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.
This guide will explain what Small Business Saturday is, why it’s important, and how to prepare your business on the Internet and in person 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 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 that they have on local economies. Since then, the holiday 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.
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 find unique and local products while also supporting their local community and economy.
What Can You Do to Prepare?
1. Offer Special Discounts or Promotions
In the weeks leading up to Small Business Saturday, take some time to consider what special deals you could offer to encourage shoppers to visit your store.
For example, if you run a restaurant, you could consider offering a special menu for the holiday that includes sales on the locals’ favorite menu items. If you own a clothing store, you may consider a buy-one-get-one-free offer, a store-wide discount, or even a free giveaway item for the holiday.
Once you determine the details of your offer, you’ll be ready to market it to potential customers.
2. Set Up Your Small Business Website for Online Orders
This Small Business Saturday might look different than years past – with more people opting to shop online versus taking the risk to venture out in person. To ensure everyone can participate and buy from your business on the Internet, you can set up your small business website to accept online orders. If you’re looking to start taking orders online and shifting to an Internet business, the first step is determining which online ordering system to use. When choosing an online ordering system, you should consider a few important factors before making your decision, which you can learn about in this post. Once you determine which online ordering system to use, check out this post for tips to increase online sales.
3. Take Advantage of American Express’ 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. With their tools, you can design social media assets, flyers, email templates, and more to make the most of the holiday. You can customize any of the resources with your company name and the official Small Business Saturday branding.
4. Advertise Your Small Business Saturday Involvement on Social Media
Using social media to promote Small Business Saturday can be extremely effective, helping you reach potential customers who may not visit your store in the time leading up to the holiday. If you post on your social media channels a few times a week leading up to the holiday, you can keep your 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 like Instagram and Twitter, make sure to use hashtags like #SmallBusinessSaturday or #ShopSmall (the official hashtag of Small Business Saturday) to connect with the larger Small Business Saturday community.
5. Extend Your Hours
If you have employees available, think about extending your hours on Small Business Saturday. This will make it easier for your customers and give them more time to take advantage of your offers. If you do decide to extend your regular hours, make sure to get the word out so that existing and potential customers know. You can include this information in your social media posts, emails, or newspaper advertisements.
As a small business owner, you’ve put everything into running your 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.