small business saturdaySmall Business Saturday is November 26 this year – is your business ready? Launched in 2010 by American Express, it’s the Black Friday for small businesses, and it can mean big things for yours.

In 2016, more than 95 million consumers shopped at small businesses on Small Business Saturday, spending approximately $16.2 billion.

To make the most of the day for your business, however, you can’t just sit back and wait for the customers to come to you. Across the country, small businesses are getting creative to bring in the customers and show them just how good local shopping can be.

Here are a few innovative ways to make Small Business Saturday a big success.

  • Make it a party: Consider providing yummy treats, drinks and/or musicians to provide a festive environment. Everyone loves a good party.
  • Cater to families: If kids are entertained, parents are happy shoppers. Clowns, face painters and balloon artists will have kids begging parents to come in your door.
  • Pull out all the stops on social media: Use Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram to create hype leading up to the day and during it to remind people why it’s so important for their community to shop local. Don’t forget traditional signage too. You can create free custom marketing materials online.
  • Band together with other merchants: Get creative together – do shared mailings, social media promotions and giveaways. Share flyers for their special deals in your customers’ bags in exchange for them doing the same for yours.
  • Promote the day all year: Consider partnering with other businesses to create something like reusable themed shopping bags that will promote Small Business Saturday in your area year-round.
  • Give out gift bags: Whether you give them out with a purchase or to the first 20 people who visit your place, the allure of gift bags is hard for many people to resist.
  • Offer samples: If you have products that lend themselves to sampling, station people outside and inside your business to draw them in and let them try new things.
  • Alert the media: Let your local newspapers and radio stations know what kind of activities and deals you’ve lined up. You may end up getting some helpful free promotion.

What are you doing to drive business to your store on Small Business Saturday?

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