Small Business Saturday Could Be Highlight of Holiday Shopping

This weekend will be big for businesses of all sizes. Many stores will open their doors early, some almost as soon as the holiday meal is finished this evening. Retailers will be particularly busy, but there are holiday opportunities out there no matter what business you operate. Small Business Saturday could be the highlight of the holiday season, say some reports, but if you operate an online store, there’s Cyber Monday to consider too. Here’s the buzz from the mainstream media followed by some tips on what you can do to prepare.

Winner Takes All

Start sales small. Black Friday may be falling out of fashion, with more and more customers saying the shopping day isn’t what it used to be. Despite the hoopla, deals usually sought out by shoppers may not be as great as those earlier in the season. And while projections suggest a 20 percent increase in sales volume for online merchants Cyber Monday, Internet slowdowns are expected with so many shoppers online. This leaves Small Business Saturday, which one expert says is the real opportunity for shoppers seeking unique merchandise. Forbes

Get ready to go. No matter which shopping day will be the biggest for you, there is still time to maximize your business opportunities moving into the holiday season. Even if the big shopping weekend starting with Black Friday has caught you less prepared than you’d like, blogger Cody Ward has these simple suggestions you can implement immediately to take advantage of the holiday rush. Don’t wait! Click the link above and implement these simple tips to prepare. Puzzle Marketer

Simple Strategies

Put employees first. One unconventional suggestion from retail industry journalist Joe Keenan is to think about customers and employees this holiday season. With Cyber Monday’s increasing popularity, retailers have been moving up store openings for Black Friday to Thursday evening in an effort to maximize sales. But the move has spurred complaints from employees not happy at the prospect of starting work on Thanksgiving Day. Instead, Keenan recommends redirecting shoppers online with the same deals and free shipping, improving both sales and employee morale. BuyerZone

Sell your services. There is no reason retailers should be the only ones to get in on the act this holiday shopping season. In this post and accompanying video, Brook Kreder shares tips she is giving her own clients this year, many of them service providers, about how to maximize profits in their businesses too. Kreder suggests selling information products, pre-selling programs, partnering with retailers, or offering a one-day sale on your services as some simple solutions. Experts and Empires

Get crafty with sales. Depending upon your business, holiday craft fairs and flea markets may be another opportunity to profit on the holiday shopping trend. If you sell products appropriate to these events, hopefully you’ve already mapped out a strategy that will help you capture some of the seasonal shopping dollars sure to be spent not only this weekend but over the next few weeks. Here are some suggestions for fine tuning your approach.

Marketing Moves

Make the most of e-mail. As the holiday season approaches, look for an increase in the amount of e-mail in your inbox and know that your customers’ inboxes will also be brimming over. If e-mail marketing is one of your top strategies, this could easily become a problem as you try to make your e-mails stand out among all the other messages your customers are receiving. Fortunately, there are a few simple tips that will lift your e-mails above the crowd and convince recipients to make them a priority. Step By Step Marketing

Market to the message. Small business owners also get a bit of a boost from Small Business Saturday itself, says content marketer Kasey Steinbrinck. It just so happens, Steinbrinck explains, that when it comes to special events now embraced by many small businesses, Small Business Saturday is the ultimate content marketing strategy. Here’s why and how this built-in marketing machine can help your business too, if you simply plug in and modulate your message accordingly. Copyjuice

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Joshua Sophy Joshua Sophy is the Editor for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 16 years. A professional journalist with 20 years of experience in traditional media and online media, he attended Waynesburg University and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists. He has held roles of reporter, editor and publisher, having founded his own local newspaper, the Pottsville Free Press.