November 1, 2023 By Caitlin Rose

Now is the time for small business owners to ramp up for the holiday season. Make sure to prepare for Small Business Saturday, which will be held on November 25, 2023.

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First observed in 2010, Small Business Saturday is a day dedicated to supporting small business. Held on the Saturday following Thanksgiving, it encourages holiday shoppers to patronize small, local businesses, both in person and online. The holiday was created and promoted by American Express® via a nationwide advertising campaign. It has been officially co-sponsored by the Small Business Administration (SBA) since 2011. 

Small Business Saturday has been a tremendously successful endeavor. According to the 2022 Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Study (commissioned by American Express) the event has become an important part of small businesses’ busiest shopping season. Consider these stats from the study:

  • Small Business Saturday shoppers spent an estimated $17.9 billion in 2022. 
  • 72% of shoppers said Small Business Saturday made them want to shop and dine at small retailers and restaurants year long. 
  • $0.68 of every dollar spent at a small business in the U.S. stays in the local community and every dollar spent at small businesses creates an additional $0.48 in local business activity as a result of employees and local businesses purchasing local goods and services.

Here are the top strategies to consider implementing now to make this special Saturday a success. 

Download free marketing materials 

From promoting specials and in-store events to decorating your shop, make the most of your Saturday with free marketing materials that you can download from American Express. These assets are immediately available for your use and include printable posters, social media graphics and posts, and logos. Industry specific assets are available for retail, dining, and beauty. 

Marketing tips are also included on this page. For example, it is important to pay attention to when your customers are engaging with content online and schedule social media posts accordingly. 

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Put yourself on the map… literally!

Add your business to the American Express Shop Small Map to make it easy for shoppers to find you. According to American Express, more than 17 million people received recommendations for places to shop from the shop small map. 

Advertising and public relations

Consider a targeted advertising campaign for Small Business Saturday. Social media advertising is a cost-effective way to reach a lot of consumers. Now is the time to add TikTok® into your strategy if you have not already. In fact, TikTok and American Express have partnered to provide small businesses year-round support and to drive $100 billion in reported consumer spending at small businesses from 2021 through 2025.

For traditional advertising, explore local publications and radio stations to see if they have special rates for small businesses. Many local television stations also feature small businesses ahead of this event. Create and send a press release about what makes your business unique and any special sales, promotions, or events you will be featuring to see if you can be showcased. 

You can even go old-school. Post flyers on community bulletin boards or hand them out in your area. Be sure to build advertising for this day into your budget for next year.

Find local support 

Contact your local chamber of commerce and other business organizations to find out if they are doing anything to support Small Business Saturday and the Shop Small movement. There may be tools offered to help you make the most of the day. Joining your local chamber of commerce or small business administration office is also a great way to build networks, gain support, and grow your business and community. 

Update your email contact list and website

Clear out bouncing email and add new addresses you’ve gathered. Have fresh email sign up sheets ready to go. A simple email blast about Small Business Saturday and special offers can help increase traffic. Be sure to update your website with any promotional banners, offers, and special events. Your email marketing and website should be consistent in tone, look, and feel. 

Bring ‘em back  

Even if you haven’t done enough pre-marketing, you can still launch day-of marketing promotions to bring back a one-time customer. Offers like “Shop today and get 30 percent off of your next visit” may be a good motivator to return to your store.

Explore additional financing  

If your sales are picking up, consider getting additional funding to help with holiday cash flow, staffing, inventory and more. Loan seekers can pre-qualify for a SBA loan or other financing in as little as five minutes with SmartBiz®. Our streamlined application process and dedicated team are here to assist you in securing financing to help your small business grow. Get started with your application today.

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