10 Brilliant Ways Non-Retail Businesses Can Celebrate Small Business Saturday


10 Small Business Saturday Ideas for Non-Retailers

Small Biz Saturday isn’t just for retail businesses. Even service providers and other types of small businesses can get in on the fun. Small Biz Saturday is on November 25 this year and it’s one day where shoppers are looking to spend their money at companies like yours, specifically.

Last year, consumers spent about $15.4 billion on Small Business Saturday at independent retail stores and restaurants. While it’s almost assumed Small Biz Saturday is enjoyed only by small stores and shops, plenty of other types of businesses can capitalize on this special event, says Kevin Miller, CMO of document and expense management company Neat.

Miller, who has previously owned a small business, specializes in fulfilling the needs of small business owners with Neat. Because of the timing of Small Business Saturday, Miller thinks it’s a great time for businesses to reach out to customers and complete other important tasks, even for those businesses that aren’t main street shops.



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Small Business Saturday Ideas for Non-Retailers

Miller shared some excellent ways non-retail small businesses can celebrate Small Biz Saturday. Here are the 10 best:

Launch an Email Campaign

Small Business Saturday is a great time for small businesses to communicate with customers, either through planned email campaigns or personalized emails to each client. Even if your business is more service oriented, it can be a good time to remind customers about your offerings while they have small businesses on the brain.

Miller says, “You can launch email campaigns to encourage your customers to shop with small businesses even if you’re in the service sector. This lets you position your brand as one that supports small businesses. And customers that appreciate that might remember that the next time they need a service that you provide.”

Support Other Small Businesses on Social Media

You can do some similar positioning on social media. Post on your Facebook page or other accounts about small businesses in your area or local Small Business Saturday events. This can appeal to community-minded consumers and potentially increase your reach on those platforms.

Send Out Holiday Cards

Since Small Business Saturday is part of the official start of the holiday shopping season, it’s a perfect time to get some of your holiday tasks accomplished. Sending out handwritten or personalized cards to your clients or best customers can be a great way to differentiate your business and keep your services top of mind.

Partner with Other Small Businesses

Even if your business doesn’t have a retail store, you can still potentially benefit from the increase in retail traffic on Small Business Saturday by partnering with stores and restaurants in your community. Ask if you can put up signs at their locations or offer coupons for your services to people who shop at those stores.

Mingle in the Community

Especially for businesses in small towns or cities with active downtown communities, simply being a part of the Small Business Saturday festivities can be a great way to support your own business. Go out to shops and restaurants and talk to other shoppers and business owners, making sure you have plenty of business cards and a great elevator pitch prepared.

Support Local Events

Many communities also hold organized events for Small Business Saturday. So your business could potentially benefit from sponsoring those events, setting up a booth or otherwise participating. Even if you can’t offer something for customers to actually purchase on that day, you can show an active interest in the community and network with potential future customers.

Host an Open House

If your business has a physical location that just isn’t a retail store or restaurant, consider hosting an open house where you invite people in for refreshments or entertainment, especially if your business is located in a high traffic area. Simply getting people through the door can help you reach more potential customers and share what your business is all about.

Offer B2B Promotions

For B2B businesses, consider offering some kind of special product or service to retail stores and restaurants that will be busy on Small Business Saturday. Maybe you can offer a special rate on printed materials for marketing or a discounted month of service for bookkeeping clients. Showing that you support small businesses can help you keep those clients happy and potentially help you with some word of mouth marketing.

Prepare for Disasters

The recent hurricanes likely have a lot of small businesses thinking about their own disaster plans. For businesses that don’t experience a spike in business during the holiday season, Miller suggests that it’s the perfect time to create some of those plans, if you haven’t already.

Get Organized for Tax Season

Likewise, the start of the holiday season means the new year is right around the corner. And that means businesses should be preparing for tax time. So if you don’t have a holiday rush to worry about, Miller suggests taking this time to organize all your important documents so you won’t have to rush during the first few months of the year.

He says, “There’s a whole sector of businesses that may not be busy at the end of the year. And we encourage a lot of those folks to begin prepping for the new year around this time by engaging in bookkeeping tasks, digitizing paper documents and getting organized. Coming into January you have just a four month run up to tax time. So for businesses that are slow around the holidays, this time is critical for getting your financial house in order.”

Manufacturer Photo via Shutterstock

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Annie Pilon


Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends, covering entrepreneur profiles, interviews, feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. When she’s not writing she can be found on her personal blog Wattlebird, and exploring all that her home state of Michigan has to offer.

3 Reactions

  1. In the increasingly online world, I think that virtually any business can do something for Small Business Saturday. It doesn’t have to be at a local, physical store.

  2. NEW STUDY SHOWS FLAT ENGAGEMENT FOR SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY http://zpr.io/nt467 #SHOPSMALL #SmallBizSat

  3. Great tips, Annie, – especially the holiday cards! I love seeing consumers flock to small businesses on SBS (only wish it could be every day instead of once a year!).

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