The fifth annual Small Business Saturday will be held on Nov. 29, sandwiched between Black Friday and its online equivalent, Cyber Monday. The goal of the event is to recognize the economic importance of small businesses by encouraging consumers to support local startups and invest in their communities – all while bagging original gifts at discounted prices just in time for the holiday season.
The initiative, spearheaded by American Express OPEN, has grown significantly since its launch in 2010. In 2011, the United States Senate officially recognized the holiday, and by the following year, Small Business Saturday was truly on the map, as an estimated $5.5 billion was spent at independent firms in 2012. This already impressive total rose to $5.7 billion in 2013, leaving many to wonder what new heights it will reach this year.
Clearly, there’s a major money-making opportunity here for small and medium-sized firms – but how can your business get in on the action of Small Business Saturday?
- Promote the event via social media. Use the hashtags #SmallBizSat and #ShopSmall in your posts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for maximum visibility.
- Plan a flash sale for the 29th that will act as additional motivation for consumers to frequent your establishment. If you’re in retail, a buy-one-get-one-free offer could fit the bill, whereas restaurateurs may want to consider promoting free appetizers or desserts. Advertise your sale through social media, email marketing, at your brick-and-mortar location(s) and via direct mail.
- Post a blog on your site that gives a brief overview of Small Business Saturday while at the same time giving insight into your particular establishment. Chart your company’s growth over the years, highlight any evolutionary moments such as a logo redesign or name change and make sure to underscore the fact that the existence of your enterprise wouldn’t be possible without your loyal customers.
- Work with this year’s Small Business Saturday Premier Partners to maximize your outreach. FedEx Office is providing free printing, Eventbrite can help you promote your involvement in the event and both Bing and Yelp are offering $100 in free advertising credits.
- Add your business to The Shop Small® Map so local residents know your company is participating in this year’s Small Business Saturday.
Use the tips outlined above to get customers through your doors this Small Business Saturday, and kick off the holiday shopping season on the right foot!