If you think about it, every business started out as a small business. Even Amazon started in a garage as a small business! Small businesses become larger businesses because consumers like what they had to offer. Small Business Saturday is Nov. 27 this year. Let’s take a look at what it is, how it came to be, and some ideas you can implement into your business to help it grow.
SBS encourages consumers to keep it close to home when buying gifts this holiday season. Spending money locally helps everyone in the community prosper.
American Express, a U.S. corporation with $37 billion in revenue in 2018, started Small Business Saturday in 2010. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) joined as a co-sponsor five years later. SBS has become an important part of how many small businesses launch their busiest shopping season.
According to the 2018 SBS Consumer Insights Survey, the total reported spending among U.S. consumers who said they shopped at independent retailers and restaurants on the day reached a record high of approximately $17.8 billion. The same survey reported that more than 70% of consumers are now aware of the Small Business Saturday initiative. Based on this annual survey over the years, SBS spending has now reached a reported estimate of $103 billion since the day began.
According to one study, the following are things consumers are most likely to buy from a small business.
99.7% of all U.S. businesses are small businesses
64% of new jobs created in the U.S. between 1993 and 2011 were from small businesses
Small businesses donate 250% more to non-profits and community causes
Here are some things you can do to support small businesses:
Many shoppers opt for big box stores on Black Friday, knowing that there’ll be sales on common holiday gifts. Small businesses sometimes offer many similar discounts — but without the marketing dollars to display the price cuts, they’re often left out in the cold. If you were planning on purchasing a TV this holiday season, try calling your local electronics store to see if they’re offering any discounts first.
Social media is a wonderful way to share our daily lives with friends, but sometimes, letting them know about a good deal from an e-commerce giant or a big box store can feel like advertising. With small businesses, it’s different: Instead of contributing to some corporation’s bottom line, you can rest easy knowing that you’re helping a neighbor succeed.
Small Business Saturday only lasts for one day, but you can get acquainted with your local shops. Don’t let another year pass before your next visit! For small businesses to succeed, they need our support throughout the year.
According to one survey of 5,000 consumers, 72 percent of people said they will make more of an effort to support small businesses this year. Use these simple ideas to make sure you’re a part of the big day.
Customers want to shop small this year so highlight your identity as a small business. Tell your story of how and why you got started. Remind your customers of ways you’ve gotten involved in local community efforts. Share what makes your products or services special and personal. Don’t be shy about talking about what makes you different from the big box stores.
It’s so important to have a great offer to help your business stand out from the crowd. Start thinking about your audience and what would appeal to them. What is your store known for? Has anything worked particularly well in the past?
Email marketing is a tool that helps you reach your customers and prospects, directly in their inbox. (Click here to learn who NuvoDesk recommends for help with email marketing.)
When people sign up to your mailing list, they’re interested in what your business has to offer and are interested in supporting your business. Let people know why shopping small is important for your community. You can include a special offer or exclusive content to promote Small Business Saturday.
Consider partnering with other local businesses in order to promote each other. Let your email readers know where they can shop local on Small Business Saturday. It’s recommended that you use a series of 3 emails to remind people to shop with you. This time of year is busy, so these emails are a great way to remind people and get them to take action to support your business:
Email 1: Send an announcement email as soon as possible. Let them know that Small Business Saturday is coming up and why they should shop locally. Include the details about your offer.
Email 2: Send a reminder email a week before. Remind them of the deadline and your offer so they don’t forget.
Email 3: A day or two before Small Business Saturday, send a last-chance email so they don’t forget to shop with you and use your offer.
Social media is a tool that will help you expand your reach to even more potential customers. Start by sharing similar content used in your email series on social media. Use the content and offer you’ve added to your email campaign to promote the idea of shopping small.
Create a series of three social posts, just like you did with your email series; an announcement, reminder, and last-chance reminder to keep the buzz going. (We partner with these guys to make sure our social media makes an impact.)
Now that the word’s out, make sure you’re stocked and staffed for success. Think about your staff and what their strengths are, then assign tasks to each member to cut out any confusion when your store is filled with eager shoppers.
You could also print out an email sign-up sheet ahead of time and encourage shoppers to share their email addresses to stay in touch throughout the rest of the holiday season and into the new year. Don’t forget to snap a few photos to capture the excitement in your store. Share them on social media.
As exhausting as the day might be, don’t overlook the importance of follow-up in the week after Small Business Saturday. A small thank you can go a long way, and it will only take a few minutes to create. Depending on how many photos you took, you could share an album on Facebook, or simply pick the best one to share with your fans via SMS.
You can keep your text simple — try something like, “Thanks to everyone who stopped by to #ShopSmall this Saturday. We appreciate your support and hope to have you back again soon!”
Next, add your new email subscribers to your list and send out a quick email.
In any follow-up message you send, your goal should be to remind your customers of their great experience with you and entice them to visit again soon. Include an image to make the thank you more personal and include an offer to bring people back into your store before the end of the year.
Even if you don’t have a brick-and-mortar store, you can take some of these ideas to use for your service or products. Partnerships can go a long way. Referrals are extremely important, so start telling your friends and neighbors to #ShopSmall.