In 2010, American Express introduced Small Business Saturday, a national holiday dedicated to celebrating small businesses across the US. The date falls on the Saturday after Thanksgiving and Black Friday. The annual shopping tradition was designed to help local consumers support the small businesses within their communities.

Since enacted, US consumers have spent an estimated $85 billion at independent retailers and restaurants. Now in its 8th year, Small Business Saturday is bigger and more popular than ever. And in order for your business to be prepared and reap the benefits, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

Tell Your Story

What better day to tell your business’s story to customers than one that celebrates small businesses? Create a blog post, email or social media post that details the ins and outs of how you came into business, what’s kept you going and where you see yourself in the future. Stories like this humanize your brand and help build trust with consumers, both old and new.

Keep Customers Informed

Nowadays, consumers have options when deciding where to shop for goods and services. You want to make sure that your business is at the top of their mind’s when they’re ready to make a purchase. In order to do that, you need to keep them in the loop about what you have planned. For events like Small Business Saturday, you should be promoting your offers via your website, blog, social media channels and emails.

Promote on Social Media

As with any special event, you want to make sure that you are promoting what’s happening on social media. Post about the deals and discounts that you’re offering, or if you’re presenting something unique, like a product demo, unveiling of a new product or another big announcement. Be sure to use hashtags that relate to Small Business Saturday so that consumers can find you easily via a simple search.

Offer Special Deals and Discounts

To get customers through the door, you need to provide them with an incentive. Much like how retailers offer specific Black Friday deals and discounts, your small business should do the same for Small Business Saturday. Think about something unique that your customers will want, things like buy one get one half-off deals, x% off a purchase, free gift with purchase, etc. As mentioned earlier, don’t forget to promote what you’re offering. You should also be promoting the products you think would make the best gifts, as that’s what many people are on the lookout for this time of year.

Partner with Nearby Businesses

The more traffic the businesses within your local community generate, the more beneficial it is to your business. Consider partnering with neighboring businesses on your in-store promotions. For instance, if you operate a vitamin/health shop, you might consider partnering with the yoga studio next store and offering 10% off a class. Bounce ideas with other business owners and promote the deals via social media, email and in-store.

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