We're about a month away from Small Business Saturday, which falls on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, one of the biggest shopping weekends of the year. According to Business Insider, consumer awareness of the holiday has grown over 60 percent since it was conceived in 2010. In 2012, more than 100 million customers spent $5.5 billion at small businesses across the country on the Saturday after turkey day. With these numbers in mind, it's never too early to start gearing up for this major small business holiday. Here are a few tips to make sure you're prepared:

Start Getting the Word Out

Most people want to support small businesses and love an excuse to buy local. Invest in some signage letting your customers know about the holiday and what's in store for them if they choose to purchase your products or services.

Incentivize, Incentivize, Incentivize!

There's a reason customers skip the turkey dinner and line up at Target, Walmart and Best Buy as early as possible. Maybe you can't offer flat screen TV's for half price but you can offer discounts unique to your customers to entice them to stop by your business on Saturday. Or what about offering something the big box retailers can't - - some special personalized service to help customers with their holiday shopping list? Offering a personal shopper, gift wrapping, or even some coffee and treats to enjoy while shopping could bring even more customers your way.

Keep it Up

Just because Saturday is only 24 hours doesn't mean your push for shopping small this holiday season should end on December 1st. Keep up your marketing efforts and take advantage of the sales to be made throughout the rest of the year.

This year's Small Business Saturday will be bigger than ever! Start planning now so you don't miss out!