Thanksgiving week kicks off the year’s busiest shopping days in the United States. In 2021, an estimated 72.4 million American adults plan to shop year-end sales like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Even during Covid, these sales have flourished, with 2020 online sales hitting a record $9 billion. However, small business owners often feel left out of these growing sales days as they struggle to compete with larger corporations.
To help level the playing field, a new sales day was created. Small Business Saturday encourages customers to keep their holiday shopping local and gives new opportunities to small business owners looking to sell their wares. Keep reading to learn more about what Small Business Saturday is and how to get involved.
The first Small Business Saturday took place on November 27, 2010. It was the brainchild of American Express, with the first event occurring in partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation. It was originally conceived to be an alternative to the growing Black Friday sales happening at big box stores across America. Since its inception, Small Business Saturday has encouraged millions of Americans to patronize local small businesses with brick and mortar locations.
Small Business Saturday takes place on the last Saturday of November, falling between November 24 and November 30. In 2021, Small Business Saturday will take place on Saturday, November 27.
For large retail stores, Black Friday has become synonymous with cheaper goods, large crowds, and in some instances, fighting over a limited quantity of sale items. Small Business Saturday has been a natural antidote to Black Friday’s chaos.
Benefits of supporting Small Business Saturday in your community include:
Strengthening community bonds
Educating shoppers on local merchants
Keeping your money in your neighborhood
Stimulating job growth
Protecting the environment
Offering a more personal customer experience
As a customer, there are many ways you can throw your support (and your money) behind Small Business Saturday. Even if you don’t typically shop local, this year may be the perfect time to start using some of the ideas below.
With the average person spending $335 in the five days between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday, most of us are already shopping. Save some of that spending this year and keep money in the community by shopping local merchants in your hometown. Often, they will be running their own deals and promotions to help you save.
Don’t want to break the bank this Small Business Saturday? Don’t worry! There are plenty of other ways you can show your favorite local business some love this year, including leaving a positive review on their social media pages, google business page, or anywhere else that they have an online presence. These positive reviews will help bring in more business and show your support without ever having to spend a dime.
What’s better than supporting Small Business Saturday? Doing it with your close friends and family.
Before you start shopping this year, invite a friend or family member to get in on the fun. Introduce them to your favorite local places to eat and shop, or simply pass along the info of a local service provider you love! Sharing the benefits and getting the community involved will help build a better local economy for everyone.
As a business owner, you’ll need to be ready to wow the customers who are eager to give you their time and money. To help you prepare, we have some proven ways to help make the most of this year’s Small Business Saturday.
While Americans have spent nearly $20 billion during past Small Business Saturdays, awareness is still low. Do your part to share the benefits of Small Business Saturdays with your customers and community by sharing your excitement online using hashtags like #SmallBusinessSaturday, #ShopSmall, #ShopSmallSaturday, and #ShopLocal to amplify your reach online.
Black Friday has trained many shoppers to expect longer retail hours. As a small business owner, you may want to expand your hours during Small Business Saturday. This will allow new and existing customers extra time to stop by after they are busy with family, friends, and work.
Ultimately, if your small business wants to compete with big box stores, you might need to offer sales and promotions to get customers in the door. Look for opportunities to offer more than lower prices, and be sure your customer experience will wow.
If you have a small business of your own or want more ways to support the entrepreneurs in your life, check out our Learning Center articles about ways the holiday season impacts your business, how to gear up for your small business’s first holiday rush, and gift ideas for those working from home.
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