Small Business Saturday: How To Get Involved

 In Be Calendar Relevant, Be Locally Relevant, Be The Leader, Build Awareness, Create Community, Drive Traffic, Drive Trial

Halloween has come and gone, and the holiday season is officially upon us! With that comes the busiest shopping day of the year: Black Friday. While more and more large businesses (think Target, Walmart, Macy’s, etc.) are opening earlier and earlier (and staying open later and later), for some small businesses, this approach might not be feasible (or worthwhile).

Some of you might already know about (and be a part of) Small Business Saturday, which takes place the Saturday after Thanksgiving. In the same way that Cyber Monday (the Monday after Thanksgiving) has gained popularity as an alternative to the craziness of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday has as well.

What is Small Business Saturday?

Small Business Saturday was first observed in 2010 and encourages holiday shoppers to patronize small, local businesses. American Express actually created Small Business Saturday that year, in an effort to support and promote their small business merchant accounts. American Express usually offers a statement credit towards their cardholders who shop at registered small businesses on Small Business Saturday.

Here are three great resources to help you get started:

As mentioned above, American Express usually offers holiday shoppers a credit towards their monthly statement for using their American Express card at small businesses. So, register your business online with American Express, and keep an eye out for what this special offer might be, so that you can communicate it to your customers!

The next step: PROMOTION!

Use social media, your website and your newsletter / eMails to customers to get the word out! Be sure to give customers and potential customers background on Small Business Saturday, why it’s important to your community, and information on specials you may be running in addition to any American Express promotions.

If you’re a member of your local Chamber of Commerce, check in with them to see how (or if) they’re participating in Small Business Saturday. If your business is along a main street (with lots of shops and cafes), see if your Chamber will donate balloons to decorate the doorway of each small business to help you all stand out. If the Chamber is not involved in (or aware of) Small Business Saturday, offer to help them get involved! Team up with your neighboring businesses to create something special in the neighborhood for the day.

Final Thoughts

A community that is united around Small Business Saturday stands a greater chance of success than one that is not. If you choose to participate, make sure your employees know of other small businesses in the area that are participating, as well as any promotions or specials associated with the day.

Are you involved in Small Business Saturday this year? Have you participated in the past? Why or why not?

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