Small Business Saturday is not only a great way to come out on top of the Black Friday season—it’s also a way to build momentum in your community for local businesses well past the shopping holidays.
What is Small Business Saturday?
Small Business Saturday is a nationally recognized shopping day that encourages customers to shop and support their local businesses (and economy). American Express launched Small Business Saturday in 2010 as a way to increase awareness and sales during the busiest shopping season of the year. The holiday falls on the Saturday following Thanksgiving (this year, it’s on 11/24). All it takes is a little prep work to reap the benefits, so keep reading to find out how you can get more people to #shopsmall.
1. Plan a special promotion
What special rewards will you offer this holiday to get customers in your store? Customers will be primed for a good deal after Black Friday, so offering something special—be it a discount, a coupon for use at a later date, a free gift or additional reward points—is key.
You might consider offering different deals to different segments of your customer base. For instance, offer your VIP customers a sweeter deal as a thank you for their continued loyalty.
2. Spread the word
Get the word out early, (think 1 – 2 weeks before) so that your customers can get excited in advance. You can download special Small Business Saturday promotion materials here.
You can also remind customers to come back to your store by adding a save-the-date to their bag at the checkout. American Express has customizable save-the-dates that you can print and give to customers.
3. Get your store ready
Now’s the time to clear the clutter in your store, set up an attractive window display, and make sure everything’s looking its streamlined best. You’ll also want to make sure you have enough staff to cover the additional demand, so consider scheduling more employees to cover the Saturday shifts to keep your lines moving, and your customers’ questions answered.
4. Team up with other small businesses
Your community is key to getting the word out (and reaping the benefits) of Small Business Saturday. With your neighbors, you can create a map of participating small businesses for shopper to enjoy. Or, create a passport in which customers get stamped at each small business they visit on Small Business Saturday. Customers that visit a certain number of stores get a coupon that’s good at any of the participating stores in the month of December.
Or, partner with other small businesses and put a flyers like this in your neighborhood:
Have fun! With any luck, your Small Business Saturday will be busy but enjoyable for customers and staff alike.