5 Last-Minute Holiday Ideas from a Successful Small Business Owner

Small Business Saturday is November 30th, 2019!

For business owners like Dawn Noble, owner of La Provence in Rockport, Massachusetts, Small Business Saturday is the perfect day to connect with local customers at the start of the shopping season.

Each year, Dawn comes up with new ways to reach local shoppers and provide a memorable shopping experience that keeps customers coming back throughout the year.

Last year, we checked in with Dawn to see how she was preparing for Small Business Saturday.

Check it out!

Hopefully, you’ve already thought of ways to take advantage of Small Business Saturday.

As you finalize your holiday plans, consider these five ideas from Dawn Noble, a small business owner who knows how to make the holiday count!

1. Invite customers through email

Leading up to the holidays, Dawn sends a series of emails letting customers know about all the holiday activities happening in and around her business.

Her latest holiday email’s subject lineStress-free shopping in Rockport!” is a great example of how small businesses can differentiate themselves from their larger competitors during the busy holiday months.

2. Showcase your inventory on social media

As a retail store that specializes in French soaps, linens, glassware, and home decor, La Provence offers a unique shopping experience that’s worth a visit at any time of the year.

But you don’t have to make the drive to Rockport to experience everything La Provence has to offer. Dawn uses sites like Facebook and Instagram to give customers a look behind the scenes at La Provence. She shares photos of new holiday inventory, snaps pictures of customers, and even uses creative images to update customers on holiday hours and share information about upcoming events.

Tip: When posting on social media, try to get your posts to do as much work as possible for you. Check out these two examples:

Here, Dawn not only highlighted a new item, but also pointed out that it’s perfect for Thanksgiving dinner!
To build excitement with her current customers, and build fear-of-missing-out with potential new customers, Dawn posted this .gif showing her sending out this years’ shopping passes.

3. Get other business owners involved

Working with other local business owners, Dawn is able to make Small Business Saturday an event for her business and the local community.

Dawn posted this one when her Shop Small marketing items came in from American Express

One of the ways she partners with other businesses is by hosting a holiday contest, where customers are entered for the chance to win prizes just by shopping small.

Dawn is also involved in planning other holiday shopping days to encourage people to shop locally throughout the months of November and December.

Again, one post, multi-functions: encourage shopping small throughout the holidays, AND a holiday raffle for a local gift certificate.

4. Extend your hours

In addition to offering a more stress-free shopping experience, Dawn also works hard to make shopping small more convenient. One of the ways she does this is by extending the store’s hours during the holiday season.

By opening earlier and staying a little later, she is able to make it easy for customers to fit holiday shopping into their busy schedules. Her staff assists customers with finding the perfect gifts in-store, and Dawn also provides the option to shop online.

5. Give customers a reason to come back

Small Business Saturday, and other major shopping days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, are just the start of the holiday shopping season for a lot of consumers.

One of the ways that La Provence encourages customers to come back and shop with them again during the holidays is to provide a gift bag with additional incentives for repeat shoppers. A small token of your appreciation can inspire loyalty in customers and get them back for another visit before the year ends.

Looking for more holiday marketing advice?

Visit our Holiday Headquarters page for tips, advice, and resources to make this your best holiday season yet. 

Editor’s Note: Originally posted in 2014, this article was updated for relevance and accuracy on November 14, 2019.

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