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An SME preparation calendar for Small Business Saturday

POSTED: 21st October 2014
IN: Guides
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Last year, thousands of consumers headed to their local high streets to show their support for independent businesses on the UK’s first ever Small Business Saturday, and this year, the initiative hopes to have an even greater impact.

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In order to help small businesses get the most from this year’s event on the 6th December, Aldermore has put together a calendar of key dates and opportunities to consider in the run up to the day itself.

 

October: getting started

Bright ideas

For SMEs that have never been involved in Small Business Saturday before, a useful place to start is by getting in touch with local councils, chambers of commerce or other local business associations to find out their plans for the event. In many cases, these organisations will already have initiatives in place, and are likely to welcome new businesses looking to get involved. Last year, for example, Basingstoke council entered anyone spending over £5 with participating businesses into a town prize draw.

If nothing is happening in your area, there’s no time like the present to start encouraging these groups to get involved, from requesting to have parking fees waived on the day to setting up live events as a community. Also consider attending networking sessions to meet other small business leaders to team up with for the day, since collaboration is a great way to boost awareness for the initiative.

Key dates

Small Business Saturday Inspire

  • 20th - Free workshop with Training for Good Founder Kay Allen OBE from 2pm at Somerset House, London

 

November: making plans

Bright ideas

As campaign momentum builds, SMEs should look to put concrete plans together for how they will ensure Small Business Saturday is a success for their business during November. Partnering up with other local companies is a clever tactic to offer customers something special, such as shop owners inviting catering companies to provide visitors with edible treats or musicians to play in store.

Contests and promotions could also provide a simple way to boost footfall, and again teaming up with other firms to create larger, more varied prize packages could help to attract a larger audience.

Whatever the plan, make sure you let your local newspaper or radio station know, as they are often happy to publicise local events, as well as the Small Business Saturday team on social media.

Key dates

Small Business Saturday Inspire

  • 5th - Free workshop with Sir Peter Bonfield, Chair of the Small Business Charter, at University College London from 11am
  • 20th - Free workshop with Emma Jones, Founder of Enterprise Nation & Co-Founder of StartUp Britain, from 4pm at Somerset House, London

Small Business Saturday Bus Tour

    • 17th – Leeds
    • 18th - York
    • 19th - Edinburgh
    • 20th - Belfast
    • 21st - Manchester
    • 24th - Chesterfield
    • 25th - Nottingham
    • 26th - Norwich
    • 27th - Birmingham
    • 28th – Cardiff

 

December: the final push

Bright ideas

In the final week, small businesses need to focus on marketing efforts to make sure as many people as possible know about the event. The Small Business Saturday website offers a wealth of resources to use both on and offline to spread the word, from in-store display posters, to digital artwork to add to emails, websites and online profiles. Think of ways to get existing customers to invite others to the event, such as sharing contests on social media. Try to make sure you showcase the individual side of your business, including unique products, welcoming staff and community involvement.

Key Dates

Small Business Saturday Bus Tour

      • 1st – Bristol
      • 3rd - Lambeth, London
      • 4th - Camden, London

How will your business be celebrating Small Business Saturday on 6th December? Share your plans with Aldermore on Twitter.

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