The Financial Advisors’ & Agents’ Guide to Small Business Saturday

Since its origin in the 20th century, Black Friday has become almost as big as Thanksgiving itself. In recent years, it has been joined by other specialized shopping days to form a Post-Turkey Day Quadfecta: Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, and Giving Tuesday take place on the days immediately following Thanksgiving, and each are designed to give holiday shoppers special deals on online shopping, local businesses, or other random goods.

Small Business Saturday was first “celebrated” in 2010 after American Express coined the term to help give small businesses a leg up with holiday shoppers. In the decade since, millions of people have patronized local businesses on Small Business Saturday – over 104 million in 2018 alone.

As a financial advisor, you may think you have no reason to participate in Small Business Saturday, but that simply isn’t true. While you may not have products on which to offer discounts, it’s still a great opportunity to network with other independent businesses and get your practice’s name in front of more people.

Small Business Saturday for Service-Based Businesses

First thing’s first: You need a plan, and you need a goal. What are you seeking to achieve on Small Business Saturday? Are there other local businesses nearby (or at least in your city) whose purposes align with yours? Think realtors, attorneys, and other service-based vendors, particularly those who will help “fill in the gaps” with services you can’t or don’t provide. You can also partner with local retailers and restaurants – perhaps see if you can split the cost of a joint flyer or advertisement or offer to display promotional material at your office (and vice versa).

By making connections with other small businesses in your area, you are forming partnerships that may be beneficial down the road. Maybe your next event will need a caterer or bartender, or you want to have t-shirts made for your clients. Think about how you can leverage these strategic partnerships in the future, and don’t overlook what benefits you can offer them in return! These relationships should be mutually beneficial.

If you’re in a highly populated area or in an area with a lot of foot traffic, consider running an “open house” of sorts. Give people a chance to step into your office, warm up, and take a look around. Bonus points if you offer holiday snacks and drinks like hot chocolate, coffee, and baked goods.

Promote Your Event, Promote Your Business

If you decide to stay open on Small Business Saturday or partner with a local business, be sure to promote it on your social media. A simple Facebook (or Twitter, or Instagram) post will do. You can even send an email blast to let your clients know to stop by while they’re out and about. Make sure to send your message well in advance as client inboxes will be flooded with other holiday promo messages. You don’t want to get lost in the shuffle!

As people come into your office, be sure to have plenty of business cards and brochures on hand to distribute. Have at least one support staff member in office to help you greet visitors and answer questions. If you have any events coming up, like a holiday party or other client appreciation event, be sure to spread the word to your visitors.

Offer a Holiday Deal

Consider offering a complimentary review or book to those who stop by your office on Small Business Saturday. This may incentivize more prospects to stop by, especially those who may have already been looking for a financial advisor or agent to help them prepare for the holidays.

Position these review meetings as “holiday prep appointments” or “New Year planning sessions” to help new clients get their finances in order to kick off the new year. Put a seasonal spin on your services to make them more festive and entice clients and prospects to book them.

Spread Holiday Cheer

Remember, the point of Black Friday and all the other special shopping days is to kick off the holiday season in a more official (and expensive) way, so no matter what you do for Small Business Saturday, be sure to include some holiday cheer. Give your clients a warm and festive welcome, whatever that means to you.

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