How to generate service-based sales this Small Business Saturday [Free eGuide]

Are you a service-based small business? Don’t miss out on holiday spend just because you don’t run a retail store. 53% of Americans plan to buy experience-based gifts at a local business this holiday season, according to a recent study by Yelp. Revenue that’s yours for the taking.

Small Business Saturday is only a few days away, but it’s not too late to put a plan in motion to attract local consumers Shopping Small. To help, we’ve created a new tactical eGuide, 9 Ideas for a successful Small Business Saturday.

In this guide, you’ll learn how to:

  • Create & promote innovative gift ideas to attract service-seeking shoppers
  • Use social media to promote specials
  • Leverage other local businesses to cross-promote local spending
  • Implement six more great tips and tricks for #smallbizsaturday success!

Ready to rock your revenue this Small Business Saturday?

Download 9 ideas for a successful Small Business Saturday today.

7 Ideas for Gym & Fitness Center owners to take part in Small Business Saturday

As the holiday season quickly approaches, how will your gym or fitness center prepare for the increase in sales?
Taking place the day after Black Friday, Small Business Saturday is devoted specifically to encouraging shoppers to buy locally.

Started in 2010 by American Express, Small Business Saturday has increasingly motivated shoppers to shift from buying at big box stores, to supporting their local economies.

With this shift in mind, how will your gym or fitness center effectively participate in Small Business Saturday?

1.) Be competitive

With gyms and fitness centers popping up all over the nation, you need to put your business at an advantage by offering highly competitive membership packages. Capitalizing on the season of gift giving by enticing customers with discounted rates will ensure your gym or fitness center is chosen over others in your area.

2.) Be online

In order for new customers to find you everywhere they’re looking, ensure your business is listed accurately online – just by having an accurate name, address, or phone number listed across the web, you give customers the essential information they need, where they’re looking for it.

3.) Make it an event

Attract new customers to sign up with your gym by giving them extra bang for their buck. By offering special deals on packages or including free personal training sessions when they sign up, people are more likely to commit to your business on the spot.

4.) Excite your employees

A huge aspect of fitness is enthusiasm and motivation. When customers can see your employees are passionate about something they’re interested in, they’re more likely to be excited about choosing your gym for a membership. Excite your employees by setting up a competition; whoever signs up the most new customers, wins a prize or an extra vacation day.

5.) Extend your hours

Opening earlier or closing later on the day of the event allows last minute shoppers the opportunity to sign up for a membership or buy personal training sessions. Most gyms and fitness centers are open 24 hours; by extending your hours on days other than Small Business Saturday, you put your gym at an advantage with people who want a gym membership but don’t have time for one during normal operating hours.

6.) Announce your promotions

Create decorative banners or advertise across the web about the deals you will be offering on Small Business Saturday. By getting the word out as much as possible, you increase the likelihood of customers visiting your business on the day of the event.

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7.) Say thank you

Thanking customers for their business goes along way when it comes to customer service. Simply by sending out an email of gratitude or offering an extra discount for their loyalty will not only make your customers feel appreciated, but also more likely to sign up for memberships or personal training sessions again in the future.

For more tips on a successful Small Business Saturday at your gym or fitness center, download our free eGuide here.

6 ways to increase Sales this Small Business Saturday

As shoppers and retailers alike gear up for the holiday season, how will you take advantage to maximize sales at your small business?
Started in 2010 by American Express, Small Business Saturday intends to provoke holiday shoppers to support local economies by shying away from big box stores and buying locally.

Falling on November 28th this year, how will your small business attract the most shoppers?

Whether you’re a dry cleaning business, computer service company, or specialize in photography, here are a few tips to make the most of this year’s Small Business Saturday:

1.) Compare to your competitors

Being aware of the promotions your competitors are offering will put your business at an advantage; you’ll be able to offer deals and specials that are comparable to the businesses around you, putting your business in the running to be chosen by potential customers for their holiday shopping needs.

2.) Be online

As a small business, your biggest competitors are big box retailers. By having a comprehensive website that lists up-to-date phone numbers, hours of operation, and your address, you put your business at an advantage by being accessible everywhere customers are searching.

3.) Make it an event

Entice customers to purchase with you by offering day-specific deals and specials that make buying with you better. By spicing up the day with discounted rates or packages, you make people more likely to commit to spending with you on the day of.

4.) Involve your employees

Whether you have one employee or 50, excite them about the event by involving them with the preparations of it. Allowing them to give their input on the deals and specials that should be offered will not only encourage their enthusiasm for the event, but also assure them of their value to your business.

5.) Announce your offerings

The best way to inform customers of the deals and specials you’ll be hosting is by announcing it! Whether it’s through email, flyers, or banners around your business, be sure to let people know the promotions you’ll offer on the day of the event. The better people are informed, the more likely they are to visit your business.

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6.) Review the results and send thank you notes!

Review your sales; in what areas do you think you could improve upon for next year? Whether it’s better informing the public of your promotions or executing your sales more precisely, figure out what you could make better for next year. Not only is reflecting on your success important, thanking customers for their loyalty to your business is also an essential part of a quality customer experience.

For more tips on how to have a successful Small Business Saturday, download our free eGuide here.

How your Salon or Spa can take advantage of Small Business Saturday

As Black Friday nears, so does Small Business Saturday: a day specifically intended to encourage consumers to shop and buy local.
Falling on November 28th this year, how will your salon or spa take advantage of this nationally recognized event to entice new and existing customers to buy with your business?

To give you an idea of how to maximize your profit, here are a few tips to ensure your business has a successful Small Business Saturday:

1. Be prepared

The best way to equip your salon or spa for success is by looking at your competitors: what promotions or deals are they offering customers? By creating specials that are competitive with theirs, you put your salon or spa at an advantage for attracting the most customers on the day of the event.

2. Integrate with the Internet

Is your salon or spa easy to find on the web? Being where customers are searching is an integral tool for success; 93% of people research a business online before visiting it in store. By having accurate and up-to-date information about your business on the web, complete with the deals and specials you’ll offer on Small Business Saturday, you give customers the information they’re looking for, when they’re looking for it.

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3. Minimize holiday season stress

Considering planning and shopping for the holiday season can be stressful for some, create the ultimate relaxation experience by offering discounted rates on spa packages or salon services on the day of the event. Apart from offering discounted rates the day of, offer a discounted service to anyone who books a future appointment with your business on Small Business Saturday.

4. Involve your employees

Encourage employees to get excited about the event by involving them with preparations for the big day. By allowing them to create playlists for the sale or come up with a new spa package or salon service to be offered on the day of the event, you make them feel their role is important in the success of the business during the sale.

5. Extend your business hours

Accommodate the busy schedules of holiday shoppers by extending the operating hours of your salon or spa on Small Business Saturday. By opening early or closing later, you appeal to every customer’s schedule, allowing him or her to get the pampering they need.

6. Announce, announce, announce!

Now that you’ve prepared your business for Small Business Saturday by creating deals and specials that are event-specific, tell customers about it! By sending out emails or hanging decorative posters that detail what your business will be offering, you alert consumers ahead of time so they can plan to visit your business on the actual day of the event.

7. Review results and thank you notes!

After this year’s Small Business Saturday, review what was successful and what wasn’t. In what areas could your salon or spa have done better? By looking at the tests and triumphs of the event, you have the opportunity to improve for next year. Not only is it important to reflect on the day, go the extra mile and thank your customers; sending out a personalized note creates a positive customer experience from start to finish.

For more ideas on how to have a successful Small Business Saturday for your salon or spa, download our free eGuide here.

7 Tips for Restaurants & Bars to take advantage of Small Business Saturday traffic

With the holiday season quickly approaching, so is Small Business Saturday: a day specifically intended to gear shoppers towards buying local. Since it’s beginning in 2010, both the awareness and support of small businesses has grown tremendously; in 2014, consumers spent $14.3 billion dollars at local businesses on Small Business Saturday alone, a $300,000 dollar increase from the year before.
Taking place on November 28th this year, how does your local bar or restaurant plan on meeting diners’ demands? As more and more consumers start participating in Small Business Saturday, it’s crucial for your local bar or restaurant to be aware of dining trends and traditions so that you can draw the most customers in.

Considering sales are projected to increase by $200,000 to a total of $14.5 billion this Small Business Saturday, here are 7 must-know tips for your local bar or restaurant to ensure consumers choose your business this holiday season:

1. Get inspired and plan early

According to a 2012 poll by American Express, 59% of consumers planned on dining at a local bar or restaurant to mark the occasion. What kinds of deals and specials will your business offer to set you apart from your competitors? By looking at how other local bars and restaurants in your area participate in Small Business Saturday, you allow your business to be prepared with deals and special menu items that are competitive with those around you.

2. Don’t be offline

93% of people will research a restaurant onlinebefore visiting it in person, and over 1/3 of consumers say the ability to book a reservation or order online sets the restaurant apart from its competitors. Being everywhere diners are searching this holiday season greatly increases your business’ chances of being discovered by consumers who are new to the area, and looking for something new to satisfy their taste buds.

3. Make it memorable

By offering limited-time offers or specials that entice consumers to kick off their long day of shopping by dining with you not only enhances the experience for diners, but also makes it memorable for them; meaning they’ll be more likely to visit your local bar or restaurant again in the future.

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4. Be a social butterfly

With the opportunity to reach thousands of potential diners through social media, it’s imperative that your business begins promoting deals and specials you’ll be hosting at least two weeks prior to the event. By creating a hype across all social media platforms, you excite consumers about your local bar or restaurant, greatly increasing the likelihood they will dine with you on the day of the event.

5. Prep your employees

Prepare your employees for the big event by involving them in the planning process. Allowing employees to create the holiday playlist or contribute creatively by making signs or other advertisements makes them feel important and of value to the business’ overall success. The key tip here: happy employees = happy customers.

6. Extend your business’ hours

As a local bar or restaurant owner, you are well aware that things get chaotic during the holiday season as everyone rushes to prepare. By extending your business’ hours, you can accommodate more diners whose schedules don’t allow them to take part in the festivities during normal business hours.

7. Review your rights and wrongs

When the holiday season comes to a close, review what your business did right in attracting diners, and what it could improve on for next year. By keeping track of what consumers like and dislike, you have the opportunity to not only increase customer satisfaction for the next event, but increase sales as well.

For more ideas on how to maximize your local bar or restaurant’s success this Small Business Saturday, check out our comprehensive eGuide here.

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