Last year on Small Business Saturday, shoppers spent a record-breaking $17.8 billion at their favorite locally-owned spots. The holiday was founded ten years ago by American Express, with the intent to boost the Shop Small movement during the season of holiday shopping frenzies like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. And it’s been an incredible boost of visibility for smaller companies of all kinds, from fashion to food. But chances are, if you’re a small business owner, the holiday is already well on your radar—and if not, this year it’s going down on November 30, 2019. (Jot that down.)
According to 92 percent of last year’s participating business owners, they felt Small Business Saturday made their store stand out to consumers during the super-saturated holiday shopping season. Some of the biggest benefits they cited were an influx of new customers, improved sales, brand awareness in their community, and helping their neighborhood to thrive, too.
Don’t miss out on an opportunity to encourage shoppers to put their money where their morals are—with locally-owned establishments. Here we’ll cover the five easy ways that you can make the most out of Small Business Saturday.
1. Celebrate as a community.
The whole point of the holiday is to put a spotlight on local businesses, so why not support others in your community? Search here to find your Neighborhood Champions, AKA the businesses who plan to organize Small Business Saturday events, like holiday markets and pop-ups.
2. Prioritize your online shopping platform.
A reported 41 percent of Small Biz Saturday customers said they shopped online last year. Make sure to troubleshoot any issues that might pose a problem, like your site’s mobile compatibility or the ability to accept various types of payment, like PayPal. Make it as easy as possible for shoppers to make a purchase. Oh, and a discount code never hurts!
3. Up your social media marketing strategy.
Leading up to last year’s Small Business Saturday, there were over 750,000 social media posts (on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) using the hashtags #ShopSmall and #SmallBizSat over the course of three weeks. That’s nearly 20 percent more posts than in 2017, and is very likely just to continue to rise this year. Put the extra time into coming up with a social media plan before, during, and after the holiday, so you can maximize your reach.
4. Go hard on holiday everything.
In 2018, 59 percent of Small Biz Saturday participants said that it secured a significant amount of their holiday earnings. Whether that means running holiday-specific sales or dropping limited-edition products for the holidays, try whatever makes sense with your business strategy and plays on the festive time of year.
5. Focus on building lasting relationships.
If you’re lucky, this holiday will bring a flock of new customers—but don’t forget to nurture your relationships with existing customers. Reward them with a free gift or special discount code, to thank them for their loyalty.