Black Friday might not have the impact it once did as chain stores and online retailers launching their holiday sales earlier in the season, but Small Business Saturday is gaining momentum.
Last year, shoppers spent a record $17.8 billion at independent stores and restaurants on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, according to research by American Express and NFIB. Small Business Saturday is Nov. 30.
Small Business Saturday began in 2010 when many Main Street businesses were struggling to recover from the Great Recession. Now in its 10th year, Small Business Saturday has become a national event, an opportunity for people to support the small, independent businesses that make their communities strong.
Last year, two-thirds of small businesses surveyed by American Express and NFIB planned to participate in Small Business Saturday. Small businesses expect an average of 29 percent of their annual sales to come during the holiday shopping season. Fifty-six percent of small business owners surveyed last year by American Express and NFIB said Small Business Saturday gives their holiday sales a boost.
Here are some of the ways shops and restaurants can make the most of Small Business Saturday:
• Stay on top of your social media. If you’re on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram or Pinterest, post often and promote any Small Business Saturday deals. Use the hashtags #ShopSmall and #SmallBizSat so shoppers can find you easily.
• Showcase merchandise that would make a great gift. Group items on a table with a sign saying it would be the perfect gift for Mom or the grandparents, for example. Restaurants can offer Small Business Saturday specials and gift cards.
• Offer doorbusters. Chain stores know a great way to drive shoppers to their stores is by offering exclusive deals at different times of the day. There’s no reason a small business can’t do the same thing.
• Partner with nearby businesses. Pool your resources to buy advertising promoting the neighborhood as a shopping destination or team up with other businesses on in-store promotions. For example, if someone buys a shirt at one store, tell them about the great deal on shoes at the shop next door.
• Don’t forget to tell your regular customers about Small Business Saturday. Put a sign in your shop and flyers in bags reminding folks to come back the Saturday after Thanksgiving for special deals. Click here to create and download free custom marketing materials.