3 Key Ways to Stand Out on Small Business Saturday

With Small Business Saturday fast approaching, what can you do in the 11th hour to generate more sales, promote your business, and retain more long-term customers? Here are a few last minute ideas:

1. Smart Staffing = Strong Sales
Every Secret Santa or would-be Saint Nick needs some advice and they need it quick!

Along with scheduling extra staff for Small Business Saturday, be sure to make the most of sales floor employees’ time. One great way to increase gift sales is to have your staff act as “gift consultants”. Suggested up-sells are a great way to increase receipts. By utilizing a gift consultant, these up-sells can be made in a seamless and unobtrusive manner.

For example, “By the way, is there anyone else on your list that you really want to wow with a great gift this year?” This added touch personalizes the shopping experience and shows your customers that you care.

2. Think Social So Your Customers Will Think Local
If they “Like” it, they will come.

We live in a digital age, where technology changes faster than you can say, “Myspace.” Savvy small business owners who understand the value of promoting online will be the ones who find the most success this weekend.

Starting today, use Social Media to your advantage by sending out a last-minute invitation to your email list. Keep the focus on driving your customer’s dollars into local business for the good of the community. Use Facebook and Twitter to let your customers know about expanded hours and Small Business Saturday special offerings. This is a great opportunity to grow your consumer base, by letting potential customers know what differentiates you from big chain stores.

3. A Buyer in the Hand is Worth Two in the Bush
It is easier to keep a loyal customer happy than it is to win the loyalty of a new customer.

Great customer service cannot be emphasized enough, particularly around the holiday shopping season. As a shopper, the stress of planning for the holidays is dramatically worsened by rude and incompetent salespeople. So, focus last-minute staff training efforts on giving customers outstanding customer service.

Call in an emergency meeting, if need be, so that your staff members understand the importance of being friendly, helpful, patient, and upbeat (always!). Practice possible customer scenarios. Remember, negative word of mouth travels fast; So, encourage your staff to put their best faces forward.