Giving Small Business a Big Boost Saturday

More than being the backbone to the U.S. economy, they are also your friends, neighbors and community members. And perhaps more than ever before, they need your help this year.

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, small businesses make up more than 99% of all businesses in the nation and employ more than 47% of the private workforce. While large chain retailers and online marketplaces get their due in the post-Thanksgiving holiday shopping rush, Small Business Saturday draws attention to the importance of small businesses and highlights their vital impact on local communities.

Black Friday tends to get the loudest fanfare during the holiday shopping season, with legend holding that the additional influx of consumer purchases allow businesses to move out of the red and into the black in their ledgers. However, Small Business Saturday, which falls on Nov. 28 this year, has been growing in reputation and recognition for the past decade for its dedication and devotion to the entrepreneurs who pump the lifeblood into our local communities.  

Small Business Saturday was first observed on Nov. 27, 2010. According to Wikipedia, the event was created by American Express in partnership with Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino, the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Boston-based nonprofit Roslindale Village Main Street. Held on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, Small Busines Saturday was meant to serve as a counterpart to Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

The inaugural event was held while the nation was battling back from a recession. On the American Express website, the company said that the mission of Small Business Saturday was to aid small businesses that served as the core of local neighborhoods. The following year, the shop small movement had gained momentum and the U.S. Senate passed a resolution in 2011 in support of Small Business Saturday.

According to the Farm Bureau Financial Services website, in 2012 American Express encouraged small-business owners to promote their businesses, and the credit card company offered small-business owners free, personalized ads to spread over the internet. That year, an estimated $5.5 billion was spent across the nation at independent businesses. By 2013, neighborhoods began celebrating the day and pledging support to local businesses and organizations. 

Participation in Small Business Saturday continues to grow year over year. Figures compiled by Farm Bureau Financial Services indicate that more than 95 million people shopped at small businesses on Small Business Saturday in 2015 and spending reached $16.2 billion. In 2016, Small Business Saturday reached record highs, with 72% of U.S. consumers aware of the day and an estimated 112 million shoppers.

It’s something to take into serious consideration because shopping with local, independent storeowners can pay extensive dividends for you as a conscientious community member. Making the decision to shop locally is reaffirming your dedication to, and investment in, your fellow residents and their commitment to enhancing quality of life in your own backyard. The results don’t simply serve as a benefit to an individual business owner. Rather, it creates a cyclical stream of reward throughout an entire community.

  • By frequenting independent entrepreneurs, you’re investing in yourself by keeping the community in which you live economically viable. Varying studies have shown that anywhere from 48% to 73% of each dollar spent locally remains in the local economy.
  • You can expect better service, more attention to detail and a more knowledgeable staff from a local business. This is their livelihood, and they are going to develop personal relationships with their valued clientele. You are going to matter.
  • Local stores give a community an individuality that can’t be found or replicated anywhere else. Shopping at local businesses not only supports that concept, but it also helps encourage it to bloom.
  • A small retail establishment is likely going to have fewer than 20 employees; however, that small package packs a powerful punch. The Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council said business with less than 20 workers made up 89 of the businesses in the nation. That’s a lot of jobs and opportunities being created by your support.

A diverse public marketplace spurs competition and increases consumer choices. Plus, sometimes the most well-received gifts are the unique, one-of-a-kind items that you’re far likelier to find at a small business.

Our extended SaveOn family helps support hundreds of small businesses that benefit your family and your community. With the struggles and sacrifices these storeowners have made this year in the face of a national health pandemic, your support for these local dreamers and doers is appreciated more than ever before. This year, the reach of your holiday purchases can extend far beyond the gift recipient.

Happy holidays and happy shopping from SaveOn.


9 Promotional Tactics to Maximize Local Business Traffic

Having a solid consumer product or service is only half the battle of owning a successful business. The other major piece of the puzzle companies try to perfect is getting customers through the door. A recent survey found more than half of Gen Z, millennials and Gen X are actively trying to shop at local establishments.

How do you get local patrons through your doors (or onto your e-commerce site)? Promotion.

Here are nine promotional tactics that can maximize your company’s local traffic.

Social Media Advertising

Social media advertising is a great way to introduce potential local customers to your brand, products and services at a relatively low cost. You can advertise on a number of sites or apps, including:

  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • YouTube
  • Snapchat
  • TikTok

These popular platforms vary in spending minimums and advertising options, but they all have one thing in common: control. You have absolute control over your campaigns. With social media advertising, you can adjust creative, spending audience and more throughout the campaign at no extra cost, as seen in traditional advertising.

Another benefit of advertising on social media is that your ads can be seen 24/7. With traditional media, you often pay a flat rate for an ad — and if people don’t see it, they don’t see it. Social media ads run all day and night, and they bill by impressions, clicks or conversions. This results-based billing method is enticing to companies that have a tight budget and need hard ROI.

A third pro to social media advertising is your ability to easily target and track audience engagement. Social media platforms let you target people by age, gender, location, job titles, interests and more, so you will be able to get as specific as you want, ensuring your money is going toward the people most likely to buy your offerings. Additionally, the analytics included in the platform will let you know your impressions, reach, clicks, audience demographics, etc.

Digital Advertising

Digital advertising is another way to meet your audience where they are. In fact, a report from Hootsuite and We Are Social discovered people are spending around six hours and 42 minutes on the internet every day. This presents a unique opportunity for businesses to target their local audiences through digital ads.

Through online advertising, your business can increase brand awareness, build a better understanding of your audiences and their behaviors, and create higher-performing content.

Like social media advertising, digital advertisements are billed based on interaction and run 24/7. You can also adjust creative more easily than traditional ads. This type of advertising has a few popular options for advertisers, including:

  • Geofencing – Targeting audiences by building a geographic boundary. When a mobile device enters the geofenced area, some form of ad will be triggered to populate their phone.
  • Retargeting – Ads that are sent to people who have recently visited your website to remind them of your brand, products or services.
  • Display – Push ads that appear based on targeting parameters.
  • Search – Pull ads that appear when someone searches keywords that you have paid for.

Traditional Advertising

Traditional advertising includes newspapers, magazines, billboards, radio and direct mail. Although we’ve talked about some of the downsides of traditional advertising, there are still many benefits of using traditional media.

For one, your target audience may prefer to see ads on traditional platforms. Older generations like Gen X, baby boomers and traditionalists tend to be more receptive to traditional ads than millennials and Gen Z.

Another upside to using traditional advertising is it gives your company a bit of legitimacy among people who are unfamiliar with your brand. Younger generations who grew up with the internet know to be skeptical of scams and fake news online. If they are unfamiliar with your brand, you may come off more legitimate in traditional media because they are thought to be more trustworthy.

Finally, by advertising out in the community, you will be sure to reach people locally and build word-of-mouth publicity.


Search engine optimization is another tactic that can be used to promote your business and pull people into your website. Simply put, SEO is the process of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search results, according to Moz. Ensuring your website has useful content, includes keywords that people are searching for (without overdoing it), have informative title tags and meta descriptions, and build qualified inbound links will help you rank higher in organic searches, which will drive people into your website.


Sponsoring community events has two major benefits. First, it can get your business’s name out in front of the right local audiences. Secondly, it generally supports good causes or organizations that help your community. Local sponsorships tend to not be overly expensive, and they also help your brand build credibility and good rapport. Sponsorships sometimes will even include the opportunity to have a booth or table at the event, which gives you the chance to meet and talk to potential customers. This is an awesome way to introduce your company in a fun and authentic way.

Host a Sale with a Community Link

I’m sure you’re thinking, “We have sales all the time, and it only brings in a few extra purchases.” What can make these sales more exciting to potential customers is connecting them to a local event like a big game, community event or gathering, or a holiday that your town loves. Bringing locality to a sale or having it connect with other things happening in the area makes your sale more relevant, adds an excitement element, brings attention to the sale and will likely attract more local customers to your business.

Offer Samples or Product Demos

Who doesn’t love free samples or trying before you buy? People love to get free stuff and know exactly what they’re buying. Giving away free samples and offering product demos give the customers a chance to test out your product or service and see that they can’t live without it.

Strategic Partnerships

Strategic partnerships are used all the time in marketing. Starbucks and Barnes and Nobel, Spotify and Uber, Nike and Apple, and Taco Bell and Doritos are famous examples of hugely successful strategic partnerships. Partnering with a local, reputable business does a few things. It expands your marketing efforts, doubles your audience reach, adds value for media coverage, creates excitement and builds brand credibility. Many local businesses form partnerships every day to increase local traffic to their businesses.

Content Marketing

Breaking through all the noise from the internet, advertisements and media is harder than ever for businesses. Content marketing is a proactive strategy to create interesting, shareable content in which your audience is interested. Your content should have a narrative and tell a captivating story. This helps you appear authentic and gets people genuinely energized about your products and services without feeling like you’re just trying to sell to them. Types of content marketing can include:

  • Blogs
  • Social media
  • E-books
  • Videos
  • Photo galleries
  • Websites
  • Webinars
  • Infographics
  • Podcasts
  • Paid ads

Our team has been working in the marketing realm for decades, not just promoting our own brand but helping connect businesses to local savers. We are always here to guide you, answer your questions and to help you increase sales. Learn more about how partnering with SaveOn will help you reach your business goals at


Keep Home Improvement Customers Engaged All Winter Long

As construction professionals, you don’t need us to explain to you how and why construction slows down in the winter, especially here in the Midwest. You know all about the roadblocks the cold weather presents, but we often hear from our home improvement partners that they need help promoting the services and projects that are cold-weather friendly. Here are some ways you can keep customers engaged on home construction all winter long.


Many people don’t know what home improvement projects are suited for winter. A good way to drum up new business during the winter months is to put that information out in front of consumers. A blog is a great place to share this kind of information because it can be used in multiple ways. Once you have a good blog, you can share it on social media, in email marketing and on your website. It not only will publicize your services, but it will also enhance your thought leadership. Thought leadership materials prove your company to be an expert in your field and will build trust among current and potential customers.

Additionally, you can create graphics or videos about winter construction projects to accompany your blog. These assets are great for achieving social media interaction and helping to enrich your thought leadership by giving readers alternative ways to retain the information.

Another way to educate people about winter home improvement projects is to highlight the work you’re doing on other people’s homes. By showing before-and-after pictures and talking about why the project makes sense to do in the winter verses other seasons, you will persuade other customers to consider doing similar projects.

Free Estimates/Evaluations

Many construction companies offer free estimates, evaluations or consultations for projects. If this is something you aren’t already doing, you can offer this during slow seasons to find potential customers or to help sell services to people who have shown past interest. If you are already offering free estimates, advertise it. People love free stuff. Seeing that a company is extending a complimentary estimate and is willing to talk more about pricing options is a good motivator for people who need projects done to give you a call.

Spring Sign Up

In the event that some projects can’t be completed in the winter, there is no reason you can’t get customers on the books for spring. You can offer free estimates for spring projects and even offer discounts for signing up for spring service now. This will help you not only secure and build up your customer base, but also will allow you to plan for the number of employees, equipment, permits and other things you need well in advance.


As the saying goes, “you have to spend money to make money.” Advertisements are extremely effective in bringing in new customers and showcasing certain service offerings. You can use digital ads like geofencing, retargeting or Google Ads to capture people who are in your area or are already looking for contracting companies. Another way to attract customers in the winter is through social media ads. Millions of people are on popular platforms like Facebook and Instagram. You can advertise products for as low as a dollar a day and reach a number of viable customers. Additionally, these platforms allow you to target people by age, gender, location and job, and you can adjust the budget or copy at any time. Finally, you can place traditional ads. Traditional advertising comes in the form of billboards, television, magazines, newspapers, etc. Traditional ads are typically more expensive than digital or social media ads, but they are another way to reach your audience and increase sales.


People love coupons. Research shows that coupons can encourage potential customers to give your company a chance, boost sales, increase spending per transaction and even get people to buy your services faster than they normally would have. In a previous blog, we talked about how coupon marketing can bolster a company’s business plan and help it reach sales goals, as well as discussed how to get started in coupon marketing.

At SaveOn, we connect contractors to thousands of local savers through our monthly coupon magazine and online presence. For decades, we’ve helped home improvement companies find the best ways to advertise their products, come up with coupons that will turn into sales and build a loyal customer base. To learn more about how we can help you bring in business in the upcoming winter months, visit

Coupon Tips Marketing

Finish 2020 Stronger Than You Started

This past year has been insane — COVID-19, wildfires, riots, killer bees, the list goes on. These unexpected events have turned the world as we knew it upside down. It’s hard to imagine any business could finish as strong as it anticipated at the start of the year, yet there are still things you can do to help your business finish the year stronger than you started. 

Set Goals and Build a Plan

A lot has changed over the course of the year. Your goals have most likely changed too, and that’s perfectly fine. To finish the year off strong, you should decide what you want to accomplish by the end of the year and set SMART goals. SMART goals will ensure your objectives are tangible and reasonable for the timeframe left. Share your business’s goals with your staff and post them around the office where everyone can see them. This helps keep your team stay focused, motivated and moving toward your collective objectives together. Once you have your goals, it’s time to make a plan to achieve them. 

Most businesses created a business plan for the year last winter. Unfortunately, this is not the same world or business climate you started in when building your plan. If you haven’t already, the best thing you can do for your business is to reevaluate your business plan and make adjustments based on your new goals.

Get Creative

We know that COVID-19 and the other events of 2020 have created major obstacles for businesses. To maintain and increase sales, you’re going to have to get creative. Don’t be afraid to adjust or try out new business models/strategies.

For instance, people aren’t out and about like they were pre-COVID-19. If possible, consider building and promoting an online store. According to Digital Commerce 360, online merchants gained an extra $107 billion this year as a result of the pandemic. Starting or expanding an online store will help you reach customers who can’t physically get out right now or make your brand available to people outside or your normal market area.

Another way companies have maintained or increased sales is by altering product/service offerings. For example, restaurants have started expanding delivery and curbside pickup options by adding the service or partnering with companies like DoorDash and Uber Eats. We have seen similar adjustments in other industries as well. Auto manufacturers started producing respirators, the spirits industry has been creating hand sanitizer, and furniture and office supply companies are making partitions for offices and restaurants. These offerings don’t have to be permanent, but they can be great for bringing in new business while providing necessary products and services. 

On the converse, it can be a strong business move to limit product and service offerings. Majority of locally owned restaurants have condensed their menus for COVID-19 to cut back on costs. Additionally, clothing stores and other retailers have also limited their variety of goods to focus on more popular items. 

Adjustments are going to vary from business to business. At the end of the day, you have to do what works best for your business. Take the time to plan the rest of the year so you can maximize your bottom line. 

Motivate Staff

As a business owner or manager, you know how stressful this year has been. Your employees are also feeling the pressure and probably are experiencing some form of burnout heading into the fourth quarter. Reenergizing your staff is a good way to ensure you finish the year strong. Reenergizing and motivating staff can be accomplished through a number of methods. 

First, start by acknowledging their stress and burnout. By having an open dialogue with your staff, you can come up with helpful ways to incorporate fun, stress-relieving activities into the workplace. Some easy de-stressors you can incorporate are daily walks with co-workers, meditation time, trivia or (virtual) happy hours. Allowing time to unwind and relax at work is key to keeping employees motivated and moving forward. 

Another way to motivate staff is through incentives. Giving bonuses, time off, gift cards or some other form of incentive can help encourage employees power through the end of the year. Although these gestures seem small, they will make your staff feel valued for their hard work and show you appreciate all they do, especially during this difficult year.

Keep Promoting your Business

When money gets tight, one of the first things businesses want to drop to save funds is their marketing and promotions. This is a bad strategy because effective and thoughtful advertising has been proven to increase sales despite recession and other economic barriers, according to Zimmer Communications. By meeting your customers or potential customers where they are at, you have the opportunity to bring in new customers, increase sales and speed up the purchasing process.  

At SaveOn, we’re devoted to helping businesses be as successful as possible by connecting them to new customers and promoting product and service offerings at the hyperlocal level. To learn more about how our team can help your business reach your goals, visit


Your Business Needs Coupon Marketing, Here’s Why

When someone talks about coupons, what do you think of? Some people immediately reference moms using Kohl’s Cash or recall an episode of “Extreme Couponing,” but studies show that coupon use is much bigger than those common examples. In fact, coupons can be integral in enhancing your current business model.

Why Offer Coupons?

Business owners and marketing professionals often ask us why they should start offering coupons. Whether your business is doing well or has room for growth, coupons can expand your current customer base and increase sales. 

Although coupon marketing can look like you’re giving away product for free, 77% of consumers actually spend $10 to $50 more than planned when using a coupon, according to Invesp. Upselling is a common practice in coupon marketing. Making conditions like “$10 off when you spend $50” or “buy-one-get-one half off” can persuade customers to purchase more expensive items than they normally would or buy a larger quantity than intended. These types of offers allow customers to get more expensive items cheaper and increase your profits. Coupon marketing is a great opportunity for you to not only upsell but also cross-sell. 

Cross-selling can occur in a number of ways, but two common methods are pushing products at the time of sale, like asking customers if they would like to purchase silverware to go with their new plate set, or making a coupon requirement that a customer must buy a product of a certain type to redeem the deal. For instance, in the same kitchen supply store example, you could have a coupon that offers 50% off silverware with the purchase of a new plate set. This is a great way to unload items you’ve had in stock for a while or introduce customers to new products. 

Another benefit of coupon marketing is increasing the speed of a sale. According to Kelton Global, 48% of consumers say they will make a purchase sooner if they have a coupon. Speeding up the conversion rate is a smart way to meet quarterly sales goals and unload seasonal products. 

Finally, by offering coupons on a trusted site, through direct mail or via email marketing, you can entice new customers to give your brand a try. Elect an offer that is powerful enough to get a customer to change his or her habits and chose you over your competitor. Then, customers will add you to their lists of places they frequent.

Who Uses Coupons?

So now that you know why you should offer coupons, you’re probably wondering if your target audience even uses coupon. The short answer is yes, they do. According to a study by PRRI, baby boomers (people 55 and older) are more likely to use coupons than any other age group, with 96% saying they use coupons, followed by Generation X with 91% and millennials with 87%. Additionally, a study from marketing firm Acosta found Gen Z is three times more likely than millennials to use mobile coupons. 

The bottom line is coupons are still highly valuable to your customer base regardless of age, gender or other demographics.

How to Start Offering Coupons

How and where you advertise coupon offerings depends on each individual business and what services/products it provides. You should start by considering whether paper or digital makes more sense for your company. 

Paper can include direct mail, magazine, receipt roll or newspaper. Paper coupon marketing will likely have printing, design and placement costs but is still a preferred method among older generations. Placing paper coupon ads in popular newspapers and magazines is a good way to get coupons in front of new customers. As younger generations are more digitally inclined, more companies are turning to digital coupon marketing.

Digital coupons also have an assortment of advertising opportunities, including email and text marketing, online publications, couponing apps and websites, geofencing and retargeting, and digital advertisements. Each method will still likely have a design and placement cost but will save you the cost of printing. Email and text offers are a special exception. If your company has a strong email or text list, you can actually avoid that placement cost. Another benefit of email and text promotion of coupons is that emails containing coupons offer a 48% increase in revenue per email, ReadyCloud found.

Whether you’re new to coupon marketing or just trying to navigate the changes, SaveOn has a team of experts who are ready to help you find the right method for your business. SaveOn helps savers live life for less by connecting them with relevant and trusted businesses. We are the top-of-mind provider of innovative marketing solutions, and we are passionate about the growth of our business partners. To learn more about how to get started in coupon marketing, visit