Food & Drink: Strategy

How to make the most out of Small Business Saturday 2015

By Nina Fernström on December 3, 20153 minutes read

On December 5th, it’s time for Small Business Saturday again – a day to celebrate all the small, independent entrepreneurs out there. And as a participant it’s a great way of increasing sales and do some clever marketing.

Small Business Saturday has quickly become UK’s biggest and most important small business initiative Last year, 16.5 million people went out to support their local small businesses on this particular Saturday. So let’s make the most out of SBS this year!

Prepare your marketing channels

Make sure your website is up to date with information, maps and current offers. Lay a foundation in social media by using the hashtag #smallbizsatuk and tag @smallbizsatuk. Spread the word when other local stores do the same and help them by retweeting and reposting. Many more guidelines can be found on

Put in some extra hours

Make a big deal about how you are open “from dusk ‘til dawn” on SBS, and engage some extra staff members. Maybe you should have a professional gift wrapper to add value and let the customers have some extra browsing time?

Create a great offer

Decide on one epic and specific offer that you’ll introduce on Small Business Saturday. Maybe you also have older products still in stock that you can sell at a cheaper price? On the contrary, you can even raise the price on some other things that might be great Christmas gifts.

Build an event around SBS

It’s much easier to attract customers – and friends and family – if you host an event. Maybe invite your artist friends to share a few tunes, have a DJ play for a few hours or create an open mic stand-up night for great embarrassment? Or, let some local deli showcase their stuff and ask a microbrewery to sponsor. Make sure people know about it by making tons of noise on Instagram and Facebook.

Accept all payment methods

This goes without saying, but accepting not only cash but also credit cards and contactless payments is crucial for increasing spending and speeding up the payment process when there’s a queue. Only in September 2015, £758.6 million was spent in the UK using a contactless card, and the number of cards is rapidly growing. With the new iZettle Card Reader Pro Contactless, you can accept both credit cards and contactless payments (including Apple Pay).

Engage the locals

Doing things together is more fun. Spread the word about SBS to other tenants and people in your building. Partner up with the other local businesses. Maybe you can help each other by bartering?

Build loyalty

Events like SBS are great because you’ll get many new customers through the door for the first time. Get them to sign up for your newsletters so that you can target them again. How? Have a prize that they can compete for.

Check-in for cookies

While building your social media presence, it’s not a bad idea to push this further during SBS. Encourage your customers to check-in at your place while using the official hashtags. Some stores even give discounts to customers who do this, but I wouldn’t recommend that. Instead, give them something smaller, like a really nice cookie to go with their coffee!

SBS started out in the US, and was founded by American Express, who is also a principal supporter of Small Business Saturday in the UK. As part of its commitment to supporting small businesses, American Express is also encouraging its Cardmembers to support their local high street heroes through initiatives such as its Shop Small promotion. This rewards American Express Cardmembers with a £5 statement credit every time they spend £10 or more with their Card at participating small businesses 5-20 December, giving them even more reasons to Shop Small. iZettle is now partnering with American Express in supporting small businesses to participate in Shop Small.

Nina fernstrom Nina Fernström Head of Partnership Management at iZettle

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