The biggest shopping season of the year has begun. Black Friday sales have already started, days before Thanksgiving. Advertisements for Cyber Monday deals and Black Friday doorbusters are in full swing. The majority of these sales come from large retail chains and mass merchandisers. But let’s not forget about the local businesses. Small Business Saturday is right in the middle of the two largest shopping days of the year. This year, it falls on Saturday, November 26.
What is Small Business Saturday?
Small Business Saturday is a day dedicated to supporting and celebrating local businesses and all they do for the community. American Express started the tradition in 2010 and it has grown enormously since then. Last year, more than 95 million consumers shopped at small businesses on Small Business Saturday, according to a survey from National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) and American Express. This day has been recognized by the U.S. Senate and elected officials in all 50 states. Local communities are also getting involved by helping promote and support local small businesses as neighborhood champions and rallying their community.
How to Get Involved as a Small Business
If you’re a small business owner, you’re automatically part of the Shop Small Movement. The Shop Small Movement brings together communities to support small businesses locally and gives exposure throughout the year. Small Business Saturday is a day dedicated to this movement. Here are a few ways you can get involved to make the most out of #SmallBusinessSaturday.
1. Delight Your Customers
It’s the holiday shopping season and a very important day for small businesses. So, why not give your customers a discount at your store starting on Small Business Saturday throughout the holiday season. Another way to delight your customers is to give away something for free, whether it’s a Shop Small promotional item or a branded tote bag.
2. Use Promotional Materials in Store
American Express has created customized promotional marketing materials for small business owners to use at their stores, website and social media. Using these pieces together makes for an effective campaign. Many businesses have “Shop Small” signs in their store windows and throughout the store and even doormats at the front of the store.
3. Promote Your Business Through Social Media
This is your chance to tell your customers why it’s important to shop small. Combining your in-store strategy with a social media strategy reminds customers why you’re participating. Tell them why in your social media posts using the hashtag #ShopSmall. Use the digital assets provided to you through the Shop Small website.
4. Host an In-store Event
With all of the buzz you’ve created around #ShopSmall, an event could be the perfect piece to tie in a great customer experience. This could mean demonstrating your product or giving away samples. Some shops do a larger giveaway as a contest, such as giving away one of their higher priced items. Store staff gather emails for those who want to enter the contest and announce the winner the same day at the store and on social media.
5. Display Your "Veteran-owned Business" Badge
Veteran-owned small businesses can participate by doing all of the above in addition to displaying the “Veteran-owned Business” badge next to “Shop Small” promotional materials. Many customers love supporting both small businesses and veteran-owned businesses. Research by the National Veteran Owned Business Association (NaVOBA) shows that 68 percent of customers are more likely to shop with a business identified as veteran-owned.
Supporting the Shop Small Movement
The Shop Small Movement is recognized nationally and Small Business Saturday is a great way to get involved with the movement. It’s all about celebrating communities and bringing people together to support small businesses. At StreetShares, our goal is to support small businesses in many ways, through educational content that help develop individual business owners or through our Foundation that provides grants to grow businesses. Learn more about the Foundation and cash grants awarded to exceptional veteran business owners.