Holiday shopping season lurks just around the corner. And small businesses need tons of new ways to bring new customers through the door. One of your best opportunities may fall on Small Business Saturday. The holiday has supported small businesses for nearly a decade. New business owners, make sure you make the most of this holiday. Just enough time remains to plan and benefit from the event.
Small Business Saturday 2019 is coming soon and we’ve got the one guide you need to get ready to roll out the carpet and attract customers.
Small Business Saturday 2019
When Is Small Business Saturday?
This year, Small Business Saturday 2019 falls on November 30. It always takes place on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, so the day after Black Friday and two days before Cyber Monday. It is an all-day event. And many businesses stretch out the entire Black Friday/Small Business Saturday/Cyber Monday festivities to offer a long weekend full of specials and sales to grab customers’ attention.
What Is Small Business Saturday?
Small Business Saturday is an annual holiday meant to call attention to the importance of small businesses in our economy and to encourage support for small companies, especially at the beginning of the holiday shopping season. Many local communities host shopping events and businesses around the country host sales and specials to encourage local shoppers to stop by.
American Express originally trademarked the holiday back in 2010. But it’s since been picked up by many businesses and organizations throughout the country, including the U.S. Small Business Administration and tons of local chambers of commerce and downtown shopping districts.
Who Can Celebrate Small Business Saturday?
Small Business Saturday is for all small businesses. It’s especially relevant for retail businesses since it falls during the holiday shopping season and is well known for the #ShopSmall campaign. However, both online and offline businesses can participate, as well as local restaurants, small service providers and even B2B businesses.
How Can Small Business Saturday Benefit My Business?
The SBA estimates  that 108 million consumers supported small businesses last year on Small Business Saturday. So the holiday has certainly gotten people’s attention throughout the country. Since it takes place during the holiday shopping season, small retailers are likely to benefit the most. But with more and more customers going out shopping, they’re also likely to stop by local restaurants, coffee shops and entertainment venues in their communities.
Even local service providers and companies that don’t have much to do with holiday shopping can host sales or take part in local events to get the attention of relevant consumers on a day where their mind is already focused on supporting small businesses.
Once you get new customers through the door as part of a special event like Small Business Saturday, you may be able to convert them into repeat customers. Provide a positive experience and highlight the qualities of your business that set you apart from larger competition. And those customers who may not have even been aware of your company a week before could turn into lifetime visitors.
Ideas for Promoting Your Business
One of the best ways you can call attention to your business on Small Business Saturday is by taking part in various events in your community. Check with your local chamber of commerce or business organization to see if there are any shopping events or specials that you can participate in. They might even create a map or directory of local shops to help customers find new small businesses to support in the area.
You can also promote your small business  online. Offer special deals to those who follow you on social media or sign up for your email list to reward those who support your small business throughout the rest of the year. You might even partner with other businesses in your area or niche and host a joint contest or giveaway so you can reach new potential consumers online.
Finally, since Small Business Saturday falls during the busiest shopping season of the year, deals or added value on purchases can go a long way. Call attention to your deals by posting online, taking out local ads or simply putting up signage.
It makes no difference what methods you use to bring people through the door. You must provide them with a positive experience. It keeps them coming back. Small businesses usually don’t realistically keep up with larger competitors strictly on price. So try to add value in other ways. Consider offering a free gift for those who spend a certain amount. Offer gift wrapping. Partner with a local restaurant. Give each customer a coupon so they can enjoy lunch or dinner after a full day of shopping.
Resources for Small Businesses
Do you want to make the most of Small Business Saturday? Maybe you don’t know where to start. Browse through the resources available to help.
American Express provides  maps and directories to help consumers find small businesses to support. Sign up for an account. Learn more about getting your business listed. The company also offers  the “Shop Small Studio.” You can help create custom posters and signage to support your store or local business.