Monday, November 21, 2016

8 Ways Your Business Can Prepare For Small Business Saturday

This weekend is Small Business Saturday, a day originally started by American Express. It's a time for consumers and businesses to come together and celebrate the local places that make their community unique.

Your BBB wants to encourage any participating businesses to do all they can to make the most of this Small Business Saturday! If you'd like to step-up your game for this weekend, but don't know where to start, try these tips:

1. Plan ahead. An easy way to get the word out about Small Business Saturday is through social media. You can have a daily post encouraging consumers to check out your business and support others. The Small Business Saturday website also has free marketing materials and images you can use to promote yourself.

2. Spread the word offline. Help create excitement with posters and small signs outside of your business. You can even print off small postcards with more information about what your business does and your hours of operation.

3. Host a "Shop Small" Celebration. There are plenty of things you can do to rally your neighborhood around Small Business Saturday. You can host a casual breakfast when you open with donuts, bagels, and coffee for guests, or even collaborate with your neighboring businesses to think of a cool event or raffle for your consumers.

4. Don't forget the hashtag! Make sure to utilize the hashtags #ShopSmall and #SmallBiz so that your tweets show up on the main Small Business Saturday Twitter feed. You can also encourage consumers to use the hashtag #shopsmall on Instagram to show their support for your business.

5. Consider expanding your day. If you normally are open from 10:00 am - 6:00 pm, consider opening from 8:00 am - 8:00 pm. The longer hours will give more consumers an opportunity to visit your store. Use your social media to inform your followers about your special, extended hours!

6. Give back to the community. Small Business Saturday is a great opportunity to give back to the community that supports you. For example, you could donate a portion of your sales to a local charity and display it for your customers to see or collect canned goods from your shoppers to donate to a food pantry.

7. Create a memorable experience. Think of what makes your business special, and amplify that. If your business sells food, then you could have a small tasting. Give your consumers a reason to remember you and visit again in the future.

8. Don't forget to say Thank-You! A follow up email to your customer or a small "Thank-You" note dropped in their bag will go a long way. Your customers will remember that you made them feel appreciated.

For more information, follow your BBB on Facebook, Twitter, and at

Source: Vertical Response

This post was written by your BBB Serving Central Ohio's Content & Communications Coordinator, Jordan Abbruzzese.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Are You Making These 5 Marketing Mistakes?

Your success, especially as a small business, is directly linked with your marketing strategy. The idea of marketing your business can seem overwhelming and expensive, but there are many basic, cheap and free things you can do to get yourself out there! If you do invest time and money into marketing, it can help you in the long-run.

When working on your marketing plan, be sure you aren’t making any of these major mistakes:

  1. Choosing not to do any marketing. You may be doing great work, but how will anyone know if you don’t show and tell? Marketing is more than just advertising. It helps you better connect with your key audience and find trends in your industry. Your marketing can be simple, like utilizing free social media channels. Many social media platforms even let you advertise for a cheap price.
  2. Not setting goals. How can you properly measure your success without any set goals? Before creating blog posts or running ads, think about what you want your objectives to be. Do you want to drive more traffic to your website, or expand your reach on social media? In other words, don’t do things just to do them. Have a plan.
  3. Not looking at your competitors. What are other businesses in your industry doing differently? Check out how they are reaching their customers and engaging with them. Not only will you get ideas on how to improve, but you can understand what does and does not work in your industry.
  4. Not marketing to the right people. It’s essential to have a comprehensive understanding of your audience. Trying to market to anyone and everyone may end up with more failures than successes. Consumers today expect you to know their individual wants and needs. Research how to appeal to different generations so that you can tailor your messaging to your different customers.
  5. Not tracking and measuring your results. In order to learn from your mistakes (and successes), you have to track what you’re doing. Many social media platforms have easy ways to view your post engagement. It’s also important to look at your website analytics to see which pages are attracting attention. HubSpot and Hootsuite are two great resources for businesses looking to improve their marketing!

Finally, remember that you do not have to be a marketing expert. There are many free resources and tools to help you better market your business. Whether you are in charge of marketing yourself or use an outside agency, learning more about marketing trends can only help your business grow!

For more information, follow your BBB on Facebook, Twitter, and at

This post was written by your BBB Serving Central Ohio's Content & Communications Coordinator, Jordan Abbruzzese.