Are You Ready For Small Business Saturday?

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The busiest shopping period of the year is just around the corner.  Do you know what you’re doing for Small Business Saturday® (SBS) – November 29? 

The big retailers may have their Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but the “shop small, shop local” movement is ably represented on the Saturday that falls between the two. Launched in 2010, Small Business Saturday (this year, November 29) has quickly taken hold nationwide as another holiday shopping tradition.

SBS presents a huge opportunity to draw attention and new customers and significantly boost holiday sales in-store and online without costing you an arm and a leg in advertising fees. American Express launched the concept to highlight the positive economic impact and vitality that small businesses bring to communities nationwide. You don’t have to accept the Amex card to cash in on the interest generated each year by Amex, its partners and other participating merchants, however.

To get the best results, you do need to take an active approach. With planning, preparation and your own grassroots efforts to spread the word now, you can make this your most profitable holiday sales season yet.

Arrange something special to draw in the shoppers

You want to make the day meaningful and memorable for them-something they’re not likely to get elsewhere. Freebies or special discounts are reliable inducements, but why stop there? Visit the official website (SmallBusinessSaturday.com) and Facebook page (Facebook.com/SmallBusinessSaturday) for ideas. For example:

  • Have a unique theme or event. An independent bookseller is inviting local authors to read aloud their favorite adult or children’s books.
  • Earmark a portion of the day’s sales to a local cause and ensure customers are aware. A sporting goods store could donate to a youth athletic program, for example. That gives your designated recipient an incentive to help publicize your event, too!
Join forces with other participating area businesses

That will allow you to cross-promote and amplify your publicity as well as the draw for shoppers. Together you may be able to enlist the help of the area chamber of commerce, neighborhood associations and/or economic development groups. Create a group incentive that rewards shoppers for the number of businesses they visit/purchases they make.

Build awareness and ramp up excitement

Post signs inside and outside your place of business and through email, regular mail, your website, your social media presence, and even word of mouth. Free customizable signage and print materials, email and social media templates and other resources are available through the SBS website.

So what are you waiting for?  Carpe diem!  And here are some additional resources on what to do before, the day of, and thereafter, too, to help you on your way!

Small Business Saturday Becomes Holiday Tradition in Communities Across the Country in Only Five Years, Forbes.com

How to Make the Most of Small Business Saturday, AmericanExpress.com

7 Ways to Make the Most of Small Business Saturday, AdSolutions.yp.com

Make the Most of ‘Small Business Saturday’ With Social Media, Forbes.com

2013 Highlights & 2014 eStartup Guide for Cyber Monday & Small Business Saturday, FATbit.com 

5 Small Business Saturday Success Tips for Restaurants and Bars, FSRmagazine.com

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