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  • AMi Direct

AMiable Solution #350: Celebrate Local Businesses, Including Yours

You don’t have to be a national chain or a big store to get in on the action that the Thanksgiving weekend brings.

This Saturday, while bellies are still full of turkey and credit cards are burning holes in back pockets and purses, if you’re a local, independently-owned business, take advantage of the extra publicity and activity that other businesses like yours receive by participating in Small Business Saturday.

If you think you can’t participate in Small Business Saturday because your customers are businesses, not residents, then think again.

You may not have a store or service that typically gets Thanksgiving weekend shopping. And your primary customers may be business people, not “regular” people. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t—or shouldn’t—reach out to customers and prospects or offer them Small Business Saturday specials.

You can still use this opportunity to introduce yourself to prospects and to remind your customers that you are here, customer-driven, and want to do what’s best for them.

What can you do, this late in the game? Plenty, actually:

· Offer rewards for Refer-A-Friend, Holiday Edition. Email your current customers (those who have made purchases, donations, or renewed their memberships in the last six to twelve months) and offer them a special reward (exclusive discount or item) in exchange for solid leads. Ask for the prospect’s complete contact information—name, title, company, mailing address, and phone number—and set a deadline for submissions. Then, be sure to pitch your prospects and thank your referring customers promptly.

· Special discounts for first-time customers. Bargain shoppers don’t wait until Black Friday to hunt for deals. They’re looking now. Create your first-time customer promotion and throw it into the web world for all to see. Email folks who have contacted you (and given permission to be contacted via email) but have never followed through. Splash your promotion across your home page. Fill your social media feeds with announcements and details. Everyone loves a deal, not just holiday shoppers.

· Specially-priced packages. Not all holiday shopping happens for others. Identify your most-requested or most beneficial products or services and create a special bundle for your customers and clients. Make them an offer they simply can’t refuse—and will greatly benefit from.

· Be a good neighbor. If you’re a small business, there’s a good chance that you operate near other small businesses. If you’re able and it makes sense, partner up with some of your small business neighbors to help spread the love. Put their signs in your window. Create a combined offer. Offer your services to them at a special neighborly price.

Whether you are a small business or you support them, take time this week to celebrate those living the American dream. Happy Thanksgiving.

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