07 Oct 4 Tips to Prepare for Small Business Saturday
The time has come for small businesses to prepare for the big day – Small Business Saturday. The annual event (on November 30th this year) is a great opportunity for small retailers to get the attention of eager holiday shoppers looking for something different. Consumers are incentivized to devote their attention to small, local businesses that day, and as a small business owner, you can turn that attention into profits.
In addition to highlighting your unique products and services, it’s a chance to show why you’re different from larger companies and garner consumer attention and loyalty. As you prepare for Small Business Saturday, emphasizing that uniqueness should be at the center of what you do. Here are four major ways you can get ready with that idea in mind.
1. Get Your Website in Order
Online shopping is becoming increasingly popular during the holiday season and reached record highs last year. In a recent article, Entrepreneur magazine recommended that small businesses prepare by getting their website up to the task. Here’s a look at how you can get your site ready for the big day:
• Upgrade your hosting service so you can handle more visitors.
• Bring in a design/development expert to make any critical changes or create a Small Business Saturday page.
• Make sure the site is mobile-friendly, as most consumers will be shopping via cell phone.
• Check on-site health and search engine optimization to ensure people can find and navigate your site properly.
Don’t let the added consumer attention fall on your competition. Prepare for Small Business Saturday by improving your website to create positive customer experiences online.
2. Focus on Cross-Channel Experiences
Consumers flocked to multi-channel shopping experiences during last year’s November shopping holidays, the National Retail Federation found. These consumers spent an average of $93 more than on those retailers only using a single channel.
Creating smooth customer journeys is key as you prepare for Small Business Saturday. Shoppers need a seamless experience across in-store and online channels. Some options you can pursue to improve experiences include:
• Upgrading your point-of-sale systems so you can enable customers to use their online shopping account for in-person sales.
• Providing online forms or sales capabilities for items showcased at your physical location (i.e. using QR codes so consumers can scan an item to find it on your website).
• Ensuring your employees are equipped with tools that let them easily engage with customers and access relevant data regardless of the channel.
By creating a seamless cross-channel experience, you increase the likelihood of both higher consumer spend and repeat business.
3. Take Customer Service to Another Level
Entrepreneur explained that last year’s holiday season pointed to new customer expectations. Consumers aren’t just shopping for gifts, they’re looking for good experiences. Retailers that make the shopping process more fun or, at least, more painless, have an advantage. This is especially important for small businesses. The closer relationships and personal touch that small businesses can offer can really pay off. But that’s only possible when customer service is great. Exceptional service can help you stand out even more on Small Business Saturday when consumers are really taking notice.
4. Upgrade Your Workforce
The holidays are a busy time for businesses. If you offer services, then you’ll likely be providing more quotes and processing new customers as people sign up for projects as gifts. If you’re a product-driven business, you’ll have to be ready for a much higher sales volume than normal.
As you prepare for Small Business Saturday, you’ll need to consider how to get your staff ready for these situations. A few options to consider are:
• Hiring specialists to perform key functions, such as digital marketing experts or customer service representatives.
• Expanding your existing teams with seasonal staff members to ease the burden they are facing.
• Increasing your budget so you can afford to pay overtime to top performers you will rely on.
Upgrading your workforce can give you a major boost as you head into the holidays. This is particularly true if you’re making a big push for Small Business Saturday.
Implementing these four tips to be ready for the holiday sales surge may require an infusion of cash, and that’s where an alternative lender like QuickBridge can help. Alternative lenders can get you small business loans quickly to help you keep up with the demands of your business during this busy time.
As you prepare for Small Business Saturday, think about any capital needs you may have. If you find that you have good ideas that require cash now but won’t generate value until the holiday season unfolds, then you may find a certain type of financing, like a bridge loan, to be the right solution.
It’s never too soon to prepare for Small Business Saturday. The day presents unique opportunities to win consumer business. Plan ahead to ensure you can take advantage of what the day offers and get your company’s holiday season off to a strong start.
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