Small Business Saturday always takes place the Saturday following Thanksgiving — after Black Friday and before Cyber Monday. The holiday debuted in 2010 and was officially recognized by the United States Senate in 2011. American Express® created Small Business Saturday and they continue to evolve the event and provide services to small business owners. The credit card company offers free tools and resources online such as in-store signage, social media posts, and a network of small business communities. They truly want businesses to flourish and benefit their towns and cities on this day.
The event is dedicated to supporting small businesses across the country. It is a perfect time for shoppers to prepare for the holidays. Small Business Saturday brings people together and benefits not only the business owner but also the community as a whole. Keeping the money local means storefront renovations and retailers being more willing to invest in local groups and events. Shopping small brings more to a town than big retail businesses and is being realized by more and more people thus increasing local business sales. Small Business Saturday grows year after year and continues to be a lucrative day of business for local retailers.
The history of this event may be rather short, but it is impressive. In 2014, 88 million consumers shopped on Small Business Saturday and spent $14.3 billion. The following year, 95 million people shopped and in 2016, just last year, shoppers spent $15.4 billion. Over $1 billion growth over the course of 2 years labels this as a success and then some. With the magnitude of shoppers on this day, it may be overwhelming for small shop owners. A successful Small Business Saturday takes some serious investment. Planning for Small Business Saturday is made easier with the help of American Express®’s online materials, but there are still some other ways to ensure you are prepared.
Prepping for a busy day of selling takes work both in-store and online. Plan special sales for the day and make sure they are clear to shoppers in-store and promote them through social media. If you have a website make sure the deals are available online. In the past, shop owners have offered free shipping on their ecommerce sites. Stock up on inventory and make sure you are prepared for a big day of sales with products and staff. It may be the day after Black Friday, but Small Business Saturday requires extra employees offering the best customer service to shoppers. If you plan on doing any sort of in-store events make sure they are thoroughly planned and advertised. Some businesses will do crafts, others will have a DJ. There are an innumerable amount of activities, but no matter what it is, make sure you and your staff are completely ready. Take advantage of the free services provided by American Express® and use their materials to post online and decorate the store in preparation. In the weeks before, tell shoppers about the event and slip flyers into bags when shoppers make purchases. Promoting and preparing your store in person and online is imperative to having a successful Small Business Saturday.
If you want to do more than just prepare yourself and your business for this monumental day of shopping, you can become a Neighborhood Champion. Neighborhood Champions are in charge of getting their fellow small business owners aware and ready for the day. Plan community events and work with the town to make the day a cohesive and, most importantly, successful one. Being a community and business leader means working with other entrepreneurs and shoppers to provide a memorable, enjoyable day for everyone.