Small Business Saturday was created to help small businesses across the country, from the local coffee shop to the independent pet store in your neighborhood. The goal is to drive shopping traffic to the doorstep of local businesses who are striving to make a difference in their community. These businesses have found great success with Small Business Saturday and are now sharing the road to their success.

Shoeprincess Designs specializes in comfortable wedding footwear for brides and wedding guests and has received rave reviews from discriminating brides across the country. The company began in 2000 shortly after Founder and Owner Michelle Lose’s two year old daughter was diagnosed with leukemia. She needed a way to cope with her daughter’s illness, so she began creating art and decorating sneakers. After feedback from family and friends, she began Shoeprincess Designs. Her daughter Stephanie is now 18 and was cured of her cancer. Michelle is forever grateful for her daughter’s health and helps fund children’s cancer research by donating a portion of every sale.

Lose came up with the idea of offering a 15% off coupon for Small Business Saturday a few years ago to help promote the day and her business. She found such great success with the coupon that she frequently offers it on the Shoeprincess Designs website. As Michelle Lose experienced, a great way to draw in customers on Small Business Saturday is through a coupon distribution or sale.

Nick Tzoumas is one of the general managers of the Mr. Submarine franchise operations. He runs the family business with his father and brother. Recently, Nick and his brother, Danny, worked on the Mr. Submarine 40th anniversary promotion. They wanted to get the word out on social media and turn their loyal local following into a strong online and social media presence. Danny laid down the foundation of their online presence with an updated website, Facebook page and Twitter account. They came up with the idea of launching a one-day only 1970s price promotion. This promotion was actually inspired by Small Business Saturday and the success that other small businesses have found with similar promotions and marketing tactics.

Nick and Danny teamed up with good friend, Kim Eberl, president and founder of Motion PR. Kim and her team helped Nick and his family leverage their promotion into measurable success online. The Motion PR press release offered the franchise the opportunity to be highlighted on several food blogs and in a feature article in the Chicago Eater. They received a huge response with their one-day coupon promotion in store, and Nick saw a large increase in their social media following. As Nick can attest, building a small business’s online presence can be an effective method to drive traffic for Small Business Saturday.

Paddy O’Fegan’s is a veteran-built, -owned and -operated Irish pub. The mission of Paddy O’Fegan’s is to promote, help and educate veterans with the help of the community. They also promote the young and vibrant Chicago music scene. Small Business Saturday was the inspiration for Paddy’s monthly music promotion. On one Saturday of every month, an artist is featured at Paddy’s for the night. These regular music performances have helped bring in great business for Paddy’s, as well as helped budding young artists find their feet in the music business. As Paddy’s has demonstrated, banding together with other small business owners to accomplish a common goal can really help drive business and sales, especially for Small Business Saturday.

This article was written by Michelle M. Guilbeau for Small Business Pulse
For more tips and inspiration for small business owners, visit Small Business Pulse Chicago.


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