Small Business Saturday has come and gone.
What worked? What did you do? And what do you wish you would have done?
Now is the time to answer those questions. Yes, I know that for many of you it is also the holiday shopping season and you have just run the gauntlet of getting the decorations up, putting out the first sale flyers out and participating in Black Friday and Cyber Monday. And staring you in the face are the remaining 19 days until Christmas.
But it’s crucial to examined what worked and to keep doing it throughout the season (Actually, you want to keep doing it until Small Business Saturday 2018 when you can up your game even more).
2017 Small Business Saturday was bigger and better than ever. You can find lots of articles addressing the results. The National Retail Federation reported that 55 million shoppers visited small businesses that Saturday.
That was a look at the national scene. My colleagues, Tait and Kate, addressed why your success is so important at a more local level, your community, in “Small Towns and ‘Shop Local’ Do Matter.”
And we can take it down even further to your own store. A successful Small Business Saturday promotion meant money in the till. Just as important, though, it meant more awareness of your store, more foot traffic, and more coffee-time conversation about what you have going on.
Those last items are crucial for long-term sustainability and success.
So ask yourself and your customers, what worked? Then do more of it.
It is much more effective if you continue something that worked then to let it sit for several months, or until next year, and try to resume the activity. Customers will remember know what you did and respond if you continue it.
So reboot your Small Business Saturday successes. Make them a regular part of your effort.
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Glenn Muske is an independent expert on rural small business, working as GM Consulting – Your partner in achieving small business success. He provides consulting, and writes articles for county extension agents and newspapers across North Dakota. Previously, he was the Rural and Agribusiness Enterprise Development Specialist at the North Dakota State University Extension Service – Center for Community Vitality.