The holidays are always a major boost for businesses—this past holiday season spending exceeded $850 billion, up 5.1% from the previous year—and is always a healthy percentage of consumer spending for the whole year.
This holiday season, think about where you’re spending your money. Although ecommerce is becoming more and more of a driving force for economic growth—due to convenience of shipping and ecommerce advertising efforts—it’s worthwhile to consider how you can support small businesses during this all-important revenue period.
Word of Mouth, If you have a good experience at a small business, talk about it! Word-of-mouth marketing drives $6 trillion in annual consumer spending and accounts for 13% of all consumer sales. The more people you can tell about a small business, the more you are helping that business.
Create a Guide to Local Small Businesses, This can be published online or as a handout. Share a list of the incredible small businesses in your area and what makes them so awesome. The guide can also act as a coupon for small businesses, if you work with them to provide incentive for customers who find their store through the guide.
Open an Information Station for Local Small Businesses, If there are some centrally located small businesses around you, it’s a good idea to set up an information center to welcome tourists or locals and help them get the scoop on all the small businesses in your area. You can offer guides to local small businesses, coupons, and more. Set it up somewhere anyone passing through would see and on high traffic days like weekends, Black Friday, and Small Business Saturday. This will encourage shoppers to shop at small businesses by providing them with immediate incentives they wouldn’t otherwise know about.
Partner With Another Small Business, If you’re a fellow business owner, find a way to cross-promote your business with another small business to generate revenue for the both of you. You can do this by providing discounts for small business patronage. Say you own a bakery and want to partner with the wine store down the street, you could offer discount bread orders for people who come to your bakery with a receipt from the wine store, and vice versa. Advertise this feature in both your store fronts and voila—increased foot traffic and interest in your two businesses. And hopefully, of course, more revenue.