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10 Ways to Ensure Your 2017 Small Business Saturday is a Smashing Success

10 Ways to Ensure Small Business Saturday is a Smashing Success

Forget about Black Friday. This year’s big sale day is Small Business Saturday. On November 25 (the day after Black Friday), local small businesses create a sense of community with special sales, promotions, and events.

About Small Business Saturday

This event first launched in 2010, and a year later, President Obama voiced his support and even made Small Business Saturday an official day. Last year, consumers spent more than $15 billion at small businesses on this single day. Wouldn’t you like some of that yourself?

If you’re a local business, this is a fantastic opportunity to rally customers in your community around your brand. But don’t wait until November to start your Small Business Saturday marketing strategy; planning ahead will ensure it’s a smashing success.

Stats from Small Business Saturday 2016 via Grasshopper 

  • 112 million people went out to shop small on Small Business Saturday 2016, a 13% increase from 2015
  • Among those who shopped on the day, 81% reported encouraging friends or family to shop or dine at small, independently-owned retailers and restaurants on the day too.
  • Spending on the holiday reached $15.4 billion, a small decrease from the estimated $16.2 billion in 2015.
  • More than 480 organizations joined the Small Business Saturday Coalition, a 13% increase over last year.
  • 72% of US consumers are aware of the holiday

10 Ways To Make 2017 #shopsmall a Success

  1. Take Advantage of Free Marketing Tools

On the Small Business Saturday website (which is sponsored by American Express), there are free promotional tools that will alert shoppers in your community of your participation in the event. You can customize printable signs and postcards, as well as email templates and social media posts. You can also download logos and infographics to post on your website and blog.

  1. Plan an Event Around the Shopping

You’ll get more customers if you give them more reasons to come out and support local businesses. Some of the events that the Small Business Saturday site recommends include:

  • Free kickoff breakfast
  • Scavenger hunt
  • #ShopSmall Selfie
  • Passport

You can use one of these ideas or come up with your own. Connect with other businesses in your area to work together on the events and promotions.

  1. Become a Neighborhood Champion

If you’re a go-getter, sign up to become a Neighborhood Champion. These are business associations, state and local chambers of commerce and other community organizers who arrange events or activities to boost support for Small Business Saturday.

  1. Take Inventory to Plan Promotions

Knowing what you’ve got in stock can help you determine which items you should drastically reduce to make room for new products. For anything that’s been gathering dust on your shelves, brainstorm strategies to make the items appealing. Consider giving some of your excess products away in a gift basket raffle to draw a crowd.

  1. Strategize Your Sales

You want sales that will really entice shoppers to come to your store, so the old 10 percent off deal won’t cut it. Consider some of these promotional strategies:

  • Bundling a less popular item with a best-seller
  • Buy one get one free
  • Shop today and get 40 percent off an item on next visit

Keep in mind that shoppers may come back multiple times before Christmas, so do what it takes to get them back before then. Capture email addresses at checkout so you can send customized offers to entice them to purchase additional products.

  1. Stay in the Loop Socially

As November approaches, the Small Business Saturday social media channels will be on fire. Connecting with them now will help you stay in touch with what’s happening, and you can always share those updates with your own followers.

  1. Encourage Your Business Neighbors to Get Involved

Not everyone is as tech-savvy as you, so the businesses located nearby might not know about Small Business Saturday. Pay them a visit now and get them on board so you can make an even bigger splash with your marketing efforts.

  1. Plan to Participate, Even if You’re an Online Business

While the focus of Small Business Saturday tends to be for brick-and-mortar stores, ecommerce brands are also encouraged to participate. Here are some ways to spread the word for your online store:

  • Place a Small Business Saturday logo on your site
  • Send emails alerting customers about the offers you’ll have that day only
  • Spread the word on social media
  1. Stock Up on Inventory

You can expect that you’ll sell more than usual, especially if you do your part to promote the event beforehand. Plan now for the extra inventory you’ll need so you’re not time-crunched to order it in the fall. See if you can get a discount from your suppliers for ordering larger volumes of your usual products or materials.

  1. Prepare Your Staff

The holiday season will be busy every day in the fourth quarter, but Small Business Saturday may be over the top. Ensure that you’ve hired enough people for the season and adequately trained them so they’ll be adept at handling irate and stressed customers. Small Business Saturday is your brand’s chance to be introduced to new customers for the first time, so you want to ensure that the people who represent your brand are friendly and efficient.

If you start your planning for Small Business Saturday now, you’ll have less to worry about when it rolls around, and you can simply enjoy the goodwill that comes when people get out to support their local businesses!



Kabbage Team

Kabbage is here not only to provide access to the small business funding you need, but to also help you grow your business through free marketing tips, webinars, tools and more. Is there something you'd like us to cover or want to get your small business featured on our blog? Send us a note at