One of the biggest days of the year in terms of sales for small businesses tends to be a shop small holiday. If you’re new to owning and operating a small business, you’ll want to get familiar with what you can do to maximize these types of events and consult with other small business owners who are more seasoned than you to learn what not to do at this time of year. Seasoned small business owners will know that taking advantage of events like these can help you make up for losses that occurred earlier in the year or finish a good year strong from a sales perspective.
As you prepare for a shop small holiday, creating a checklist can make sure that you don’t leave any aspect of your plan to succeed during this holiday off the table. Without a formal list or strategy, it can be easy for the holiday to creep up on you and lose out on sales thanks to a lack of a plan for getting the most out of it. Even if you have an idea of what you’d like to do for a holiday that promotes sales for small businesses, it’s best to write it down on paper or document it in a digital form and use some of our tips below to ensure that you have a small business holiday that your team will rave about for years to come.
What Is Small Business Saturday?
When you think of a “shop small holiday,” Small Business Saturday is probably the first event that fits this type of holiday. This holiday tends to be a response to Black Friday and Cyber Monday with a specific focus on smaller businesses that may not get as much attention during these large shopping events. As a result, it usually happens on the Saturday that follows Thanksgiving, although your region might have similar holidays that fall on other days.
For small businesses, events like Small Business Saturday can give them the push they need to make a solid profit in the final quarter and they can also make it easier to get the word out about your new business since small businesses will become extra relevant to the news during this season. Small Business Saturday is also a great opportunity to show those who shop at your store that you value them and you can reward them with little goodies to make their shopping experience extra special as doorbusters or exclusive deals. Of course, you don’t have to wait until holidays like this to proudly advertise great deals at your store or encourage your community to support your business over larger stores that may not struggle as much during these tough times.
Is Small Business Saturday the Only Shop Small Event?
While Small Business Saturday might be the first official holiday that comes to mind for small business owners and those who love to support their local business owners, it’s not necessarily the only event out there that promotes shopping small for a day. Some counties or cities might have festivals and other events that involve focusing on giving one’s business to smaller retailers in favor of large corporations for a specific window of time. If you want to draw more business to your specific store, you can create a holiday of sorts by hosting specific events throughout the year or partnering with other small businesses to create campaigns to encourage tourists and residents to purchase from your collective of little shops throughout the year.
Sometimes, social media campaigns may also push consumers to shop small either in a specific geographic region or throughout the country. When this happens, you can capitalize on the trend and encourage your followers on social media to show their support by stopping by your shop and recording their experience there on social media. If you want to create events that celebrate shopping small in your community, you can take some initiative and gather your network to make this dream a reality that could help small businesses near you and beyond.
If your customers are determined to shop till they drop, they’ll need some refreshments to keep them going and your business can be the hub for rejuvenating their energy with some light snacks or beverages. To keep your beverages cool, you should consider ordering ice for parties or renting a cooler so they’re truly refreshing for your customers. The types of foods you provide depend on what your preferences may be and what your customers might like, but you should think about food safety laws and other pertinent regulations before you provide refreshments to the general public.
When you’re providing refreshments for a shop small holiday, it can be fun to partner with another small business in your area that specializes in catering or cooking and food service. This can make it easier to ensure that you’re following local, state, and federal food service regulations while also removing the stress of planning what you will serve or how you’ll balance customer service from a retail perspective and a food service perspective. Of course, instead of providing refreshments to that degree, you can simply offer small individually wrapped candies or other treats for customers as they enter the store or leave the cash wrap.
Install a New Floor
One of the ways to benefit your store during a shop small holiday and beyond is by installing new flooring if the old flooring has seen better days. Whether you’re rebranding your store to look more modern or the floors in your store are difficult to maintain, a new floor can make a huge difference to your customers and your employees if they’re tired of looking at the same old flooring. Outdated or poorly maintained floors can reflect customers that you don’t care about updating your business and make them question whether your store is a worthwhile place to spend their hard-earned cash, so it pays to update your floors when they look damaged or otherwise unsightly.
If you intend to install new floors before the shop small holidays, you’ll need to plan for the renovation to wrap up by the time the holiday happens. By researching how long it takes to remove old flooring and install new epoxy floors or floors made from other materials, you can have a realistic idea of how long you’ll need to block out time for this renovation to happen. Since it could be difficult or impossible to continue operating your business as usual while the old floors are being removed and the new floors are being installed, you should also consider how using other means of conducting business such as e-commerce platforms could help you avoid a significant financial loss during this time.
Renovate Your Bathrooms
While the restrooms in your store or facilities might not seem like a priority for a shop small holiday, the way they look and function can make the difference between customers spending a few minutes browsing in your store or a couple of hours shopping. Beyond ensuring that your restrooms are clean and sanitary, you’ll want to make sure that they have everything they need to function efficiently and impress customers with modern technology. Even if you don’t have the funds to afford marble countertops or self-flushing toilets, there are always ways to improve the design and function of the bathrooms in your store to make customers feel like you put effort into perfecting every little detail on the property.
To elevate your store’s technology in the restroom and make it better for the environment, you can install a set of air dryers before the holidays hit. As with any other renovation, it’s a good idea to plan the project around the holidays and other big events. The last thing you’ll want to do is have to close your shop because of renovations during major events or subject yourself and your customers to construction noises during major shopping peaks so you should work with contractors who can fit your renovation plans into their schedules well in advance of shop small holidays.
Give Your Exterior a Makeover
You’ve probably heard that you can’t judge a book by its cover, but as a business owner, you should know that customers tend to judge businesses based on the way they look on the outside as much as they hold stores to a certain standard for the interior of the shop. If you find that customers tend to pass your store without stopping or coming into the shop, it’s time to think how you can spruce up the exterior of the store so you can attract more customers to come inside it on a shop small holiday. If the siding on your store looks like it’s seen better days, you can work with siding contractors to complete siding projects before the holiday hits.
When you can’t remember the last time you replaced your roof after decades of operating a small business, you may want to consult with a roof company to determine if it’s time for a replacement. Even if you don’t need to replace your roof, you can maintain the roof and clear debris out of related areas on your property by scheduling a commercial gutter cleaning. From top to bottom, the outside of your business should sparkle and send a message to customers that you take pride in your business.
Maintain a Comfortable Temperature
If you live in an area where the weather is unbearably hot during a shop small holiday, it’s a good idea to ensure that your customers won’t be sweating their way through your shop. When people are uncomfortable, they tend to shop for shorter periods. Scheduling an air conditioning installation before the holiday can help remedy this problem.
Keep Your Space Spotless
A clean, sanitary store is one that customers will enjoy far more than a dirty one with unaddressed water damage. As you get ready for the shop small holiday, you should approach it with the same attitude that you would approach the holidays when you invite guests to your home. If you wouldn’t invite guests to a home that’s dirty with hazards that must be managed, you shouldn’t invite your customers to an event where your store is in poor shape from a cleanliness and maintenance point of view.
Plan Special Deals
One of the main perks of a shop small holiday for customers is the deals that they get to enjoy. While you want to earn money during this holiday, many customers want to save money and will reward shops with great deals by spending their money there over other places. Even if you don’t sell a product and you provide a service like exchanging cash for jewelry, you can still run special deals such as an increase in the rates you pay or a small gift with every transaction.
For companies with specific products like eye glass companies, a good strategy may be offering deals like “buy one get one free (BOGO),” providing a free gift with every eyeglass purchase or making all of your merchandise 25% off. You know your customers best so you’ll know what deals would impress them and which deals might seem lackluster. For inspiration, you can see what other small businesses are doing to make sales.
In conclusion, you can prepare for a shop small holiday by adjusting the environment of your store to make it as comfortable as possible, offering small snacks and beverages to entice customers to come into your shop, and offering special deals that you won’t feature during any other time of year to get customers excited about spending time and money at your shop during this event. While there’s no guarantee that these measures will result in sales, you’re more likely to have a positive experience during small business holidays if you can differentiate yourself from other businesses and show your customers that you value their participation in the event with your business. Even if you don’t earn as much as you would like to make during this event, you can take notes of what worked and what didn’t work so you’ll be more successful during the following shop small holidays.