Nearly ten years ago, Small Business Saturday was launched by American Express, in the midst of a recession, as a way to encourage people to bring more holiday shopping to small businesses.
Last year, there were more than 7,500 Neighborhood Champions across the country rallying and supporting their local communities with events and activities on Small Business Saturday, and that number continues to grow, according to American Express, which reports that for every dollar spent at a small business in the U.S., approximately $.67 stays in the local community: “So when you Shop Small on Small Business Saturday—and all year long—it can help add up to a big impact.”
So what can salons, spas and barbershops do to make the most out of Small Business Saturday, knowing it’s an opportunity to further the connection with your community, both clientele and local businesses?
Amanda Kimball, who co-owns Twisted Scizzors salon in Cary, North Carolina, says she’s spent the month promoting a Small Business Scavenger Hunt. The grand prize is the opportunity for clients to win free hair cuts for a year.
“We partnered with five local businesses for the Scavenger Hunt,” Kimball shares. “Wake Zone Coffee, Adventures in Bloom, Johnny’s Pizza, My Friend Teresa Studios and Preston Flowers. To play, customers must visit all five businesses and take a selfie. Tag @twistedscizzorsCaryNC. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Instagram, and share the Shop Small post we created.”
Partnering with other businesses is a good opportunity to cross promote, says Aly Davis, a stylist and educator in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
“We work with several small businesses in town, including a juice bar and a med spa, for a giveaway with gifts and products from each business,” Davis says. “We then raffle it off. Our guests love it and it’s promotion for multiple Myrtle Beach businesses!”
Sadie Gray, a colorist in Santa Rosa, California, says she bundles merchandise from local shops and to celebrate Small Business Saturday.
“I put baskets together with all local vendors and sell them for a bundled price with each item discounted just a bit,” she says. “And, of course, everyone’s cards are in the basket.”
Ivan Zoot, beauty and barber coach and founder of Clipper Guy, says it’s important that you have broad appeal, something to offer for everyone.
“If you are a barbershop mostly serving guys, be sure to have an offer that appeals to the ladies,” Zoot says. “Invite everyone to support your business. Even if you do not wish to offer any deals, be open to offering FREE coffee, donuts, or any other reason just to pop in to visit, make a connection, and engage. Now they know you for when they need you down the road.”
Most importantly, Zoot stresses, design an element of your Small Business Saturday promotion to bounce back later in the holiday season or after the 1st of January.
“Find a way to make Small Business Saturday pay off long after the actual day,” he says. An idea to consider: Buy a bottle of hair gel on Small Business Saturday and get a coupon for a bottle of gel at 50% off in January.
“This is a day when consumers are encouraged to ‘shop small,’ to patronize local merchants, members of your community,” Zoot says. “It is a day to support your community, to keep the money local, and to preserve the local economy of your own community. Barbershops and hair salons are uniquely local. This is YOUR day to reach out and connect with YOUR community.”
Make the most of it!
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