By thinking smart and focusing on strengths, small businesses can compete and win against the big brands. As part of the celebration of ‘Small Business Saturday’ on 7 December 2013, American Express has produced a series of short videos that look at ways small businesses can gain a winning edge. Successful entrepreneur Sarah Willingham visits three businesses run by women – a florist, café and toyshop – to offer tips on how to increase business in the run up to Christmas and beyond.
Sarah talks to Clair Lenton of Wigwam Toys.
- Seek out your target market in your local community and make sure you have a brand presence there
- Work with your local small businesses to see what cross-promotions you can offer
- If you’re active on Facebook, increase your fan base by buying targeted likes
- Think about ways of promoting yourself, not just your business
- Get together with businesses near to you, and organize an event for Small Business Saturday
Merchandising and Branding
Florists Carrie Cox and Pauline Ford of Florian, talk to Sarah about how they could improve the look of their shop.
- Think hard about your window display – make sure that customers can actually see into the story
- Remember that merchandising starts at least 200 metres away
- Make sure your brand identity clearly reflects what you’re selling
- Make sure your lighting leads customers to where you want them to look
- Reward customers for visiting you on Small Business Saturday
Loyalty and service
Sarah talks to Alma Dema of the La Gigo Gi Cafe.
- Be confident in your product and take it to as many people as you can
- Where you can, find opportunities to cross-sell your products
- Make sure your business can run without you by empowering your staff
- Make sure your specials suit the time of day, and change your advertising to reflect this
- For Small Business Saturday think about rewarding people for buying more than one item
Small Business Saturday
Across the country, Small Business Saturday is an opportunity to celebrate small business innovators, wealth and value creators in our communities. Get in on it. If you can, team up with other businesses near you to organize an event that raises awareness of what you and others have to offer. Think about rewarding customers with a treat for their loyalty and support.
All of the businesses featured within the series will also be taking part in the American Express Shop Small campaign, which will run again on Small Business Saturday. Participating merchants will appear on an interactive map, allowing Cardmembers to identify and select small businesses nearby before heading out onto the high street on 7th December to take advantage of the £5 statement credit they will receive when they spend £10 or more in these businesses. Merchants can visit amexshopsmall.co.uk for more information and to download some useful marketing tools.
More more information on Small Business Saturday visit http:/