As American Express® encourages the nation to Shop Small for the fifth year running, it offers some top tips for boosting sales in small businesses in the food and catering sector.

Top five tips for small businesses:

  1. Be confident in your product and take it to as many people as you can

    If your products are delicious, shout about it! Tempt shoppers into trying something new and adding to their usual order by laying out samples next to the till. As well as encouraging consumers to buy, this will open up a discourse for you to find out what they like and direct them to new ranges and products they may not have considered before.

  2. Where you can, find opportunities to cross-sell your products

    Introduce a deal on a slice of cake or pastry with a hot drink to encourage consumers to expand their order and try your food offering. Delis and food shops should try packaging related products together, such as boxing up seasonal fruit and vegetables alongside a recipe card for them to try at home.

  3. Make sure your business can run without you by having staff you know you can rely on

    Make sure staff are fully trained and up-to-speed on processes and dealing with suppliers, so that you are able to take time off when you need it. You’re only as strong as your team so it’s crucial that your business doesn’t just rely on one person.

  4. Tailor your offers and specials to suit the time of day

    Tap into consumers’ needs and mind-sets by altering your chalkboard to reflect breakfast, lunch and dinner specials to entice people inside. The same can be applied to the time of year so make sure you promote different products for the changing seasons, such as hot drinks during the winter and ice cream when the weather starts to warm up.

  5. For Small Business Saturday®, think about rewarding people for buying more than one item

    Make the most of the heightened awareness of local shops on Small Business Saturday by offering customers a one-off deal, such as three-for-two on multiple purchases. Small Business Saturday is a great opportunity for you to get punters through the door and drive awareness in the local area, but make sure you maintain the momentum for the rest of the year, particularly during the lead-up to Christmas.

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American Express Services Europe Limited has its registered office at Belgrave House, 76 Buckingham Palace Road, SW1W 9AX, United Kingdom. It is registered in England and Wales with Company Number 1833139 and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.