4 Tips for Small Business Saturday® Success

small business saturday success

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

It is incredible but true: American Express® reported that shoppers spent over $20 billion at independently owned small businesses and restaurants on the Saturday after Thanksgiving¹. These are awe-inspiring numbers, especially considering that Black Friday occurred the day before and Cyber Monday was right around the corner. Retail analysts attribute the popularity and success of Small Business Saturday® to effective marketing campaigns and widespread media coverage leading up to the annual event.

In addition, shopping at local mom-and-pop stores is a welcome relief from the packed parking lots, long lines, and shopping mall chaos of Black Friday. Knowing how lucrative Small Business Saturday® can be for Main Street USA, now is the time to prepare for this year’s event on November 25, 2023. This Balboa Capital blog article lists four tips for Small Business Saturday® success.

1. Log online and spread the word.

In the days leading up to Small Business Saturday®, your customers and prospects who visit your website should be reminded of the big shopping day. So mention Small Business Saturday® on the homepage of your website, and add some text that explains why they should purchase your products or use your services.

If you use social media to promote your business, post something every other day, and use hashtags such as #SmallBusinessSaturday, #SmallBiz, #SmallBizOwner, and #DineSmall. In addition to helping you gain new fans and followers, this can engage local customers and result in sales.

2. Run a promotion, or have a one-day sale.

Special promotions and one-day sales events can build anticipation and excitement. Considering that consumers will be inundated with offline and online ads that promote Small Business Saturday®, it gives them a little extra incentive to shop at your small business or restaurant on November 25, 2023.

A discount, gift card raffle, free giveaway, or buy one, get one free (BOGO) offer can help attract new customers and drum up sales on Small Business Saturday®. You can promote these things on folding A-frame sidewalk signs, window signs, and hanging banners. In addition, table tents and menu inserts are excellent promotional tools if you own a restaurant.

3. Collaborate with other small businesses.

Collaborating with non-competing small businesses in your area is a great way to drive sales for complementary products and services. For example, a florist might team up with a stationery store to offer special discounts on Small Business Saturday® (i.e., customers who buy flowers can get a discount on greeting cards, and vice-versa). Another idea is to reach out to other small business owners to see if they would be interested in cross-promotion.

Many customers who visit your small business might be interested in other products or services that may (or may not) be related to yours. Promoting non-competing companies in exchange for your promotion can help both parties generate more sales. Placing postcards, business cards, or small displays near the checkout counter are three inexpensive ways to cross-promote.

4. Participate in local events.

Many cities and towns in the United States celebrate Small Business Saturday® with fun-filled events such as street fairs. It is worth considering if your city or town has an event this year. Your participation or sponsorship shows that you are proud to be a part of the small business community and support local businesses and restaurants throughout the neighborhood.

In addition, a local Small Business Saturday® event can help you drive interest from each business’s customer base. The results are increased brand awareness and, hopefully, a nice boost in holiday sales.

About Small Business Saturday®.

American Express® launched Small Business Saturday® in 2010 to encourage people to “shop small” on the Saturday after Thanksgiving². Since its inception, this one-day event has been a boon to small businesses in every industry.

The National Retail Federation® reported that 63.4 million shoppers participated in Small Business Saturday® in 2022³, up from 51 million the year before. In addition, the survey revealed that the most popular gifts purchased over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend were clothing and accessories, toys, gift cards, books/video games/other media, food and candy, and electronics.

1. https://www.americanexpress.com/us/small-business/shop-small/
2. https://www.americanexpress.com/us/small-business/shop-small/about/
3. https://nrf.com/media-center/press-releases/record-1967-million-consumers-shop-over-thanksgiving-holiday-weekend

Balboa Capital, a Division of Ameris Bank, is not affiliated with nor endorses Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, Black Friday, American Express, or the National Retail Federation. The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.