Small Business Saturday – 3rd December

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SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY

Small Business Saturday is a day to support and celebrate your local small businesses in your community.  It originally started in the States and this is the 4th year it’s been run in the UK – and it’s a way to choose local, to go and buy in your local butchers rather than Sainsbury’s, to nip down to the hardware store rather than buy on Amazon, to go to an independent coffee shop rather than Starbucks. In fact, the day is the antithesis of Black Friday.

Small Business Saturday has been run across the country, with local businesses, organisations and councils taking part. Last year, the organisers say, customers spent £623m with small businesses just on that day – an increase of £119m or 24% on 2014, which is incredible. Over 75% of local councils actively supported the campaign, helping by offering free parking or networking events, or local fairs.  Although it does make you wonder why the other 25% didn’t get involved!

The campaign is a way for customers to really see the independent businesses around them. Every time you go into an independent shop, there is a story behind the people who run it.

Emma Robinson, who is the Barnes Town Team manager, worked out that if every local person spent £36 per week locally rather than online or in big shop chains, every independent shop on the high street could stay in business.

So…   as well as you supporting the retails shops locally, how can SBS help your business on the 3rd? Well, there are lots of ways you can use this day to highlight what you do to a wider audience. You need to get organised now:

  1. Check out the Richmond Council website, which is richmond.gov.uk – find out what they’ve got going on and if you can get involved.
  2. Look at the SBS website, which is smallbusinesssaturdayuk.com. They have info on there to help you market your business and a SBS logo to download. They also highlight 100 small businesses in the run up to the day, on their website and SM. It may be too late to be included this year, but make sure you make a note for next year – they get a lot of press coverage nationally, so it’s a great way to make your business stand out. It’s definitely not just retail businesses, but all small businesses.
  3. Mention it on your website – show you are involved in the local community and that you are part of it and add the SBS logo.
  4. Use the day to highlight a new aspect of your business, or remind people of something about your business you haven’t promoted for a while.
  5. Go mad on SM for one day. It’s Saturday, so you don’t necessarily want to spend the whole day tweeting or doing FB posts, but schedule them on Friday to go out on Saturday, just saying ‘yeah, proud to be part of Small Biz Saturday’ and link to SBS twitter or FB as they’re very active.
  6. Get feedback from your customers. How many of you ask for a testimonial when you’ve done a good job for your customer or sold them something they’re really happy with? Make sure you do it. You could highlight these on your website in a special SBS plug.

So, make the most of Small Business Saturday – and have a successful day!

Pippa Duncan

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