the scheme, participants can take on a series of challenges which add up and count towards a Bronze, Silver or Gold Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award.

If all that doesn’t sound tempting enough, here are some extra perks:

  • Free and easy to access by learners anywhere they want, just so long as they’re online
  • A transferable record of achievement for all staff members
  • Networking opportunities with other small businesses participating
  • The chance to promote how your business is progressing
  • Exciting events and activities offered year-round.

Sold? To register head here.

Boost sales 

Do everything you can to harness the selling power of SBS for your business. Now in its seventh year, in 2018 an estimated £812 million was spent on small business Saturday, so you want to make sure you’re getting a slice of that pie. 

How? We’ve got three great ideas on how you can use SBS to boost your profits. 

1. Turn it into an event

Putting on an event is a great way to attract both existing and new customers. You could put on music, food or entertainment, whatever it is you think will pull people in. Consider asking other local businesses to sponsor you or come and showcase their product on the day. And remember, make sure people hear about your event by making plenty of noise on social media in the run-up.

2. Put on an offer

What it is will depend entirely on the nature of your business, but whether you offer a discounted price for anyone buying more than one bottle of shampoo or 10% off a bottle of prosecco, shout about your offer from the rooftops and make sure people know it’s only available on SBS. 

Tip: If you’ve got excess stock, use SBS as an opportunity to sell it at a discounted price. 

3. Be ready to accept payments

There’s not much point in going to all the trouble of throwing an event or shouting about your great SBS offers if customers turn up and can’t pay for your products. 

If you currently only accept cash and your payment system needs updating, do your best to get it done before SBS. Afterall, in 2018 more money was spent with cards than cash and customers are likely to spend more if you’ve got the facility to accept card transactions. 

Attract new customers  

If you make the most of SBS and turn it into an event you’re bound to bring loads of new faces through the door. So, use the opportunity to build loyalty. Even if they are only there for the free food, you can take things one step further so they come back again and again.

Why not put on a raffle with great prizes on offer? Like a free cut and blow or a three course meal for two. Whoever the lucky winners are they’ll be eager to claim their winnings. 

Tip: Use the opportunity to sign as many people up for your newsletter as you can. A nifty idea is to have a small incentive on offer (like some sweets or a cake) for anyone who puts their name and email address down. 

Sharing’s caring 

Don’t be afraid to ask anyone and everyone you meet on SBS to help push your business on their own social media channels. 

Using the incentive idea again, ask people to check-in to your business in exchange for a little treat (e.g. biscuits, chocolate or a free pen). Take loads of photos of people enjoying themselves, post them far and wide, and let the engagement roll in - it’ll give off a great impression and probably get shared by your guests, reaching a whole new audience. 

The bus tour 

SBS put on their infamous bus tour year-on-year. It stops at 27 locations over five weeks and offers loads of great opportunities for small business owners, like:

  1. Mentoring - SBS offer a mentoring programme at every stop on the bus tour. All the sessions are free for small business owners but must be booked in advance. For extra info head here or sign up via your small business account on the SBS site.
  2. Networking - Coined the #dellhour, each stop on the bus tour offers a free one-hour speed networking session from 11am to 12noon. You’ll get to meet business experts, small businesses and the campaign team. 
  3. Blue Sofa - The bus carries a blue sofa which is used at each stop to conduct interviews which are then broadcast on Facebook Live. You can use it as an opportunity to promote your business and share - as well as glean - business insights. 
  4. Exhibiting - This year the bus tour is offering small businesses the opportunity to exhibit (but not sell) their products at each of the stops. If you’re interested, drop them an email with the subject line ‘EXHIBIT’.

The bus tour runs from the 4th of November to the 4th of December and at each of the stops you can pick up a free SBS 2019 poster, so it’s well worth popping along and seeing what they have on offer to benefit your small business - don’t forget to pick up your poster and hopefully attract even more people to your SBS shin-dig!

Need help taking payments ahead of SBS? We’ve got you covered, fill in our free quote form to learn more about our card, online and EPOS options.

Bryony Pearce Copywriter
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