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s a small business, there's one day out of the year that is dedicated just to you and hopefully brings new and existing customers your way.

Small Business Saturday offers a 24-hour opportunity for small businesses to attract their share of traffic from the 174 million Americans who shop between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday. In 2021, Small Business Saturday brought in $23.3 billion for American entrepreneurs

Small business Saturday is part of a critical stretch of weeks for retail and e-commerce businesses looking to drive sales volume through the holiday season. Some businesses capture holiday tailwinds naturally, but the most successful businesses go in with a plan, a budget, and a clear target customer. 

It's never too early or late to start planning for the opportunity to drive more traffic to your business. In this post, we'll walk you through how to build your own plan and make this your strongest end-of-year yet.

Tips to Prepare for Small Business Saturday

It's never too early to start brainstorming and preparing for Small Business Saturday. Here are a few ways to get ready for the big day.

Set sales and revenue targets

Small Business Saturday is an opportunity to beat sales and revenue expectations. Set a challenging yet realistic goal — think of the SMART method of goal setting — and use it as a guiding compass while designing your marketing campaign. 

Also, consider how much you'll actually need to sell to make up for any discounts you offer. 

Come up with a staffing plan

As a small business owner, you still want to ensure you have the help you need to handle the potential influx in sales and packaging. You may consider hiring seasonal employees or asking friends and family to help. 

For digital companies, extra tech support for the day can also ensure any bugs or online glitches are quickly fixed. 

Get your finances in order

Increased sales expectations may mean upping your inventory or marketing budget ahead of the event. And extra seasonal help means increased payroll costs. 

You'll likely need to come up with the cash to cover these expenses before you'll see the revenue for them. 

With Novo Reserves, you can start effortlessly budgeting for Small Business Saturday related expenses by setting aside money in a separate Reserve. Novo Reserves allows you to automatically allocate funds to various business costs, so you don't have to pull from profits or other business savings to cover these expenses.

Collaborate with other businesses

Join forces with non-competing businesses to maximize your advertising reach. Keep it simple by having all participating businesses share the holiday specials on their social media accounts. Or discuss implementing a shared coupon code customers can use at partnering stores for a free gift or discount.

Ahead of the day, encourage people to follow all the participating accounts by offering giveaways for lucky winners. This will also help you build your audience for when you share your promotions and products on your page.

But remember, you don't have to keep your collaboration online. Consider visiting businesses or farmer's markets in your area to see if they'd be willing to support your small business by placing fliers in their stores. 

Get the discussion going

Half of shoppers start their holiday shopping in October, making it a great time to introduce upcoming sales on products or services. Using branded hashtags can help spread the word to people who may not follow you yet.

A direct mail or an email campaign can also be a way to share your upcoming holiday specials with your existing client database.

And if you don't have a massive database or following yet, here are a few tips to work on building your audience with a long-term focus.

Tips to Carry Momentum Beyond Small Business Saturday Ideas

If you've done it right, Small Business Saturday can be a jumping point for a full year of growth. Use the following tips to keep the momentum going.

Give a reason to return

Small Business Saturday is an excellent day for growing your mailing list. So for those who shop with you, offer an additional discount or free gift in exchange for their contact information, so you can engage with them moving forward.

And just because someone doesn't buy anything on Small Business Saturday doesn't mean they won't make a purchase in the future. 

Encourage website visitors or email subscribers to return again with a post-dated coupon. Nearly 70% of consumers love receiving coupons, and almost 90% of millennials are willing to try a new brand if offered a coupon.

Stay active on social media

There's no social media rest for the weary. And it's especially important to remain active during the holiday season. 

Keep your page engaging by following the 80/20 content rule, which suggests 80% of social media posts should be useful to your audience — educational, entertaining, or providing a solution to their problems — and 20% should promote your business. 

Social media has a 100% higher lead-to-close rate than outbound marketing, making it a crucial tool for growing sales throughout the year.

Reach out directly to consumers

Email campaigns are great marketing tools for promoting specific products or services. 

Small business owners can expect an ROI (return on investment) rate of 4,200%, or $42 for every $1 spent when implementing an email campaign. So, put that email list you received on Small Business Saturday to good use and stay connected through email all year long.

Start planning for next year

With experience and data under your belt, you'll be well-prepared for Small Business Saturday 2023. If you haven't already, explore our list of perks offered exclusively to Novo small business account owners

You'll get access to more than $4,000 in savings from companies to help your Small Business Saturday campaign, from planning to implementation and beyond, including:

  • Constant Contact for managing your email campaigns
  • Gusto for tracking and paying full-time or seasonal workers 
  • Stripe for headache-free card processing 
  • Google Ads for targeted advertising

A Big Win for Small Businesses

Despite the singularity suggested in its name, Small Business Saturday is more than one day of sales, deals, or special events. Instead, it's the chance for small businesses to reach new consumers, deepen relationships with existing customers, and establish a continuous growth plan. And that's something to celebrate all year long.

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Take your business to new heights with faster cash flow and clear financial insights —all with a free Novo account. Apply in 10 minutes.