So you recently heard the term Small Business Saturday and you are wondering what exactly it's about. Well today we have just the thing for you because today we have a complete guide to Small Business Saturday. And by a complete guide I mean that we have guides for both consumers as well as businesses. We’ll go into detail about why Small Business Saturday matters, what you can do to help raise public awareness about it, and how to prepare for it as a business.
We also lay out some resources that businesses can use to help them be successful on Small Business Saturday. And we even offer some stats of how successful the holiday has been since its introduction over a decade ago. But I’ll wrap up the introduction here and get right to that Small Business Saturday Guide that brought you here in the first place
Small Business Saturday will take place this year on Saturday, November 25, 2023. And what Small Business Saturday is, is a day to celebrate and support small businesses and the roles they play in our communities. And for something that was founded by American Express in 2010 as a PR move (we’d assume) has really grown into something substantial, and meaningful for small businesses in our country.
In 2022 alone, projected spending among customers who shopped at independent businesses and restaurants on Small Business Saturday was estimated to be nearly 18 billion dollars. And hopefully we can demolish that number in 2023.
Our nation is home to nearly 32 million independent businesses and every single one of these guys has to battle it out with Amazon, and Wal-Mart, and Target, and Kohl’s, and Lowe’s, and every other massive retail chain in this country. How can we as small individuals actually make a difference in our community and support our independent and small businesses?
Well there are a wide variety of different ways that you can support small businesses the Saturday after Thanksgiving as a customer this year!
Well the first way is to begin by acting in a local fashion. So that means find the small and independent businesses that operate in your area. American Express even offers a way to search for local businesses that are participating in Small Business Saturday. And just like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday has come to represent the one day of the year when small businesses offer special deals to entice customers. So you can get the same kinds of savings you get at one of the giant retailers on Black Friday, or that you get from Amazon on Cyber Monday, at the small and independent retailers in your community. Which is honestly such an amazing idea. The first I personally had ever heard of Small Business Saturday is when I was assigned to write this article and I have to say that I am quite gleeful that such a holiday exists. It’s nice to see a win for the little guys for a change isn’t it?
So what can you do as a consumer? Well, if you really want to provide a much needed boost of capital to the small businesses (that have to be struggling with this inflation) you can do so by holding off on Black Friday, and planning not to spend money on Cyber Monday. Instead take all the money that you would have spent at the giant retail chains and on Amazon and spend it all at independent small businesses in your community.
When you spend the same kind of money you would on Black Friday at small businesses in your community, well all that money stays in your community. The people who own the stores live in your town or the next town over. It keeps the money circulating within the local population instead of being extracted by a national corporation.
So supporting small businesses isn’t just about supporting retailers and restaurants, what it is truly about, is supporting your community. As in, the place where you actually live. When you spend lavishly on Small Business Saturday what you really are doing is investing in your community. Those people will take the money and they have to go spend it at the grocery store and the barbershop and the local tire place and the money you spend has a ripple effect where it creates numerous prosperous transactions within your community.
If you can rally other people in your local community to really commit to supporting Small Business Saturday this year, you could make a huge difference in your local economy. And that kind of huge difference is gonna mean the city brings in higher tax revenues so next year they have more money to spend on roads and taxes. And if you keep this tradition going every year, pretty soon you have a self-sufficient community that isn’t reliant on our conglomerate overlords.
So the most important thing you can do as a consumer to support Small Business Saturday is to get the word out about it. Tell your friends and family. Post about it on your social media. And especially share the posts of local small businesses that are participating in Small Business Saturday. The more eyes and ears you can get the better. Small Business Saturdays greatest fault is that it just isn’t that widely known yet. So anything you can do to amplify its range and get more people turned on to the idea, the better.
First of all you want to get the word out around town that your business is participating in Small Business Saturday. The holiday hasn’t quite reached as high in the cultural zeitgeist as Black Friday or Cyber Monday as of yet. So word of mouth and promoting that your business is participating in Small Business Saturday are a great way to get customers attention.
But be sure you are doing something special. Customers aren’t just gonna come out and support your small business because they are a good person. No! You need to offer them a deal that gets their attention. And remember you are competing with Black Friday deals here so you are gonna have to give the best deal you possibly can. And if you can’t offer them a deal that is as out of this world as the big chains can on Friday, you can also entice them by hosting an event like a food tasting or bringing in local performers or musicians.
You want to make the day special and unlike any other day of business you have this year. You have to entice the customers out to support you this November. So be sure to partner up with other local businesses that are also participating to really help raise public awareness of Small Business Saturday ahead of time.
And while you are busy getting the word out and thinking up great ways to entice new customers, you also want to be stocking up on any items that could be potentially popular. This especially includes any product(s) that you plan to be offering crazy deals or discounts on. The last thing you want is for something to be selling like crazy and run out of it way too early and miss out on all the profit that could have been made if you’d had more in stock.
Finally, on the day of, be sure to extend your business hours. You will want to open up a little bit earlier and stay open a little bit later as well. This can help increase foot traffic and get eyes on your promotions and sales. It just makes it easier for customers to come out and support you so there’s no reason not to as long as you have the staff. And speaking of staff, make sure you are well staffed that day. You might get much busier than you would on a normal day and you don’t want to blow the chance at making a whole bunch of money because you are short handed and everything has developed into chaos on you.
The little bit extra you spend on being well staffed on Small Business Saturday is going to pay off tenfold. This Is the day of the year your business is likely to see its most total customers in a day, as well as, the most new customers in one day as well. So you want your customer service to be top notch the whole day long. This Is your chance to make a first impression on a whole bunch of potential future customers. You definitely want to provide an out of this world customer service experience for them so that way they remember their interaction well and are more likely to return in the future. Not to mention they will have nothing but positive things to say about their experience and word of mouth can be a very powerful thing for a small business.
Finally you should take advantage of the resources that are offered by American Express. Afterall, Small Business Saturday was their creation so they have been there since day one. If anybody has the insights on what your small business can do to be successful this Small Business Saturday it's gonna be American Express. They offer free materials to help you create social media graphics, emails, newsletters, posters and more in their shop small materials.
Small Business Saturday provides an opportunity for consumers to support independent businesses and drastically boost their local economy. And although it's only been around for a little over a decade, Small Business Saturday has seen over $120 billion dollars go into the cash registers of small and independent businesses and restaurants.
And whether you are a consumer or a business owner, one of the most important things you can do is get the word out about Small Business Saturday. Tell people what it is and why it's important. Let them know that it could be a real opportunity to boost the local economy by keeping the money in town instead of being shipped off to a corporate bank account. The greatest hurdle Small Business Saturday has is reaching the level of public awareness that Black Friday and Cyber Monday have achieved.
I think if more people knew about Small Business Saturday they would choose to spend their money supporting their neighbors and community instead of a giant corporation. The more you can spread the word the better. Use your social media platforms to just get the phrase out there in the discussion and maybe somebody stops and Goggles Small Business Saturday and now they and two of their friends are planning to support it this year. The more eyes and ears you can introduce to the concept of Small Business Saturday the better because small businesses need the success this year even more than they do most years.