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Make Small Business Saturday Your Black Friday

Small Business Saturday is winning consumers in a big way this holiday season. Now in its fourth year, the November movement is sweeping the nation as small business owners prepare for the big day. Shopping local has a different appeal than the stressful craziness of Black Friday, and businesses are wise to ride the coattails of national marketing efforts with their own special offers.

Here are our top five reasons why Small Business Saturday is the new Black (Friday), along with tips for marketing your business to capitalize on this growing movement.

Small businesses are a part of the community.

In a world of big-box stores and corporate chains, small businesses work extra hard to claim their place and maintain customers. This independency helps to boost local economies. When people frequent a local business, their money goes directly into the local economy, and contributes directly to a person’s livelihood.

Shopping small makes a big impact.

According to American Express, the founding partner spearheading the initiative, Small Business Saturday raked in an estimated $5.5 billion to local, independent businesses in 2012. That’s billions of dollars going back into local economies! Not to mention, shopping local helps continue an owner’s dream of maintaining his or her business.

People want to shop boutique.

Let’s face it, nothing is better than finding a rare gift that you can’t just get anywhere else. People want to shop small because of the different variety of items offered – think gourmet chocolatiers, a dining experience at the neighborhood hot-spot, custom jewelry, that vintage store with vinyl records, or a day-at-the-salon packaged just for her. Savvy shoppers seek a gift as unique as the person they are giving to. Even businesses that may not be a typical stop for gift items can get in on the action with specials and offers to make the most of shopping activity on Nov. 29.

Small Business Saturday brings social energy.

After all, the holidays are all about community, giving back, and doing big things in a small way. It gives people a chance to put a face to a dollar – an opportunity to mingle, meet the people behind the business and interact with others amidst the holiday spirit. It may not be the door-busting madness of the day before, but the thrill can be just the same – or even better when you find that perfect gift or bump into a friend.

Making the Most of Small Business Saturday with Marketing

Here are just a few of our marketing tips to get you started:

Special offers

  • Restaurants – offer food and drink specials, a featured menu item just for the day, and/or a free item with purchase of a gift certificate.
  • Salons, spas, nail salons – special offers with purchase of a gift card (buy a gift, get a discount or free trial size product).
  • Retail shops – percentage or dollars off a single item or bonus reward points for the shopper.
  • Any business – exclusive discount or giveaway for the first so many customers of the day.

Spread the word

  • Social media – create buzz with posts promoting your participation in Small Business Saturday, and any discounts or special offers. Update frequently throughout the week.
  • Website – use the Shop Small® logo on your website, and be sure to promote any specials.
  • Signage – in the windows, on the sidewalk… use signage to draw shoppers in your store.
  • Email or text – if you use email or text currently to communicate with patrons, send out a message to invite them to shop local on Saturday.

Visit the Small Business Saturday website for additional marketing ideas and free tools.