Fall 2013
Strategies for Small Business Saturday

Get Vocal About Local!

Here are some sample posts for Facebook:

  • True or False: I #shopsmall because the service is personal and welcoming.
  • Fill in the blank: I like shopping small at because :::____.
  • Do you enjoy shopping at our store? If so, tell us why and encourage your friends and family to Shop Small year round. #shopsmall
  • Let’s make every day a great day for small businesses. Help the Shop Small initiative grow by shopping small all year.
  • Do you know someone who owns a small business? #ShopSmall all year to support them and our community.
  • We’re proud to be a small business, and we are proud to support our community. Help support our local economy by shopping small all year.

Last year’s Small Business Saturday was a big success and plans for are under way to make November 30, the biggest Shop Small initiative yet. Here are some ideas you can implement to harness that energy for your business.

Small Business Saturday, held on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, is a nationwide event created by American Express in 2010 as a way to promote holiday shopping at locally owned small businesses during one of the busiest shopping days of the year. What can you do to rally your community, staff and customers to prepare for the event this November? We offer some simple steps to get the message out.

Get the media involved. Send a press release to your local newspapers, radio and television stations announcing your SBS participation. Local media will be looking for an angle to cover, so if you have a unique element to offer, provide that information.

SBS4Engage other businesses. Encourage neighboring businesses to participate in SBS. Offer to speak at merchant association meetings or chamber of commerce gatherings to increase knowledge of the event and the importance of shopping local.

After checking with management, post signage. Download Small Business Saturday marketing materials from the official website including logos that you can incorporate in any special event signage or promotional materials.

Print marketing materials. A card or flyer can be placed in shopping bags during the weeks leading up to the event. Consider including a coupon special or offer free gift-wrapping. Example: “Return this card for 20% off any single item. Valid only on Small Business Saturday, Nov. 30, 2013.”

Utilize the power of social media. Promote your Small Business Saturday involvement on Facebook and Twitter beginning several weeks prior to the event. SBS images are available on the website. Including images will make your posts more effective and get more shares and retweets.

Offer special one-day-only deals and discounts. Free shipping for orders over a certain amount is a popular promotion during the holiday shopping season.

Partner with mall management to find creative ways to include SBS. Include a coupon for your business in any marketing/promotional materials the mall sends out to their wider lists.

Educate your staff about the benefits of shopping small. This way, customers can also make an informed decision.

Becky Tyre

Becky Tyre is the trends editor for GIFT SHOP, a visual merchandising consultant and owner of the Retail Details blog. For more information, please visit
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