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  • Rachel Persson

'Tis the Season to #ShopLocal

How service-based businesses can take advantage of Small Business Saturday too.


I am sure you're all painfully aware of the big push to shop local during the holidays. It's become incredibly popular over recent years, and the pandemic has made that even more so. It's good for your local economy and your community. We know that spending your holiday shopping budget locally comes back to us through taxes and reinvestment to our communities. It's a no brainer to shop local when you can! In fact, this campaign is near and dear to my heart, since I was so heavily involved in it during my time working for our local Mainstreet Program. I worked closely with retailers and boutiques alike to help them prepare and take advantage of this national push to shop local. The campaign run every year by American Express is primarily targeted at retail stores and businesses that sell physical products. These types of businesses have great success when they take advantage of the things offered to them by AmEx for this purpose, but that can leave out a huge subset of small businesses today. Service-based businesses may feel that they have nothing to contribute to this national push, but with a little creativity, they can take advantage of this national campaign too.

Here are 5 ideas for how your service business can take advantage of the push!

  1. Simply say 'Thank you:' Taking the time to thank your existing customers for their investment in you within the context of Small Business Saturday is a great way to add your voice to the conversation without a big time commitment and investment on your part. People like to feel appreciated, so this is a great time to give your clients a little shoutout.

  2. Give other small businesses a shoutout: Just taking the time to highlight a couple fellow business owners on social media during the push for Small Business Saturday shows your own audience that you're in favor of supporting your own community. You can use the templates that AmEx provides for this.

  3. Partner with another small business: It can feel daunting to do something like this alone, so finding another small business to partner with could be just the trick. This can be as simple as sharing each other's content on social media, or as elaborate as offering a one-time merchandise for your clients to get in on.

  4. Host a meet-and-greet: If you're like me and working from a home office that's not open to the public, this could be a great way to put in some face-time with prospective clients. Finding a local coffee shop or cafe (with their permission, of course) to camp out for the day presents curious potentials with a low-key environment to say hello and make that introduction. Bringing a little sign or banner to show who you are and just greeting people as they walk through the door can be an easy way to get the conversation started.

  5. Host a mixer: This could be a great time for you to thank your existing customers and invite them to bring new ones. If you have a physical space, this is a great way to reconnect with past clients and thank them for investing in you and your business. Having light refreshments will entice them to come and once they're in the door, you can take it from there.


Small Business Saturday has such high brand recognition, it's not something you want to snooze at! Taking advantage of the branding and contributing to the Shop Small conversation can be an important thing for your audience to see you participating in. Even doing something as small as these little tips can demonstrate to your audience that you're aware of the benefits of shopping local and you are intentional about supporting fellow business owners. //RMP

 

Resources

[Small Business Saturday Info] [Small Business Saturday Marketing Materials]

 

If you're wanting to partner to do something for Small Business Saturday or just brainstorm ideas, give me a shout!