This weekend is Small Business Saturday (November 28, 2015).
Small businesses depend heavily on their local communities. As a customer, “pay it forward” and support small business in the way it matters most to them — through your wallet.
41 Things to Do on Small Business Saturday
How Consumers Can Support Small Business
Spending your money at local businesses improves the local economy. So it’s not just about supporting a business — you’re supporting your community, too. Here are things to do on Small Business Saturday:
1. Look and feel your best with a new holiday hairdo. Support your local beauty shop instead of fixing your own hair – you’ll love the way you look. And get a manicure or a pedicure at your local nail salon.
2. Is your home in disarray after that big Thanksgiving dinner? No worries. One quick call to a local house cleaner should have your domicile neat as a pin — and ready to entertain through the rest of the holiday season.
3. And who needs a trip to a national grocery chain? Buy fresh fruits and vegetables for your dinner table from the local farmers market.
4. Don’t forget the flowers. While you’re at the farmers market, buy some fresh flowers from the local flower vendor. They’ll be great for your holiday entertaining. You’ll feel good every time you look at the flowers, too, knowing you supported a local vendor.
5. Feel like splurging on some bling? Visit your hometown jeweler. Buy something sparkly for yourself or someone special in your life.
6. Or just take care of your existing bling. There’s more than one way to support a small business. If a new jewelry purchase isn’t on your list, how about dropping off that watch or necklace that’s in need of repair at the local jeweler?
7. Will you be traveling and visiting relatives this season? Call the local pet sitter and make sure “Spot” has some company and is well cared for while you’re gone.
8. Add to your collectibles or pick up something nice for the house. Visit the local antique mall and treat yourself to a special treasure. Make it an outing and include your out-of-town guests, also.
9. You’ll need wheels to do all that shopping. So keep those “wheels” greased and get your oil changed at the local mechanic’s shop.
10. Uh-oh. Is it snowing where you’re at? Better call the local snow plow company.
11. Planning on wearing that great outfit for the holidays? Good news – you’ve lost weight (lucky you!). Time to visit the local seamstress to have that dress taken in.
12. Or maybe your holiday best is still in good shape. The trouble is, maybe it hasn’t been cleaned in a while. The local dry cleaner can help you with that.
13. Your printer is running low on ink and paper. Better stop and pick up some office supplies from the local, privately-owned supply store.
14. What if you don’t want to cook when entertaining this year? Order something dangerously delectable from a local caterer for your upcoming Christmas party.
15. Here’s a bright idea about holiday lights! Pay your landscaper (who’s probably experiencing a slow down at this time of year) to do your exterior holiday decorating.
16. In need of an evening out after slaving over a hot oven on Thanksgiving? Hire your local babysitter for the evening. Take friends or your significant other out to dinner.
17. No need to shop in a grimy car. Stop at the local car wash or detailing shop and put a shine put on it.
18. Plan to do some shopping online. But don’t just hit the Amazons of the world. Purchase a handmade craft from an Etsy artisan or eBay entrepreneur.
19. And speaking of artisans, here’s something else to consider. Doesn’t a flatbread pizza from the local pizza parlor or bistro sound good tonight?
20. Looking for a special gift for a special someone? The best place to find something artsy or clever is a local craft show or boutique that carries unique gifts you won’t find in a Big Box.
21. Say thanks with a huge potted plant. Need to bring a hostess gift to an upcoming party? Or what about a “thank you” to the individual who provided Thanksgiving dinner? Visit your local florist and pick up a gorgeous locally-grown poinsettia — or have it delivered.
22. Don’t let lack of sun get you down – get a tan! For those in colder climates, brighten your day even if you can’t get away for a tropical vacation. Visit your local tanning salon for 20 minutes of warm “sunshine.”
23. Want your home in tip-top shape for holiday entertaining? If you’re finding it hard to work around that broken drawer in the kitchen, don’t worry. Hire a local handyman to come and make repairs before the big day.
24. Homemade holiday cookies sound good. If you simply do not have the time to bake cookies yourself, never fear. Ring up the local “cookie lady” (every town has one, you know you do) and place your holiday order in time.
25. If you ate too much turkey, consider it an opportunity. Maybe it’s time to have a work out with your local physical fitness trainer or visit that locally-owned gym franchise today.
26. Avoid a doggy dilemma. If you have a pooch that will be alone while you’re out for the day supporting small businesses, here’s an idea. Hire a local dog walker to get your pup out and about, too.
27. And here’s another idea for man’s best friend. Picking up Spot’s uhhh … “spots” in the backyard is no enjoyable task. But that’s what the local pet waste cleanup company is for.
28. Dogs need pampering, too. While you’re doing all of the above, Spot could use an appointment at the local pet groomer as well. (Don’t forget that pretty little bow or bow tie!)
29. Make beautiful music. Have a piano collecting dust that you’d like to play when company visits, but haven’t played it in years? Call the local music teacher for a brush-up lesson. Or two.
How Small Business Owners Can Support Other Businesses
If you yourself own a small business, you know how important it is to support other business owners. You, too, can support Small Business Saturday. Here are ways to meet your business’s needs with the products and services local entrepreneurs provide.
30. Order in for lunch. If Small Business Saturday isn’t a day off for you and your employees, at least try to enjoy it. Call the local deli and have a lunch tray delivered.
31. Remember those delicious cookies? Don’t just order them for yourself and your family. Place a cookie order with a local bakery. When you get the cookies, put them in pretty boxes or festive bags, and deliver them to clients and customers as holiday thank-you gifts.
32. Get a little artsy. Retail store owners, hire a local artist to paint your store display windows with nostalgic holiday scenes that evoke emotion for the holidays. You’ll be helping your business and supporting another!
33. Just relax. Call and schedule a day outing at a locally-owned spa to treat your team. Or schedule a masseuse in for chair massages for the entire office one afternoon.
34. Nothing says thank you like caffeine. Consultants, buy one of your cherished clients a gift certificate to a local cafe. Send it to him or her as appreciation for the support of your business.
35. Is your computer at work running slow? Make a note to hire a local IT specialist to come in the following week and give it a boost.
36. Kick that holiday party up a notch. Hire a local event planner to plan for your upcoming office party. Hurry! You don’t have much time left, so call today.
37. Order branded calendars and holiday cards. Visit your local printer or locally-owned UPS Store franchise and order calendars and holiday cards.
38. Decorate your website for the holidays. Send an email to your Web designer. Hire him or her to design a festive holiday “skin” or header for your website.
39. Order Amish goodie boxes. The Amish are a very entrepreneurial group and have websites where they sell Amish cheese, meats, gifts and more. Place your order for gift boxes for employees and clients, today.
40. Contribute to a local cause. Even small non-profits need money to survive, pay their workers and perform their good works. So support a small non-profit in your area. Mail a contribution check today. You’ll be putting money back into your local community … and doing good.
41. Get started on next year’s marketing strategy. Get serious about next year’s goals. Email your marketing or PR agency — before you forget — to schedule a meeting to work on some marketing initiatives for next year.
Last but not least – don’t stop buying after Small Business Saturday.
Make this list of things to do on Small Business Saturday come alive 365 days of the year. When it’s time to make a purchase, shop your local area first. “Shop small” online whenever you can. And “dine small” at local restaurants and eateries, too, throughout the year.