Come the first weekend of December, many of us rush to the shops, trying to avoid the last-minute Christmas panic. It’s a big day for all retailers. But, it’s an even bigger day for small businesses. For the last 11 years, the first Saturday of December has marked Small Business Saturday.
An incredible £1.1 billion was spent with small businesses in the UK on Small Business Saturday last year (American Express). So, get involved! Use the national marketing campaign to draw attention to your business. Advertise on their small business finder, use their free marketing pack, and get involved in their social media campaign.
Our Ambassador, Gail Bryden of JustBe Botanicals, has certainly seen the benefits:
“I’ve loved being part of Small Business Saturday. Not only has it helped shine a spot light on my business but it helps raise the awareness of the big difference shopping small and supporting local independently run businesses can make. I was fortunate enough to see my logo on the side of the UK wide bus tour in 2016 and get to showcase my range within No.10 Downing Street. I’d encourage everyone to think about where they’re buying from and to shop more consciously, especially on the run up to Christmas.”
Our ambassadors Lynne Mann, of Super Nature Oil, and Mandy Bailey, of Plant & Grow, have also been celebrated as some of the UK’s best small businesses in the Small Biz 100.
And Small Business Saturday is just one of many ways to get your small business out there! Read on for our best small business marketing tips.
Small Business Catalogues
Small Business Saturday is just one of many places you can market your small business. Online catalogues reach lots of people and most offer free listing. Target conscious customers with directories like: UK Small Business Directory, Love Our Shops UK and Scotland Business Directory.
And, you might even find some catalogues for your local community. If you’re based in Edinburgh, check out the Edinburgh Lockdown Economy website. In Glasgow, try Small 99. Of course, there are options for businesses in smaller communities too, like Borders business listings, the Dalkeith business directory, and REDs directory for rural enterprises.
Most villages and towns have a local magazine, newspaper, or regular publication. If you don’t know what yours is, it’s worth looking out for it for a great way to build your local presence.
The power of community
People love to support businesses that they feel a personal connection with – it’s a major motivator to shop local. But, for customers to feel like they’re giving back to their community when they shop with you, it’s important to make sure that you’re contributing to that community too. You could sponsor a local football team, donate products to local raffles and get involved in school or community initiatives. It’s not just about getting your name out, but about giving back. Spread the love around your community and it’ll come right back to you!
Local Social Media
You don’t have to be a digital superstar to get your business noticed. Sometimes, all it takes is a friendly post to the right audience. On Instagram, you can make the most of local hashtags and tag geographical locations. Check out Facebook for community groups in your area and look for local hashtags on Twitter.
Want to have an even better marketing success rate? Look for pages that are related to your specific business. For example, if you’re a star baker, find a local group that focuses on sweet treats. Even if the group is small, you know that you’re getting your business out to the people that are already interested. It’s a great, personal, way to create the kind of targeted adverts that big advertisers use digital analytics for.
Want to level-up your small business profile? Try entering some small business awards.
Businesses of all sizes use awards to generate exposure. You’ll find lots of award opportunities to get involved with, whether industry-specific or for small businesses. Magazines and newspapers, like Grazia, will help you showcase your business through competitions. You can encourage your loyal customers to vote for you. And, the best kept secret of business awards: you can usually nominate yourself for them. Take, for example the Small Awards and the FSB Celebrating Small Businesses Awards, which are also free to enter.
While Covid has been a huge challenge for high streets, it’s also encouraged people to support their local communities. So, get marketing! Be a truly local shop: contribute to your community, build your presence, and get ready to welcome your customers.
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