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Last updated: November 21, 2017

8 Promotional Ideas for Small Business Saturday

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Small Business Saturday—when holiday shoppers are encouraged to support local, independently-owned businesses—is almost here (it falls on Nov. 25 this year), and we want you to make the most of it.


So we talked to five salon business experts and gathered their advice for how to make this Small Business Saturday your most successful one yet.  


1. Team up with Local Businesses
“Our biggest holiday incentives pair gift certificates for salon services with gift certificates at our favorite local steakhouse,” says Monica Nguyen, General Manager, SEVEN salon. “Both businesses offer the packages, and both businesses win. We also partner with skincare (Skin Spirit) and wellness (Soul Cycle) businesses. We do quick styles after class or during their VIP events.”


Monica also suggests email exchanges. “We’ll mention a fellow small business in an email newsletter and they do the same to gain access to each other’s lists,” she says.


The Millennium Systems International team recommends partnering with a photography studio for Christmas portraits. Families can take their Christmas pictures post-appointment while they’re looking their best and receive a discount on photo packages!


Remember: With any small business cross promotions, choosing like-branded businesses that offer a different service (but have a similar clientele) work best. You probably aren’t looking for new clients who demand discounts and freebies, so work with the high-end businesses in your area.


2. Spread the Word
To hype up Small Business Saturday, be sure to make your clients aware of your specials. Send a mass email to your clientele and follow up with posts on Instagram and Facebook.


Millennium suggests sending out a text or email campaign to invite your guests to stop by on Small Business Saturday. For each $5 spent on retail, enter them to win a grand prize basket. Fill the basket with your best-sellers, and make it festive!


Stephanie Moran, SVP of Sales at MINDBODY says to make sure your promotions feel exclusive. “Create an event in your MINDBODY software so people can pre-register for the event,” she says. “Prompt people to register early to guarantee a spot. The urgency call to action will entice people to sign up and attend.”



3. Give People a Reason to Come In
“Consider offering a special promotion specifically for Small Business Saturday,” shares Jim Bower, Founder of Rosy Salon Software. This could be:


  • a certain percentage off all products or a grouping of products
  • a membership for blowouts
  • a gift-with-purchase scenario.
  • a free add-on service for every gift card purchased.


“If your salon offers a rewards program, consider tacking on extra rewards points for those shopping in your salon on Small Business Saturday,” adds Jim.

“This particular weekend is incredibly competitive, so it’s important for salons to be able to compete with the bigger retailers by offering consumers attractive discounts,” says Andrew Dale, Founder and CEO of UNITE. “At UNITE, we support our salon partners by discounting (ahead of the holiday) our three best-selling products. We offer 25 percent off so that our salons can extend the offer to their customers on Small Business Saturday.” 


4. Give Back
“Offer a pay-it-forward program where clients can gift a haircut or designate a certain percentage of a sale to be given away as a service to someone in need,” says Jim. You can partner with a children’s home, women’s center or homeless shelter.


Also, consider giving a portion of proceeds on Small Business Saturday to a local charity or collect donations (coats, toys, cans, etc.) for local drives, says the Millennium team.


5. Say Thanks
“Post an image on Instagram and Facebook to tell your guests how much their business means to you as a small business owner,” says Jennie Wolff, VP Marketing and Education, Sola Salon Studios. “They will love to know that when they support your salon, they are supporting a dream!”


You can also send out a text or email on Small Business Saturday just to say thank you. Your gratitude will remind them how much they mean to you, says Jennie. 



6. Get Organized
“Take advantage of technology to capture as much information as you can about your clients on Small Business Saturday,” says Chad Hankinson, vice president of Stylie One. “You know how to make great personal connections, but ask yourself how you can make those connections stronger.” Chad suggests using salon software to jot down notes (likes, dislikes, preferences) and capture important information (anniversaries, birthdays, special events) that you can reference in the future. “This will allow you to achieve an emotional connection and make a client/friend for life.”


7. Retail Matters
“Hang a sign on your mirror to remind your guests to buy products from you during the holidays,” says Jennie. “They may not realize what a significant part of your business retail is!”


8. Cap Off the Day with a Cocktail
Have a VIP-only soiree after the salon is closed, suggests Monica. Find local small business to donate auction items or services and invite their (and your) VIPs, and offer treats and specialty food items from local bakeries, coffee shops or juice bars.