The United States wouldn’t be what it is today without small businesses. In fact, small businesses make up 99.7% of all businesses according to SBA.gov. We all need the plumber who comes to our houses at 3 AM to fix a broken pipe or the pizza place on the corner that knows us by name. How can we say thank you to these great businesses?
Every Saturday following Thanksgiving and Black Friday is a day to show support for these small businesses. Small business Saturday is a chance to say thank you to your favorite businesses in your community, and according to some recent data from Scorpion, consumers are going to come in droves and it will be the largest ever.
In a recent consumer survey conducted by Scorpion, a leading provider of technology and services helping local businesses thrive, and YouGov, nearly 40% of respondents said they were aware of Small Business Saturday and planned to support a small business this year. Falling on the last Saturday of November, Small Business Saturday is a counterpart of Black Friday and Cyber Monday specifically aimed at supporting brick and mortar stores that are small and local.
Another 20% of those surveyed said they were unaware of the one-day event, but wanted to learn more so they could decide whether to support it. We saw nationwide support of small businesses during the pandemic and we also saw these businesses adapt with curbside pickup, wearing masks in houses to make repairs, and other accommodations.
Over the last year and a half, the COVID-19 pandemic has shown more about small business America than ever before—that these local businesses are a foundation of the American economy but are extraordinarily fragile to major shocks like a pandemic. According to a National Academy of Sciences report, small businesses employ nearly 50% of American workers. But in the cornerstone retail sector, 43% of businesses had to temporarily shut down during the course of the pandemic, with employment also dropping by 40%.
Consumers have been aware of the pain felt by small businesses over the course of the pandemic and have tried to bolster the sector where possible. If you are a small business yourself, you can use promotions or marketing on Small Business Saturday to launch growth with other marketing and customer experience. Below are some tips on how.
Customer Experience Is More Important Than Before
The opportunity to reach more customers who want to support small businesses is greater than it has been in recent years. Consumers have become used to easier purchasing experiences during the pandemic and are looking for small businesses to replicate those experiences. Putting these ideas into your business plan are key. That may include having a website with ways to contact a business. Livechat options and online scheduling. Review management is also important so customers can find more information about what makes a business different, better, or special.
The good news is that this technology is cheaper and better than in years past. A small business can just focus on a few things and get a lot of growth from that little effort.
Google My Business and Facebook Business Pages
Google and Facebook are primary contributors to growth with a small business. Setting up a Google My Business page and a Facebook Business Page will help a business show up when searched for, provide reviews for people to look at, and give contact options.
These pages are easy to create. If you already have them as a small business then make sure to keep them updated and monitor reviews daily.
Yelp business page
Yelp is a place where people can go to learn more about a business on the web or on its popular app. You may want to be on Yelp as well so people can find your profile and learn more about you if that is their primary app for choosing a small business.
Setting up a profile can be done in under 5 minutes and is similar to Google and Facebook. Its also important to continue to monitor your reviews.
Thumbtack, HomeAdvisor, or Angi
These three outlets provide a way for people to research contractors specifically and if you sign up for Thumbtack Pro or the other services you can get leads and respond to them directly on your phone.
Being found is the first part of providing a good customer experience. If you are where your customers search you will be able to get more leads and also more reviews to grow your business.
Go Enjoy Small Business Saturday
If you are a business, you may want to have an offer ready for your customers to enjoy small business Saturday with you. Many businesses will offer a discount or party to connect with their customers more.
If you are a customer, you did awesome to keep these people in business during the pandemic. Keep up the good work and make sure to show up to your favorite small business shops, diners, and service professional spaces on Saturday this week!