The Saturday after Thanksgiving is Small Business Saturday, a day when consumers are encouraged to support their local communities by shopping at independently owned businesses.
American Express founded Small Business Saturday in 2010 to help businesses get more customers. The next year, the United States Senate unanimously passed a resolution supporting Small Business Saturday, and it’s grown into a bigger and more anticipated event every year since then.
Resources and ideas
If you’re a small-business owner, you can benefit significantly from Small Business Saturday. Use the day to connect with your customers and thank them for their support, not just during the Thanksgiving shopping weekend but throughout the year.
American Express provides free posters, email templates, social posts and more from the Shop Small Resource Hub. Using these marketing materials shows you’re involved and promotes the small-business movement.
Need ideas on how to participate? Consider:
Special sales. Negotiate deep discounts on a few key items from your suppliers, and slash your margins on merchandise your customers will get excited about.
Exclusive offers. Sell something that will only be available that day, either in store or online.
Extended hours. Make it easy for people to drop in at their convenience, regardless of their schedule.
Special experiences. The experience doesn’t have to be elaborate. It can be as simple as offering free coffee and pastries in the morning. Other ideas include:
- Inviting a special guest, like a local musician, storyteller, celebrity or official
- Planning activities for kids, such as face painting, balloon animals or special giveaways
- Offering a raffle for gift cards or free items
- Organizing a scavenger hunt with other local businesses to incentivize customers to explore your town
Special services. Free services like gift wrapping can add value to a purchase and take stress off your customers.
Showcasing unique products and services. Shoppers visit small businesses to discover unique products. Create a special display of the one-of-a-kind products your store offers. Or pair items to help customers find the perfect holiday gifts.
Parking perks. Make parking lots safe for customers and the public. And offer free parking vouchers to attract new customers.
Outdoor attractions. For example, special signage can pique interest and bring in customers walking or driving by. You might also consider ice sculptures or other festive displays.
Social media. Promote your involvement in Small Business Saturday on your social media accounts. Share your special deals and use hashtags like #SmallBusinessSaturday or #ShopSmall in your posts. You can also set up a photo booth so customers can share their experiences on social media.
Nonprofit partnerships. Pledge to donate a portion of your sales to a local group or charity.
You get the idea. Remember to talk to your customers and tell them you appreciate their support. They may even have some ideas for your next Small Business Saturday.
For continued success, strengthen relationships and guard against risk
After the holiday season, examine what worked and what didn’t. You will likely discover lessons and ideas that will help your business all year.
Small-business owners face many challenges. Your insurance professional understands how hard you’ve worked to build your small business. They can help you protect it from potentially devastating risks and uncertainties. Contact them to discuss your Small Business Saturday plans and make sure you have the right insurance coverage.
Happy Thanksgiving from our team here at Element Risk!