Photo: Mike Licht

 

In November of 2010, American Express promoted a day they dubbed “Small Business Saturday” – a particular day of the year for customers to bring their business to local brick and mortar stores that are locally owned. The day ended up being a smash hit, and it was widely publicized and well-attended. Since then, Small Business Saturday has been held each year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, and it’s success has only continued to grow.
Over 88 million shoppers participate on the Saturday, spending an average of $162 per person. The day has been so successful, in fact, that’s it even spread to the United Kingdom. 2013 saw the first Small Business Saturday UK, and the same success as its American counterpart. Make sure you’re actively promoting your involvement with the Saturday! Many companies take to social media to get the word out, using the hashtag #SmallBusinessSaturday. If you’re not active on social media yet, this day would be the perfect opportunity to start making the connections and begin!

Photo: NKCDC Philadelphia

Photo: Michael Hancock

Once you’ve figured out who’s going to be running your company when you’re not, you should move on to deciding the best way to pass the baton. What specific areas do you need to train them on? How long do you think they’ll need before they have a firm grasp on what needs to be done? Do you want to stay involved in some capacity after you hand it over, or do you want to retire completely? While many of these questions can be answered as you run into them, thinking about the answers to those questions ahead of time can avoid distracting and concerning questions down the line.
Even if you’re not able or interested to have your business participate in the Saturday, make sure you yourself go out there and show your support. Pass around business cards, engage with other owners, and connect with customers – it’s a fantastic networking opportunity! You can begin making preparations for the next event – or even the next Small Business Saturday – by observing how customers respond to different business tactics. Do they gravitate more towards e-mail coupons? Did you hear griping about business hours not being easy to find? Keep an ear to the ground, and you’ll be sure to learn a few tricks for next time.

Photo: Adam Fagen

Photo: Michael Raso

If you haven’t already, you better get started! With only a little over a week left until the big day, you have time to devise and execute a master plan for a successful event. If you’re an established business that’s never ventured into the arena before, or even if you’re brand new to scene – Small Business Saturday will offer an amazing opportunity to put your name, face, and disposition out there for your potential clients to see.

 

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