In 2010, American Express set out to create an annual shopping day designed to promote small, independently owned, businesses. Small Business Saturday takes place the Saturday following Black Friday and encourages communities to explore the products and goods small local businesses, like yours, have to offer.
Did you know, though, that there are things you can do now that will increase your sales on this important shopping day? These are a few small moves you can make that will have a big impact on your Small Business Saturday Sales.
Perhaps the most important consideration for Small Business Saturday is that you have plenty of goods to sell. For some small businesses this means you’re going to need more than normal inventory on hand.
A small business working capital line of credit allows you access to funds, in the form of a short-term loan, that can help you boost your inventory for high-demand times like the one-two punch of Black Friday and Small Business Saturday. Because it’s a line of credit rather than a loan you have access to these funds, whether you use them or not, but only pay interest once you borrow against that line of credit – and only on the actual credit extended.
A quality point-of-sale system, like Smart POS, can certainly make your life as a small business owner easier. There’s no denying that a system that tracks taxes, assesses inventory, and reduces the risks of operator errors is a good investment for your business, but what does that have to do with sales?
You can use Smart POS in ways you may not have imagined before – many of which can be extremely valuable on high-volume days like Small Business Saturday, like creating marketing messages on all your receipts or prompting cashiers to engage in suggestive selling (or even upselling).
The first can be used to encourage customers to come back during the holiday season for discounts if they bring in their receipts – encouraging a future ROI. The second offers instant gratification in the form of encouraging customers to spend more “in the moment.”
Other benefits, well worth considering, include:
- Inventory Management (including alerts that prompt you to re-order when inventory is running low)
- Detailed Reporting (helps you identify high demand items so you can stock more items of this type for future events)
- Greater Accuracy (no worries over cashiers ringing in the wrong prices)
- Faster Checkout Speeds (which leads to happier customers who are more likely to return)
Retail systems can make a huge difference in how smoothly your Small Business Saturday runs and can improve the customer experience for people who may be visiting your business for the first time. This leads to repeat sales and is one of the key reasons Small Business Saturday has become so critical for small businesses. Not simply as a day to rake in bigger sales, but to raise awareness within the community of your business, the products you offer, and the amazing difference in customer experience they receive when supporting small businesses rather than “big box” stores.
Merchant services allow you to accept credit cards and debit cards as payment. It’s one of the most critical factors
that poise your business for a successful Small Business Saturday experience. Many small businesses have traditionally been reluctant to accept credit and debit cards because of the high costs involved in processing fees and an already slim profit margin.
However, the costs of equipment for processing and the services themselves have gone down substantially in recent years making it an acceptable option for most small businesses. Besides, the last thing you want do is to turn people with large purchases away because you don’t accept credit cards on an important day like this. In fact, you want to show them that shopping with small businesses is as convenient, if not more convenient, than dealing with the larger retailers on the outskirts of town.
The good news for you is that many POS organizations offer merchant service payment processing that is “built in” to the system. All you need to do is turn them on. The ease of installing and using merchant services with most POS systems simplifies the entire process of accepting credit and debit cards – greatly reducing any learning curve that would ordinarily be required when introducing a new system for processing payments.
Finally, treat your workers well on this busy day. Consider bringing in pizzas or baked goods to perk them up throughout the day – it’s going to be a busy one if all goes well and they will have earned a little boost to help get them through it.