It’s exhilarating, freeing, fun, and, sometimes, frustrating, to be a small business owner. While it’s satisfying to follow your dreams, small businesses are, unfortunately, occasionally overshadowed by big box retail stores and large online retailers. So, it often takes some inventiveness to reach customers in your community and grow your business.
This is especially true during the holiday season, as customers flock to the best shopping deals from corporate retailers. Small businesses need to do what they can to remain competitive – year-round, but especially during the holidays.
The holiday season can make or break a small business. In 2019, $729.1 billion was pumped into the economy from holiday sales. Even a tiny portion of these sales could be a lifeline for small businesses. So, they need to do everything they can to grab a piece of the holiday shopping pie.
Luckily, they have Small Business Saturday to rely on during the holiday season. Keep reading to learn more about this shopping day that focuses on indie businesses and why you might want to participate.
What Is Small Business Saturday?
Twenty years ago, American Express launched Small Business Saturday to recognize the importance of small businesses. For the past two decades, communities across the country have celebrated Small Business Saturday, which falls on the Saturday between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday.
There are numerous ways to celebrate Small Business Saturday. In many areas, business communities come together to organize large-scale events that support one another. This could be done through district-wide events and sales, larger holiday marketplaces, and community promotions. If you’re operating on your own, you can still organize a day of special sales and fun events. Online retailers can get in on this special day, too.
Of course, you might have concerns about finding the time to organize such events or the staff to help you with them. But the pros far outweigh the cons. If you’re on the fence about participating in Small Business Saturday, here are some reasons why you might want to take advantage of this day geared towards promoting and supporting indie businesses.
It’s Easy to Participate
Most Small Business Saturday community organizers understand how much hard work goes into running a small business and how time-consuming adding a special event to your to-do list can be. You’ll find that your local chamber of commerce and merchants organization want to make it easier – not more difficult – for you to participate in the shopping festivities.
As a business owner, you’ll have access to various free and low-cost resources to create a successful day. First, American Express offers marketing and branding tools for Small Business Saturday – everything from pre-made flyers to social media ideas.
If you check with your local business organizations, you’ll likely find additional resources to help you promote your Small Business Saturday offerings. If you’re a member, they’ll likely handle marketing initiatives for the group as a whole, as well.
Increased Foot Traffic and Engagement
Small Business Saturday can increase foot traffic for brick-and-mortar stores. This is especially true if your shop is located in an area with other retailers. You can all feed off one another’s traffic. And more foot traffic means more dollars spent.
If you don’t have a physical location for your business, you can still take advantage of the day by driving traffic to your website and working to increase engagement on your social media sites. There are various digital strategies, from improving your web design to SEO tactics, that you can work on in advance of Small Business Saturday to attract new customers and boost sales.
Grow Your Business in the Long-term
Small Business Saturday is a great way to introduce new shoppers to your products and services. And while it’s always nice to enjoy a day of strong sales, your real goal should be building long-term relationships with new customers.
This fun holiday shopping day is a great introduction to your company. If they have a good first impression, hopefully, they’ll keep coming back year-round. This is your ultimate goal: forming lasting relationships with repeat customers who will continue to spend money with you.
Help Build Community
As much as Small Business Saturday is about individual businesses making sales, at its heart, it’s about building community. And community-minded businesses tend to make a good impression with shoppers.
Since many Small Business Saturday celebrations are community events involving numerous businesses and organizations, it’s designed to bring people together. Simply by participating, you’re already showing that you care about your community.
But remember this: every dollar spent at a small business means more money stays in your community, impacting the people who live and work there. Of every dollar spent at a small business, 67 cents stay in your community. The majority of that – 44 cents – goes directly to wages for the owner and their employees. The economic impact of small businesses on a community is real.
It’s a Fun Way To Connect With Customers
Forget about the money for a few minutes. The holidays are fun! And it’s fun to connect with your customers during this cheery season.
Small Business Saturday invites business owners to come up with inventive, playful ways to promote their products and services – and those around you. Maybe you want to set up a community-wide scavenger hunt. Or maybe you’ll want to serve hot cocoa and cookies as Santa visits.
It’s a time for good cheer and the possibilities are endless. So, have some fun with it as you celebrate with your customers and with the community.
Ready for Small Business Saturday?
As you prepare for Small Business Saturday, let us help you get ready for the busiest weekend of the year. Blue Bandit is here to empower small businesses through creative digital marketing solutions.
Whether you’re a brick-and-mortar shop or operate online only, our strategies can help drive traffic to your business. With our full range of services, you’re guaranteed to build your brand.