It’s that’ time of year again, Small Business Saturday! This year, Small Business Saturday is November 25, 2017, (a day before my birthday!) “What’s the ‘big deal’ with Small Business Saturday” you ask? On Small business Saturday in 2016, 112 million shoppers showed their love for their favorite spots and spent a reported $15.4 Billion at small businesses like yours. Yeah, so you can “sleep” on Small Business Saturday if you want to you! (Just kidding)
Updated article originally written November 2016
We all love Small Businesses for various reasons
Small businesses help build the local economy. In fact, they’re the “back bone” of our economy. In 2010, 99.7 percent of U.S. employer firms were small businesses.
Small businesses make up:
99.7% of U.S. employer firms
98% of all firms exporting goods
55% of all jobs and 66% of all new jobs since the 1970s
54% of all sales in the U.S.
30-50% of all commercial space
43% of all high-tech employment
33% of the U.S.’s exports value
You typically experience much better service at smaller companies as opposed to its larger competitors
There’s always a great story behind every small business. Generations of families have built relationships with the owners of local businesses and patronize them exclusively because of this. From the dry-cleaning place on the corner to the local diner that’s been in existence for 75 years that makes the best peach cobbler, people feel connected with local establishments which is why we hate to hear about them going out of business.
To keep the doors of these great establishments, open, while paving the way for new businesses, we all need to support “Small Business Saturday”.
Small Business Saturday is a National shopping holiday held on the Saturday after Thanksgiving during one of the busiest shopping periods of the year.
Founded by American Express on Saturday November 27, 2010, the purpose of the event was to encourage consumers to support local small businesses. In 2011, it became an official day. The United States Senate unanimously passed a resolution of support for Small Business Saturday.
In 2015, based on consumer self-report data from the Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey commissioned by American Express and the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), 95 million people went out and shopped at small businesses.
Here’s a few tips on how you can participate in this year’s National consumer shopping event:
Create an event
Side walk sale: Lure customers in with a side walk sale. For those customers who have yet to shop in your store, eat in your café or taste your amazing chocolate filled warm donuts, a side walk sale will surely win them over! Create signs and post them outside of your store, so that customers can see that there’s a sale. Set up tables with items in front of the store. Don’t forget to add a sign to let people know to come inside and browse through the store!
Include Local Charities
One way to give back while creating a “buzz” for your business is to donate a portion of the proceeds from your Small Business Saturday sales towards a local charity. For example, you can find a charity or an organization geared towards children to donate funds.
Free gym classes
One way to drive traffic to your local gym is to offer free classes. Encourage patrons to bring a friend, learn about the gym’s fitness programs, trainers and more. If you’re a personal trainer, Small Business Saturday is a great way to find your next client by offering a free boot camp.
So, you’re an online boutique with no store front. How can you participate in Small Business Saturday? A Pop Up Shop. Small Business Saturday would be the perfect opportunity to partner with another local business owner to have your items sold in-store.
Do you own a cosmetics line? No store front, no problem! Collaborate with a local Salon, Boutique, or Retailer and set up a station with a chair, large mirror and table. Don’t forget to bring lighting in case buyers want to test the products on themselves, also some stores and salons have dim lights.
One way to get people out of the house is with food! Provide your shopper with free coffee and tasty treats such as pastries and cookies for guests while they shop.
Marketing and Promotion
If you have an online following, or want to build up your following, Small Business Saturday will raise brand awareness. Did you know that American Express Trademarked Small Business Saturday? The credit card giant also created a very popular hash tag #smallbusinesssaturday on Twitter. Use the hash tag to promote your business, events and promotions.
Remember to tell your online audience to tag you in their photos of them shopping in your store. Create signs displayed in-store encouraging customers to tag you in the photos they take in store. Why? Because it gives your business exposure to your customer's following. Free marketing with no additional fees!
Don’t forget to update your website for Small Business Saturday events, promotions and deals.
I think it’s “safe to say” Small Business Saturday is a great opportunity for you to connect with your community, gain new customers and drive business.