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Small Business Saturday Preparedness Checklist

Small Business Saturday is an opportunity to grow your business but you need to prepare. To help you get ready we’ve put together a Small Business Saturday preparedness checklist.

Small Business Saturday Preparedness Checklist

Small Business Saturday can be a roaring success for your small business, but only if you plan ahead and get prepared for it. Here are some things that you should do.

  • Inventory - Stock up as early as possible so you have enough inventory to sell. Some supplies are still unreliable due to the pandemic, especially for restaurants, retailers, and construction companies. To handle these disruptions:
    • Focus on your local market and those items you can reliably provide
    • Use technology to manage inventory more closely
    • Negotiate with suppliers and research alternatives
    • Change products or services to adapt
    • Run promotions to drive sales of available inventory
    • Emphasize the personal service you can provide as a small business
    • Engage with your local community
  • Staff - The most important part of preparation is preparing your staff make sure to hold meetings so everyone is on the same page. 
    • Make sure you will have enough coverage. If you think you’ll be short-staffed, make a plan for hiring temporary and/or seasonal employees.
    • Consider customer service best practices and plan a day (or days) for training your employees.
    • Create individual or team incentives, such as day-of sales quotas with rewards for reaching goals.
    • Keep your employees happy so they offer great customer service to your customers. Do things to keep their energy and spirits up, such as buying lunch for everyone that works on Small Business Saturday and/or giving them more breaks than normal so they can recharge.
    • Plan for COVID safety. Your staff should protect themselves and customers with updated cleaning methods and proper PPEs. Check CDC guidelines for the latest procedures and enforce social distancing practices.
  • Store - Prepare your store.
    • Take care of any maintenance or cleaning that needs to be done.
    • Rearrange your store to accommodate more people and sell your most popular and/or most profitable items.
    • Make it easy for customers to buy from you by being prepared to accept all forms of payment.
    • Prepare a safe space and use proper signage.
      • Follow state guidelines.
      • Consider personal preference.
      • Add signage about social distancing and wearing masks.
    • Refreshments - Provide complimentary coffee, hot chocolate, or cookies to customers while shopping or waiting in line.
    • Loyalty Program - Advertise a loyalty program that offers a discount or free item after a certain amount of purchases or dollars spent.
    • Give-Aways -  Fill reusable bags with branded promotional items, such as sample products, to delight customers with free gifts and build brand awareness.
  • Website - Prepare your website by doing these things:
    • Update information that has changed (phone number, hours, etc.)
    • Fix broken links
    • Do a keyword analysis
  • Hours - It’s going to be a busy day and extending your hours by opening earlier and closing later could translate into more sales.
    • Determine extended hours
    • Get a permit for modified hours.
  • Marketing - Set up a meeting with your marketing person to discuss your unique selling proposition (USP) and finalize everything that needs to be done to effectively promote the event. Some items to discuss are:
    • Marketing Materials - You’re not the only business getting extra materials so get your printing done early to make sure you have it when you want it.
      • Posters and banners for the store
      • Flyers
      • Mailers
    • Updating the website
    • Sending out emails to customers
    • Social media promotion
      • Create posts
      • Schedule posts using a social media calendar
    • Text messages
    • Promotion(s)
    • Partnerships
    • Overall Small Business Saturday marketing strategy 
    • Budget
  • Plan B - Things don’t always go as planned so make sure that you have backup plans for things that could go wrong.
    • Make a list of all the things that could go wrong
    • Create plans for how to handle things that could go wrong
    • Assign a backup person for all critical functions
    • Have a plan for if you are can’t be there on Small Business Saturday
  • Register - Sign up for Small Business Saturday and add your business to the Shop Small interactive map.
    • Submit your business’s Employer Identification Number (EIN) through American Express’s merchant profile page to verify your business. 
    • Confirm your shop’s location on the map.
    • Use your EIN to log back in to edit your information, change the location of the shop, or make any other modifications.

If you want to know more about Small Business Saturday you can read our article How Small Business Saturday Helps Your Small Business or contact us.

Tags: Small Business Saturday, checklist

Geoff Strauss

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