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Tips for Small Business Saturday

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Small Business Saturday—November 28, 2015—is not far off. But according to a Manta poll, 57% of small-business owners have never heard of the one day during the holiday rush that is dedicated exclusively to them. Don’t let another year pass without getting involved.

So, first things first—what is Small Business Saturday? In a nutshell, this shopping day falls between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It was established in 2010 by American Express to encourage consumers to patronize small businesses during the holiday season.

And, no, you don’t have to be a high-end retailer or Etsy artisan to take advantage of Small Business Saturday. It’s for service providers, too.

Here are a few ways experts suggest you reap a little more little holiday cheer:

  1. Offer discounts. Ed McMasters, director of marketing and communications at Flottman Company, Inc. suggested that service providers, like their retail counterparts, should offer discounts. Offer coupon codes for weekend appointments or give a 10% or 20% discount for any service appointment scheduled in the next two months. It’s a great way to extend the holiday sales into the new year when business is often slower.
  2. Everyone likes a gift certificate. Gift certificates from fine boutiques are lovely, but name a homeowner who wouldn’t like the gift of home repair. J.J. Ramberg, host of MSNBC’s Your Business, recommended that service providers be creative with gifts certificates—offer clients 3-hour service gift cards to purchase as gifts for family, friends or themselves.
  3. Wear your heart on your sleeve. Join forces with a charity and let customers know that each time a service (or gift card) is purchased, a portion of the sale goes to the dedicated charity.
  4. Partner up! Mark Aselstine, owner of Uncorked Ventures, said small-business owners in the service industry have an opportunity to partner with stores to gain attention. As an example, service professionals could perform demonstrations in locally owned hardware stores—helping them gain foot-traffic and a network they might not otherwise have.

So, while visions of sugar plums may not be dancing in your head quite yet, now’s the time to start considering your marketing plan for Small Business Saturday.