Small Business Saturday is a day dedicated to supporting small businesses across the country. It is celebrated every year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. This year, Small Business Saturday is on November 30th.
What is Small Business Saturday?
Small Business Saturday was founded by American Express in 2010 to help local shops get what they need most: customers. It’s a day to rally people nationwide to get out and shop small. Squished between the big-box bonanza of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday is a day entirely dedicated to the local indie retailer. As the “shop small” movement grows, more stores are signing up to participate in the event and more customers are visiting their favorite neighborhood places for holiday shopping.
There are lots of free perks to participating in Small Business Saturday, especially if you plan ahead. Head over to ShopSmall.com to get started. You can add your store to the map for shoppers to find you, apply for free advertising opportunities, and download free customized marketing materials for the big day. *Note: Some of the offers have a registration deadline of November 4th, so don’t delay!
Step 1 – Get on the Map
If you are a small merchant that accepts AmEx cards, make sure your business is included on the interactive Small Business Saturday map so shoppers have a way to find you. Shoppers can search by name, city, and category. American Express cardmembers get an exclusive offer redeemable only at the qualifying merchants.
Step 2 – Download Marketing Materials
You can download free personalized banner ads, signage, and some suggested social media & email templates. Start advertising your store’s participation early to get shoppers excited for the big day.
Step 3 – Plan your big day
Map out what special deals or activities you are going to offer on November 30th. The earlier you organize, the more time you have to promote the big day to your shoppers! You want to lure shoppers in with something special. Here are some ideas:
- Collaborate with your neighbors. Team up and have a small business Block Party! Offer punch cards or a “passport” that encourages shoppers to frequent all the participating stores, invite local musicians to perform on the sidewalk, and decorate the neighborhood with balloons and signs to invite the public. This is a great way to work together and attract new customers to all of the partipating stores.
- Super Sales. Coupons, markdowns and sale racks will always draw a crowd. You can even open a couple hours early and offer a special sale just for the early birds.
- Sweet Treats. The holidays are synonymous with treats. Team up with a local bakery to give away bite-sized treats to your shoppers.
- Thank you cards. People want to shop small because they love supporting their community. Dropping a sincere thank you note in their shopping bag is a nice personal touch.
Small Business Saturday Survival Guide – Download our free marketing kit.
Official Small Business Saturday website – Join the movement and get free marketing resources.
Small Business Saturday Facebook page – Stay up to date on the latest news and interact with other supporters.
OPEN Forum – Get educated and exchange advice with other small business owners.