From the blog

WilliamsonMarkets: 11 Tips To Get Ready for Small Business Saturday By Karen Chronister

Small Business Saturday Homestead Manor at Christmas time, old antebellum restaurant in Williamson County Tennessee

Small Business Saturday falls on November 25, 2017, smack dab in the middle of the biggest shopping weekend. Last year, the holiday weekend racked up a reported $15 billion dollars in sales. Sandwiched between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday celebrates local shopping at community businesses. It’s true, shoppers are primed to get out early and spend in anticipation of blow-out sales. Small Business Saturday, however, is a breath-catcher between foot traffic on Black Friday—what better way to wear off Thanksgiving calories—and sit-in-your-pajamas-Cyber-Monday.

“We believe in the rising tide…”

“We love Small Business Saturday! Our locations celebrate it every year. This year we’re hosting our annual Holiday Village at Homestead Manor, which hosts a curated lineup of local craft artisans and entrepreneurs from within 50 miles of our restaurant,” says Rachel Layton, Director of Marketing at A. Marshall Family Foods. “I love that folks take pride in buying something that was locally produced or created. Middle Tennessee is known for creativity and it’s a day where it really shows.” When asked about collaborating with other businesses, Layton says, “We believe in the rising tide and celebrate all local small business successes. It’s a feel-good day for all.” A. Marshall Family Foods owns and operates Puckett’s, Puckett’s Boat House, Deacon’s New South, Scout’s Pub, Homestead Manor, and Hattie Jane’s Creamery.

Small Business Saturday offers a chance for shoppers to patronize local merchants, and for merchants to celebrate their community. It’s a win-win; and there’s still time for Williamson County businesses to gear up great deals and a hometown experience at their “shop around the corner.”

11 TIPS to Get the Most Out of Small Business Saturday:

  1. Make sure the GEARS of your website, mobile site, and online store are running smoothly. If you’re offering a new coupon code, test it first. Check your security certificates and have plug-ins up-to-date. This is not the weekend to have payment glitches.
  2. Promotions, deals, discounts, and all sales goodies should be prominently displayed in posters in your store and online. Make sure your MESSAGE IS CLEAR.
  3. If you’re a Brick and Mortar, consider extending your store hours, especially with EARLY BIRD hours. These shoppers don’t mess around. Although, the trend is turning away from Thanksgiving hours (and we’re glad!).
  4. SET THE MOOD for happy shopping. Prep your employees to dress the part (matching holiday scarves, earrings, socks, hats, ties, ugly sweaters) so that they are easily recognized by customers. Dressing the part is shown to affect performance on test scores, so why not try to affect your Small Business Saturday scores? This is a great time to get your logo out front.
  5. Add FUN to the shopping experience, whether online or in-store. Play holiday movies—and, yes, holiday music!—offer themed refreshments or a nourishing hot tea station.
  6. Collect new email and contact information with enticing “Small Business Saturday GIVE-A-WAYS.” Emails are golden, and should include permission to contact. This is a great day to get permission from existing and new customers.
  7. Are you nestled amongst a group of “shops around the corner?” JOIN TOGETHER and offer cross-promotional specials. If your business neighbor offers something you don’t, but it’s a perfect complement to one of your specialties, give your shopper “bundle ideas,” retweet or your neighbor’s online promotions, and send them down the street with their receipt.
  8. #createahashtag for your Small Business Saturday festivities. Use it every time you send out social media promotions in the preceding weeks, and encourage your shoppers to use the SPECIAL HASHTAG on November 25.
  9. Create a PHOTO BACKDROP where they can snap a shopping selfie in your store to encourage their friends to join them and shop locally. Don’t underestimate the influence of friends. And, don’t forget to have someone manning your social media accounts, retweeting and sharing customers who tag or hashtag your business.
  10. Plan special appearances or demos, CAROLERS or a holiday classic singer or band. And, if you sing…all the better!
  11. Don’t forget to PATRONIZE your small business friends. Your shoppers are not the only ones who’ve got gifts to give this holiday season!

Tickle all of your shopper’s senses on Small Business Saturday this year—we know they’re ready for it!

Originally published on Williamson Business, 11/15/17.

Photo caption: Homestead Manor Decorated for the Holidays.
Photo Credit: A. Marshall Family Foods©2017.