Shop SmallThe biggest shopping time is officially upon us. Big box retailers have door buster sales on Black Friday while E-commerce sites have Cyber Monday for the online world. So how about the little guys and everyone in between? Enter Small Business Saturday. Created by American Express back in 2010, Small Business Saturday aims to capitalize on the shopping fever by encouraging holiday shoppers to patronize brick and mortar businesses that are both small and local. It’s a day dedicated to supporting small businesses across the country.

This year Small Business Saturday is on November 30th and if are an American Express Merchant account holder you can participate in this event. Here’s a few tips to get your small business ready for the day:

1- If you haven’t visited the Shop Small resources site, you should check out their FREE marketing material (all sponsored by American Express). You can incorporate logos into your own materials and banners to print; you can even get a cool Small Business Saturday welcome mat. Make sure you show that you are part of the movement by hanging the sign in your store and adding the Shop Small logo to your website. Not only will you get to take advantage of the monster that is American Express to help promote your business, but you will also help your customers to save $10 simply by purchasing from you during the event. Seems like a win-win to us!

2- Set specific goals for Small Business Saturday and beyond. Whether it’s a percentage goal, generating a certain amount of new business or retaining your current customers. When you set goals for your business it motivates you to work hard to reach that goal.

3- Promote your business on social media. Let your customers know what specials you are having that day and encourage them to come in. Be sure to post about it at least 3 times per week and keep reminding them. Use the hashtags #SmallBusinessSaturday , #SmallBizSat and #ShopSmall to engage conversation and inform new customers on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

4- Know your consumer. By knowing who will potentially be shopping in your stores is the key to marketing success. Once you’ve set your goals, know your audience will help you reach it in no time. For example, if you own a clothing boutique and you notice that mainly women between the ages of 30-45 shop the most in your store, be sure to target that specific audience. Do your research and come up with something that those women will get excited about.

5- Excellent customer service never goes out of style and neither does free stuff. Always keep someone on hand to greet your customers with a smile when they walk in and offer a festive treat like cookies or warm apple cider. Another option is to hand out product samples.

One of main reason Small Business Saturday exists is to help grow local communities and keep the economy strong. When we shop small, 50% of the money spent stays in the community.  Take advantage of the plentiful resources there are for Small Business Saturday and make it a success! 

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