As a small business owner without a storefront, you may be feeling a little left out during this time of year. Consumers are gearing up for the holidays, frequenting retail outlets and, as you may worry, forgetting non-retail businesses in the process.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. Holidays like Small Business Saturday (Nov. 24) provide a perfect opportunity to boost your bottom line. Take note of the following tips and get ready for a record-breaking season.
If you run a service-based business, such as a massage therapy clinic, for example, consider teaming up with the boutique down the street and offering discounted chair massages at the retailer’s location during peak shopping times.
“Come up with a co-promotion,” recommends Carol Roth, former investment banker, business consultant and author of The Entrepreneur Equation. “By going where your customers go, you will providing an extra incentive for both the retailer and the shoppers—it is a win-win for everyone.”
Engage the media
Pitch your local newspapers and television stations on the importance of Small Business Saturday and the general concept of shopping small. Roth recommends offering yourself as an expert source or proposing a different angle to the holiday.
“Ask your newspaper to write a piece on non-retailer specials on Small Business Saturday,” she offers. “Anything that brings attention to your business is a step in the right direction.”
Host an event
Tim Murphy’s business, MotionWorks Physical Therapy, sits in a strip mall in Neenah, Wisc. While he usually doesn’t open on Saturdays, he is making a special exception for Small Business Saturday.
“We are having an open house,” he says. “We will have hot apple cider and homemade pumpkin bread and invite people into the store and ask them to sign up for our email newsletter.”
He plans to pass out shirts and bags embossed with his company logo to each person who signs up.
“We want to people to know that we are here,” Murphy says. “If we get 50 people through the door, 20 signups for the newsletter and even one client out of it, it will have been worth it.”
Offer a deal
Online-only businesses can also get in on Small Business Saturday—just ask Nellie Akalp. As founder and CEO of CorpNet.com, a web-based business incorporation service, she expects Nov. 24 to be a big sales day thanks to a promotion she is advertising on her Facebook and Twitter pages.
“In honor of Small Business Saturday, we are offering free business incorporation services for our first three customers and 10 percent off after that,” she says. “We’ve gotten a lot of great feedback about the deal.”
Don’t forget: November 24th is Small Business Saturday—a day dedicated to supporting small businesses nationwide. Learn more at SmallBusinessSaturday.com.