Your Ultimate Small Business Saturday Guide

November 17, 2016


As a small business owner, you get your own holiday during this crazy busy holiday rush, right between Black Friday and Cyber Monday called Small Business Saturday. Small Business Saturday was created by banking institution American Express in 2010 in order to call attention to the local economy at a time when everyone’s eyes are aimed at larger business hosting blowout sales. As a casual reminder that the main street shops in our towns are instrumental in propping up small, local economies, the prime buying and selling time of the season should also work to incorporate these stores. Small Business Saturday resonated across the United States, and the original promotion for American Express became a nationwide movement, with communities rallying around the local businesses in their area. According to Forbes, in 2014, 88 million customers used Small Business Saturday and the promotions that stores were running as a reason to shop small in their communities.

How to Take Advantage of #SmallBusinessSaturday

With such a high earning potential on Small Business Saturday, it would be in any small brand’s interests to try and capitalize on this day as much as possible.

  1. Don’t forget to register for Small Business Saturday, and participate! Small Business Saturday is the brainchild of American Express, and the company offers some perks for participating if you register on their website. While you are more than welcome to join in regardless of your registration status, it helps take a little of the pressure off. Registering gives you access to printable signs, logos and icons for your website and social media pages, email and social post templates, and a highlight on American Express’s website. It’s a simple and FREE step that helps you elevate your participation.
  2. Incorporate Small Business Saturday in your holiday marketing. Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday fall less than a week between one another. This doesn’t mean that your business needs to create four different campaigns for each of these days! Figure out how all of these specials and promotions can flow within one another. Maybe Black Friday is an in-store event, Small Business Saturday is a partnership with another business, while Cyber Monday focuses on your online orders, with a tiered percentage off or complimentary offerings on each of these days. Even if you’re just increasing awareness about your brand, you’re putting yourself ahead.
  3. Customize your marketing materials to get in the spirit of the day. Some of the other holidays during the time go without saying, but Small Business Saturday is a growing movement. Start awareness early to coerce customers away from rushing to larger stores when you have the same offerings. Use branded social media profile images, cover photos, and email newsletters with the Small Business Saturday stamp. Use the hashtag #shopsmall when you’re posting to social media to connect with other small business owners and those looking to shop small.
  4. Create an enticing offer for Small Business Saturday. We get it – you can’t offer your products at cost equaling what a larger store may be able to. Many of your customers will too. What you can bring to the table is something that is unique to your business. Partnering with another small business for a BOGO, offering free gift wrapping, highlight individual customers with a free treat during purchase, or anything that you wouldn’t catch a larger retailer doing at this time.
  5. Develop relationships with your community rather than focus completely on making money. One of the best things that Small Business Saturday has done for both communities and businesses is introduce one to the other. A one-time customer will not benefit any small business, and your goal during this day should be to create a lasting impression for the people directly and oftentimes in contact with your brand. This may be more about offering extra customer support, speaking with shoppers that come in your door, entering those who purchase in giveaways, working with a local coffee shop to offer free coffee to shoppers, and more! A valuable relationship will always win out.
  6. Connect with other local businesses in your area. Chances are, you’re not the only business looking forward to participating in Small Business Saturday. You’re all seeking the same end goal of formulating relationships with the community, and it’s likely that with some creative thought, there are numerous ways you can benefit one another.  How can some businesses team up to create packages or cross-promotions?

Small Business Saturday has been growing since its debut in 2010, and it’s the perfect opportunity to celebrate being small! The holiday season can be a whirlwind, but you have the chance to build strong connections that can last into 2017, and beyond!