Are you ready for Small Business Saturday 2017? This year, it falls on November 25th which is a short time away!

If you have not been preparing, or if you have not heard of Small Business Saturday before, it is time to get involved: according to gathered data from 2016, 112 million people went shopping on Small Business Saturday, and 81% told their family and friends of the holiday and special advertised promotions. In 2017, the projected spending from Black Friday to Cyber Monday is going to be around $793, up from $505 in 2016.

Want to learn more about how CUE can help you save time and run your business more efficiently. Visit CUE’s marketplace of curated software solutions to find software and services from accounting to email marketing.

Our team of experts spoke with local small businesses and created a list of tips below to help you compete with those big box stores. We’ve also curated a marketplace full of software and solutions specifically designed to help your business grow. Here are some tips on ways you can prepare your business for Small Business Saturday:

  1. Create Special Offers

Draw customers in with promotions and sales — they don’t have the be the blockbusters that large businesses create, but choose options that make sense for your business and spending. This is an opportunity to build customer loyalty for the rest of the year, so make the promotion something that reflects your company.

2. Market Your Business

Get the word out that you are participating in Small Business Saturday so customers can come and support you! Print out marketing materials like banners, flyers and other items to let people know ahead of time of the special promotions your business is going to offer. You can make customized prints and promo materials on sites like PsPrint, who also do last minute deliveries! Or you can use the free resources offered by American Express.

3. Advertise Yourself on Social Media

For people who already do follow you on social media, make sure to let them know by updating your Facebook page with extended businesses hours and putting out ads. You can use Twitter to tweet out to your followers with hashtags like #smallbizsaturday with creative photos of your inventory and sales to get them excited about what you will be offering.

For people who are subscribed to an email list for your business send them targeted email campaigns, such as the ones that can be created with Constant Contact.

4. Organize Your Inventory

Take inventory and stock up before Small Business Saturday, so that you will be able to accommodate the needs of your customers and won’t be left apologizing for not having a particular item someone may want.

People will visit your shop on Small Business Saturday, and it will likely be an increase from the usual foot traffic. You should ensure that your inventory is organized and easy to sort through for your customers and that all aisles are clear to walk through.

5. Ready Your Website

Chances are people will also check out your website to make purchases, so you need to make your website ready to handle more traffic from users. Services like Duda and Weebly help to make sure your website can handle more users and not slow down load times, which can drive away potential buyers.

Don’t forget to update your website with your new business hours for Small Business Saturday, and to add some promos and banners to make sure visitors to your site know!

6. Plan an Event to Attract Customers

Make your business stands out by offering something special to draw in customers, like free light refreshments or hand out free swag from Inkhead. This technique turns Small Business Saturday from an ordinary sale day into a community event.

7. Strategize with Other Small Businesses

Other small businesses will be participating in Small Business Saturday, so work together to cross-promote other local businesses. Maybe create a map of the shops in your neighborhood with brief descriptions and recommendations or create a coupon that other small businesses in your area will honor.

8. Prepare Your Customer Service

Along with everything else that is needed to make Small Business Saturday is a success, prepare your team to handle the influx of customers. Bring everyone up-to-date on protocol, review special promotions for the day, and run them through customer service situations. By giving your staff the information to succeed, they will be less stressed and provide better customer service.

CUE understands that running a small business takes time. Visit CUE’s marketplace of curated software solutions to find tools that will save you time when running your business. Everybody needs more time during the holiday season.