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The Small Business Guide to Capitalizing on Thanksgiving

News & Blog

Thanksgiving kicks off the critical holiday shopping season, making it an opportune time for small businesses to connect with customers and drive revenue leading into the new year. While big box retailers roll out their Black Friday blowouts, small businesses can play up their niche offerings and community ties to make the most of Thanksgiving.  

With some creative marketing, holiday cheer, and seasonal specials, entrepreneurs can give their business a Turkey Day boost. Here are some tips for small businesses to capitalize on the Thanksgiving season:

Host a Festive Event 

Hosting a special Thanksgiving-themed event is a great way to bring in holiday crowds. Depending on your type of business, event ideas include:

– A Thanksgiving lunch or dinner with special holiday menus and decor. Local restaurants can offer Thanksgiving feasts to go. 

– DIY workshops for creating seasonal crafts like wreaths, centerpieces, or turkey candle holders. Craft shops, florists, and home décor businesses can host these.

– Thanksgiving cooking or baking classes focused on traditional recipes like stuffing, pies, and side dishes. Cooking schools, bakeries, and kitchen supply shops are ideal venues.

– Wine, beer, or cocktail tastings featuring fall flavors like apple, pumpkin, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Liquor stores, bars, and wine shops can hold these for customers. 

– A Thanksgiving market or pop-up with products from local artisans, farmers, and vendors. Community events centers or coworking spaces make great host locations.

No matter what you sell, tying it to a Thanksgiving event taps into the holiday spirit while bringing traffic through your doors. Promote the event on social media, email lists, and local community calendars. 

Offer Seasonal Products 

Introduce holiday-themed products and bundles that appeal to Thanksgiving hosts and shoppers. Ideas include:

– Holiday gift baskets packed with turkey seasoning, baked goods, candles, ciders, and other seasonal treats from food retailers. 

– Custom pies, specialty cakes, and festive cookies for Thanksgiving dessert from local bakeries.

– Specialty cocktails featuring cranberry, apple cider, maple, and fall flavors from bars and distilleries.

– Cozy sweaters, scarves, boots, and more autumnal fashion from clothing boutiques.

– Decor like wreaths, table centerpieces, place settings, and scented candles from home goods stores. 

– Thanksgiving turkey, sides, or entire holiday meals prepared to order from restaurants and caterers. 

Bundle offerings into Thanksgiving gift sets, care packages, and hostess gifts. Promote early online and in-store so customers can order ahead of the holiday crunch.  

Spread Holiday Cheer on Social Media  

Leverage your business’ social media platforms to showcase festive promotions, deals, decor ideas, recipes, and more that play into the Thanksgiving spirit. 

Share photos of holiday merchandise, décor in your business, seasonal food, and examples of Thanksgiving tables styled with your products. 

Run Thanksgiving giveaways and contests offering your goods as prizes. Ask fans to share family traditions, favorite recipes, and what they’re thankful for. 

Promote holiday specials or pre-order deadlines for Thanksgiving catering, gifts, and supplies to incentivize sales. 

Use holiday hashtags like #thankful, #gratitude, and #thanksgiving2021 across your posts. Add community event hashtags as well to expand your reach.

Provide Shopping Incentives  

Encourage early holiday shopping and stocking up among your customers by promoting discounts and perks like:

– Free gift wrapping for purchases over a certain amount.

– Extra loyalty rewards points for Thanksgiving and pre-Black Friday purchases.  

– Pre-Black Friday sales events the weekend before Thanksgiving. 

– Free shipping for online orders over $X dollars. 

– Spend $X get $Y off or Buy One Get One half off Thanksgiving deals.

– Gift cards with extra value as holiday gifts, or bonus cards for holiday shoppers.

Giving shoppers an incentive to stock up ahead of Black Friday helps your small business get ahead during the busy Thanksgiving sales period.

Support Small Business Saturday  

The big Thanksgiving weekend doesn’t end with Black Friday. Small Business Saturday follows on November 27 this year, providing a chance to keep holiday momentum going. 

Promote Small Business Saturday heavily across your marketing channels with messaging around supporting small/local businesses during the holidays. 

Offer an exclusive Small Business Saturday deal or gift with purchase to draw in shoppers. Extend holiday discounts and incentives through the weekend.

Partner with neighboring small businesses on a Small Business Saturday passport, shop local holiday market, or community promotion to cross-promote. 

By banding together, small businesses can stake their claim among the holiday shopping frenzy.

With some festive marketing spirit and strategic holiday promotions, small businesses can feast on the Thanksgiving sales opportunities right in their neighborhood. Follow this playbook to cook up seasonal success and a side of holiday revenue this Thanksgiving.

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