The Guide to Small Business Saturday

small business saturday

Situated right between Black Friday and Cyber Monday is a relatively new but increasingly popular holiday – Small Business Saturday. While Black Friday is often connected with big-box retailers and Cyber Monday is associated with major e-commerce players, Small Business Saturday celebrates local, brick and mortar small businesses and the value that they bring to America.

Over the past nine years, Small Business Saturday has continued to draw more and more holiday shoppers to main streets across the country with great deals on unique products and fun events that celebrate the local community.

This guide will explain what Small Business Saturday is, why it’s important, and how to prepare your business to make the holiday a success, whether you’re a small business owner who is participating in the holiday for the first time or a seasoned Small Business Saturday veteran.

What Is Small Business Saturday?

Small Business Saturday was officially created and trademarked by American Express in 2010 as an annual holiday to celebrate small businesses and the positive impact they have on local economies.

Since then, it has gained momentum nationwide and has been adopted and recognized by local businesses and consumers, the Small Business Administration, and even the U.S. federal government.

Over the years, Small Business Saturday has made a huge impact. In fact, according to American Express, the total spending on Small Business Saturday has now reached $103 billion over the nine days that it has been celebrated since 2010.

Small Business Saturday always falls on the same Saturday after Thanksgiving, right between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This year, Small Business Saturday will be on November 30 and in 2020, the holiday will take place on November 28

Placing the holiday on the weekend that kicks off the holiday shopping season helps shoppers remember local businesses as they begin buying gifts. 

Why is Small Business Saturday Beneficial?

Small Business Saturday raises awareness of how small businesses help make local communities strong. If small businesses register for the holiday and promote their involvement, they can encourage existing and new customers to purchase their products or services.

It’s clear that the holiday is a win for small businesses, but it can benefit consumers in many ways as well. By participating in Small Business Saturday, shoppers can not only find unique and local products, but they can also know that they’re supporting their local community and economy.

How to Prepare Your Business for Small Business Saturday

There are a number of ways that you can prepare for a successful Small Business Saturday.  Below are a few tips that you could consider for your business.

Plan What Deals You’ll Offer Ahead of Time

In the weeks leading up to Small Business Saturday, you should take time to consider what special deals you would like to offer, if any, to encourage shoppers to visit your store. For example, if you run a local restaurant, you could consider offering a special menu for the holiday that includes sales on favorite menu items. If you own a clothing store, you may consider a buy-on-get-one-free offer, a store-wide discount, or even a low-cost free giveaway item for the holiday.

Once you determine the details of your offer, you’ll be ready to market it to potential customers.

Take Advantage of American Express’s Free Marketing Resources

American Express offers many free resources and marketing materials that can help business owners market their business leading up to Small Business Saturday so they can make the most of the holiday. On their Small Business Brand Studio, you can design social media assets, flyers, email templates, and more. You can customize any of the resources with your company name and the official Small Business Saturday branding.

Keep Customers in the Loop with Flyers and Posters

To let your regular customers know that you’re celebrating Small Business Saturday in advance, you can create flyers and posters with the information they need to know. You can pin your posters on your storefront window to spread the word to shoppers as well as people passing by. You can create flyers using American Express’s Small Business Saturday Brand Studio here or design and customize your own using a free program like Canva.

Advertise Your Small Business Saturday Involvement on Social Media

Using social media to promote Small Business Saturday can be extremely effective as well and help you reach new and potential customers who may not come by your store leading up to the holiday. If you post on your social channels a few times a week leading up to the holiday, you can keep your social followers up to date on special deals and give them information on how they can participate.

You can reach other customers in your town who may not follow you by liking or commenting on Small Business Saturday posts from other local businesses. When posting on social media sites, make sure to use hashtags like #SmallBusinessSaturday or #ShopSmall to connect with the larger Small Business Saturday community.

If you don’t already have social media graphics, you can create some with American Express’s easy-to-use branded templates.

Get Involved in Small Business Saturday Events

In many towns across the nation, there are special events that focus on Small Business Saturday. Small Business Saturday events help draw attention to the holiday and get shoppers excited about participating.

To see if other small businesses in your town have events planned, you can check with your local business alliance or Chamber of Commerce. To do this, simply visit their website and check their upcoming events. You can also ask other small business owners in your community if they’re planning to participate in any events for the holiday.

If your town doesn’t already have an event planned, you can take matters into your own hands and create your own.  To get started, you can consider talking with other small business owners about what your local businesses can do to raise awareness of Small Business Saturday across your community. You may decide to team together and come up with a fun event that incorporates all of the specials and deals that you’re offering. For example, you may decide to create a Small Business Saturday map that creates a route for shoppers to follow and has stops at each of the local businesses offering a deal that day. The map could begin at a local coffee shop offering free pastries and end at a movie theater promoting half-price tickets. Events are a great way to encourage participation while building community.

As a small business owner, you’ve put everything into running your small business. Participating in Small Business Saturday is a great way to celebrate all of your hard work, raise brand awareness, and get involved in your community.

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