Communities across the U.S. are excited to support local small businesses this holiday season – and as a small business owner, there’s no better way to share the love than by participating in Small Business Saturday on November 26. It’s the perfect time for your growing business to shine and show what differentiates it from big-business competitors.
Use this simple guide to prepare for Small Business Saturday and all the “buying holidays” of the season. To keep your happy customers coming back throughout the season and spread the joy throughout your community.
What is Small Business Saturday?
During the Great Recession in 2010, American Express® recognized that many small businesses were struggling. During the holiday season, Black Friday usually benefitted large brick-and-mortar stores while Cyber Monday, emphasized online sales. It was difficult for truly small businesses to stand out.
In response, American Express launched Small Business Saturday. The idea was to give locally owned small businesses their own holiday. Through this, they could band together to leverage their unique goods and services and promote the important role they play in the quality of life and economic health of their communities.
Today, Small Business Saturday is a holiday-season favorite nationwide. Millions of potential customers will be out and about, looking for ways to support the businesses while checking gifts off their lists. As the holiday becomes more popular across the country, the best way to take advantage of it is to actively participate in your local effort.
How to make the most of Small Business Saturday
Small Business Saturday takes place on Saturday, November 25 this year. Even though it’s coming up soon, there are many simple things you can do to leverage this great opportunity.
Giving your customers a great experience is the key to a successful Small Business Saturday. They want something they won’t find at big-box stores or through online sales. Get creative about making Small Business Saturday the best part of their holiday season.
Here are a few steps to get started:
1. Set your goals for Small Business Saturday and the holiday season, and make sure you have enough working capital.
You should keep your best-sellers in stock, but also make sure you have great add-ons and grab-and-go gifts available. Stock some one-of-a-kind suggestions to please even the most discerning recipients on your customers’ lists. You’ll make their holiday season easy and enjoyable and create loyalty that lasts all year.
What if you don’t have inventory before Small Business Saturday? Many small businesses rely on the holiday season to bring in a significant portion of annual revenue. If you need more cash heading into the holidays, don’t panic. You can still find an affordable funding solution to help you stock inventory, hire staff, and meet your goals.
When you’re looking for financing on short notice, make sure you still do your research. Not all fast funding solutions are the same, and some may cost you more in the long term.
2. Make sure that customers know where to find you and that you’re participating in Small Business Saturday.
Review your website and social media, as well as your Google My Business information. Make sure that your contact information, hours, and product and service information are updated and accurate. Register through American Express’s Small Business Saturday website so you can be added to the map for businesses in your area.
3. Use the free marketing materials from the American Express Shop Small Resource Hub.
You’ll find free marketing materials and great ideas to optimize your business’s presence on Small Business Saturday. You can also access information on businesses similar to yours that can support your success, from sales to shipping and more.
4. Partner with other local businesses to make your commercial neighborhood more festive.
Talk to your local business development organization and other small business owners in your area. How could you work together to create complimentary cross-promotions, special discounts and other offerings? When you partner with other local businesses, you’ll create a wonderful and festive community experience! For example, it might be too expensive for your business to hire live musicians on your own, but if several businesses share the cost, it can be a fun way to add holiday spirit to your street.
5. Leverage your social media channels.
An easy strategy to learn about what your community and industry are excited for this holiday season is hashtag research. With this info, you can tailor your social media posts and hashtags to leverage trends and capture their attention.
6. Set a festive tone in your business location.
Depending on your business or location, you can get into the holiday spirit by offering a pot of spiced cider available, putting out a jar of peppermints, or hanging up some seasonal decorations. The goal is to create an upbeat and engaging experience for all to draw more customers in.
7. Give your staff the support they need to succeed.
Your employees deserve the same enjoyable environment you’re creating for your customers! Give them the support they need to give quality customer service. Showing appreciation for those who support your business is more important than ever, especially as many small businesses struggle with labor shortages.
Pursuit supports small businesses on Small Business Saturday and every day
Pursuit is all about small business – helping you get the funding you need to build the business of your dreams, with more than 15 loan options from $10,000 to $5.5 million. This holiday season and all year long, we can help you get the working capital you need and more. Contact us to learn more.
Also, take a look at many Pursuit clients who are participating in Small Business Saturday. Find inspiration from how they’re participating and support your fellow small business owners: