Founded by American Express in 2010 and officially cosponsored by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) since 2015, Small Business Saturday has become an important part of how many small businesses launch their busiest shopping season.
Taking place on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, Small Business Saturday is a way for consumers to have a big impact in their communities by supporting local small businesses. There are more than 30 million small businesses in the United States, and about half of all American workers are either employed by a small business or own a small business.
According to a National Federation of Independent Business survey, consumer spending at independent retailers and restaurants on Small Business Saturday last year reached a record high of $17.8 billion. So how do you ensure that your small business is getting its share of that spending?
The U.S. Small Business Administration provides ten tips to help small businesses prepare for the big day.
- Give yourself a digital makeover – Make sure the information on your website, social media accounts, and review sites is accurate and up to date. It’s especially important to let customers know where you’re located and how they can contact you.
- Show what sets you apart – Make sure customers know what makes your small business special, whether it be a unique product or service or simply an inviting space for shoppers.
- Get social on social media – Promote Small Business Saturday deals and share how you’re preparing your store. Encourage shoppers to snap a selfie and tag your business. This can increase engagement of your posts, potentially reaching new customers.
- Plan an event – Make Small Business Saturday special by hosting a celebration with food, drinks, and promotional items. Special discounts or free offerings for loyal customers can help bring people in on that day.
- Partnerships – Team up with other small businesses in your area for special offers. You can even shine light on a local charity.
- Local events – Find ways for your business to participate in other holiday events.
- Promote gift cards – Gift cards or gift certificates are popular this time of year. They can be a huge opportunity for your small business.
- Longer store hours – With Small Business Saturday likely being one of your busiest days of the year, extended hours can have a big impact on sales.
- Chat with staff – Small business success is a team effort so make sure your staff know how much you appreciate them and also how important it is to greet each shopper when they enter and exit your business.
- Track success – After Small Business Saturday is over, look at what worked and what didn’t to determine your strategy for next year.