Q: What Can I Do as a Small Business Owner to Match Up With Black Friday?
— Frustrated Small Business Owner
A: Dear Frustrated: Black Friday has become a phenomenon for the national and regional retail chains because of the marketing power of those businesses. Small businesses and sole proprietorships, however, don’t have the kind of cash flow required to support such advertising.
What these businesses do have is connection to the corporate giant American Express. AMEX launched “Small Business Saturday” in 2010 to encourage patronage of small businesses on the Saturday after Black Friday. Whether self-serving or not, AMEX came up with an idea that truly falls into the “win-win” category.
With the marketing power of American Express, small businesses can capitalize on the Small Business Saturday campaign. AMEX offers a variety of marketing materials and tools to small businesses free of charge to increase business traffic on that day.
If you are a small business, you are well served to have an online presence and to offer online shopping to customers to maximize the benefit of Small Business Saturday. Complementing that with special sales and prices on SBS, and with promotions leading up to the day can greatly increase sales.
Since many small businesses are in neighborhood settings, banding together with fellow owners to promote “block party” sales or similar activities can also be effective in attracting shoppers to your stores. The key is not to assume that the frenzy of post Thanksgiving shopping is only for the big guys. With a little effort, the little gals can also cash in on the Christmas rush.