Small Business Saturday: The Ultimate Guide for Small Business Owners Local News
(TNS) – Black Friday and Cyber ââMonday are two of the busiest days of the holiday season. But between them lies an opportunity for small business owners to claim a share of vacation buyers’ budgets.
Small Business Saturday is a way to celebrate small business owners and what they contribute to their local communities.
While supply chain challenges and social distancing requirements persist, Small Business Saturday 2021 could be one of the most significant for local businesses to date. According to the American Express Shop Small Impact Survey, 56% of small businesses polled said this year’s Small Business Saturday event is more critical than ever for their business. Looking ahead to the new year, 78% said holiday sales will impact their ability to keep their doors open in 2022.
There is good news, however. The National Retail Federation predicts the highest holiday retail sales on record for 2021. Collectively, consumers are expected to spend up to $ 859 billion this holiday season, with up to $ 226 billion earmarked for online purchases .
If you own a business, these tips can help you prepare for small business Saturday success.
What is Small Business Saturday?
American Express Small Business Saturday began in 2010 with the goal of shining the spotlight on small business. The purpose of this annual event is to remind and encourage consumers to shop at small businesses and support independent businesses online and offline.
Since then, it has grown into an annual event that has seen consumers spend an estimated $ 19.8 billion in 2020, according to the American Express 2020 Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey. Collectively, American Express estimates that consumers have spent more than $ 140 billion to support small businesses since the start of the event.
Small businesses benefit from increased sales during the holiday season, which in turn benefits the communities they occupy. According to American Express, 67 cents of every dollar spent in a small business, whether it’s a retail store, restaurant or other business, stays in the community.
Small Business Saturday 2021 could help boost small business owners who have struggled during the pandemic. According to an American Express study, 80% of customers surveyed said they would likely make small purchases this holiday season.
When is Small Business Saturday?
Small Business Saturday is always between Black Friday and Cyber ââMonday. It is programmed this way so that small business owners have the opportunity to compete with the big brands as consumers begin their holiday shopping.
Small Business Saturday 2021 lands on November 27 of this year. And if you want to plan ahead, plan on November 26 for 2022 and November 25 for 2023.
How to participate in Small Business Saturday
American Express Small Business Saturday is designed to promote small businesses of all kinds, including those that operate online as well as traditional brick and mortar businesses. In fact, Small Business Saturday 2021 was designed to deliver a digitally integrated holiday shopping experience to local communities.
You do not need to register or register your business to participate in the event. If you want to promote the event, you can do so with free marketing materials from American Express. This includes downloadable materials that you can use to advertise Small Business Saturday online or in-store, including:
m Posters and other signs that include small business Saturday quotes
m Graphics and copy of social media posts
Separate kits for Small Business Saturdays that include event merchandise are available upon request. They are first come, first served and the quantity is limited.
For small businesses on Saturday 2021, American Express is offering a variety of signage to encourage safe shopping through social distancing. This year’s marketing material also includes artist-designed posters to promote inclusion and encourage buyers to connect with their local business community.
The Shop Small Card makes it easy for consumers to find businesses participating in Small Business Saturday. You can request to be added to the card if you meet these conditions:
m Your business accepts American Express cards as a method of payment.
m You are located in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, or a US territory.
m You have at least one but no more than 25 locations and no more than $ 5 million in American Express annual fee volume.
m You are not part of a franchise.
m Your business is not in an excluded industry.
Small Business Saturday Ideas for 2021
If you’re hoping to take advantage of Small Business Saturday this year, it can help to get a head start on the planning. But regardless of when you start to prepare, there are some things you can do to make the most of this event.
1. Download the free marketing materials
American Express makes it easy to promote Small Business Saturday by providing you with the marketing tools to do so. So if you haven’t downloaded them from the Small Business Saturday website yet, this is a good place to start.
You can also request to have your business added to the Shop Small card. If you’re already on the map, check your listing to make sure it’s up to date.
2. Prepare your physical (or virtual) storefront
If you’re relying on Small Business Saturday to attract a flood of customers, it’s important to make sure you’re ready to welcome them, in person or online.
For example, if you operate a physical store, check the layout first. It should be easy for customers to navigate your store while respecting social distancing requirements.
Merchandising and displays are also important in drawing attention to the items you want to sell. And your point of sale system should work well so that there is no problem when you have a queue of customers waiting for payment.
You will want to perform similar stress tests if you operate an online storefront. Check your site to make sure the items you want to sell are highlighted appropriately and the payment is working. Be on the lookout for broken links or bugs that might turn buyers away.
3. Attend a local Small Business Saturday event
Joining a local Small Business Saturday event can help increase your business’s visibility and potentially lead to more sales.
There are two ways to approach this. The first is to research small business Saturday events in your local community. Local organizations, including small nonprofits and chambers of commerce, often sponsor small business Saturday events.
American Express maintains a list of Neighborhood Champions, which are organizations that support Small Business Saturday and shop locally. You can search for neighborhood champions in your area on the Small Business Saturday website.
The other idea is to organize your own Small Business Saturday event. You could organize a charity event to raise money for a good cause while encouraging customers to shop with your business. Or you could consider cross-promoting with another small business.
4. Launch your holiday promotions
Just as big box stores use Black Friday and Cyber ââMonday to promote sales, you can do the same to attract customers on Small Business Saturday. First, decide what kind of promotion you want to offer. For example, you can consider:
m Buy one (or two), get one free promotions
m Offer certain items at reduced prices
m Throw in a gift or two with a purchase
m Organize a raffle or a contest
When planning Saturday small business sales, keep an eye on the bottom line. Lowering prices, for example, could help you compete with bigger retailers, but it could also reduce your profit margins. So think carefully about how to design sales promotions so that you don’t sacrifice income to attract people.
Also think about how you can retain your customers after Small Business Saturday is over. Collecting email addresses for a raffle, for example, allows you to continue marketing to customers after the holiday season ends.
5. Refine your marketing plans
Putting up posters in-store or on your website to let shoppers know about small business Saturdays and other holiday sales is a good start. But there is more you can do to market your business throughout the season. This could include:
m Sending newsletters by e-mail
m Promote Saturday sales to small businesses on Facebook, Twitter or other social media
m Invest in newspaper or television ads
m Cross-promote with another company
When planning to market your business over the holidays, think about what might give you the best ROI to make sure your expenses count.
Don’t miss out on Small Business Saturdays
Small Business Saturdays only take place once a year, so it’s important to make the most of it. This could be particularly critical for 2021 as businesses grapple with the financial impacts of the pandemic, including supply chain disruptions and staff shortages. Implementing these strategies can help your small business thrive this holiday season and throughout the year.
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