Participating in Small Business Saturday: Best Practices

Small Business Saturday is an event that helps small businesses thrive and boost their brand awareness. By properly marketing your product promotions, preparing your employees and organizing your store accordingly, you’ll have a safe and successful Small Business Saturday experience. Learn more about what Small Business Saturday is, benefits of participating in it, how to promote and prepare your business for the big day.


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What is Small Business Saturday?

Small Business Saturday takes place once a year and is dedicated to supporting small businesses around the country. It happens the day after Black Friday, which is the day after Thanksgiving, and before Cyber Monday, which is the first Monday after Thanksgiving.


Benefits of participating in Small Business Saturday

Small Business Saturday is a great way for local businesses to increase their profits, while encouraging customers to discover and support businesses near them. Common benefits of taking part in Small Business Saturday include:


  • Boosts awareness of your product or service: If you effectively market Small Business Saturday and the sales or discounts you’re offering, this will attract more potential customers who may have previously known little about the products you sell. 
  • Brings in more people and increases revenue: Small Business Saturday brings in many people to your store intending to support your business and purchase items. After this event, you’ll see a major increase in revenue and profit from that day, especially if you’re offering tempting discounts. 
  • Helps you get to know your customers better:This event attracts more customers to your growing business, giving you and your employees a chance to connect and get to know them better. If they enjoy the products you sell and receive a positive and welcoming customer service experience from you, they’ll continue coming back to your store.
  • Increases your involvement with the community: Interacting with community members or offering them special discounts shows your dedication to the community. Customers will enjoy your commitment to community pride, which will make them want to support and visit your store more often. 

How to promote your business leading up to Small Business Saturday

The best way to get customers purchasing your products on Small Business Saturday is to implement effective marketing and promotional strategies to boost the community’s awareness. Follow these steps to market your business for Small Business Saturday: 


1. Download special Small Business Saturday promotional materials 

American Express, which started the annual day, creates marketing materials for small businesses to easily download and use to promote your store. Each marketing item is featured as a template for you to fill in your business’ name and any promotional details. This is a great starting point when marketing this event, as this kit is free and the designs are easily recognizable since several other small businesses are downloading and using these promotional materials too. 


The Shop Small Kit includes: 

  • A flyer
  • A poster
  • An email template 
  • Images and post templates for social media

2. Post about it on social media

Posting on social media is a free way to excite your audience about your event. There are many engaging posts you can create that will entice your followers to attend and learn more. Build a social media calendar and stick with it as you regularly post about the upcoming event. Some creative social media post ideas include: 


  • Use hashtags like #SmallBizSat or #ShopSmall to reach a wider audience
  • Share behind the scenes posts to give customers a sneak peek of your employees setting up and preparing for the event 
  • Create a short and fun promotional video 
  • Post teasers and pictures of new products that you’ll release on Small Business Saturday 
  • Make visually appealing images using graphic design tools to announce promotions or discounts on the day of the event 
  • Ask local influencers in your community to post about your business to get their fans excited and interested to attend

3. Develop a targeted marketing strategy 

Build a budget that allows you to market and cater your messaging to your target audience. Create compelling content and campaigns that describe the benefits and perks customers will get if they visit your store on Small Business Saturday. Utilize paid advertising to target your campaigns to reach more people in your community through social media, websites and search engine results.


If you already have an email list or have previously collected your customer’s email addresses, write a few emails promoting your upcoming event and send them out to those customers. Offer discounted deals only for the recipients on your email list. This gets customers excited to participate in exclusive sales just for them.


4. Get involved in the community 

Spreading the news about your Small Business Saturday sales to other community members helps locals more easily discover it. Tell your customers about the upcoming event and encourage them to share with their friends. Join community-wide events as a business so people know you and your employees are active members of the community who support other local organizations. Get actively involved in charities or local events by sponsoring them. Community members will notice this and will want to support your business more. 


5. Build effective SEO strategies

Since you’re regularly promoting your business through advertising and promotional efforts, ensure your website is updated and ready for an influx of visitors. People will learn more about your business after seeing your marketing material, so they’ll head to your website to learn more. Post your hours, contact information and location directly on your homepage to help visitors find your store’s details right away. Optimize your website for local search, so more potential customers will find your site. 


Create content talking about Small Business Saturday and make sure it contains the necessary keywords and images needed to be properly optimized to appear at the top of search engine results. Do the same for your current content as well. 


Tips for participating in Small Business Saturday

Small Business Saturday can be a booming and successful time for your store, as long as you prepare your store and employees for it. These tips will help you get your business ready for a great Small Business Saturday event: 


Decorate both the inside and outside of your store

Get your store ready for the special occasion by decorating it to attract more customers. Place festive decorations and signs outside of your store to get passersby to stop and visit. Make large signs that clearly communicate any special discounts or promotions you’re offering that day. Have your store prepared for extra customers by re-organizing items and displays to provide more space for customers so they don’t feel crowded. 


Offer special discounts or promotions 

Entice more people to visit your store by offering special discounts or promotions they can only receive on the day of the event. Types of discounts or promotions to offer include:


  • Special product discounts for residents and community members 
  • Promotions given to your social media account followers 
  • Giveaways provided to people who visit your store, purchase your product or sign up for a mailing list 

Get your employees ready for the event

It’s important to have your employees mentally and physically prepared for the overwhelming number of people who may attend Small Business Saturday. Hold a meeting and possible training session to explain what to expect on the day of the event. Consider assigning certain employees to specific tasks ahead of time. This way, all your employees will know where they should be and what job to complete to remain efficient and in control that day. 


Frequently asked questions about Small Business Saturday


When is Small Business Saturday? 

Businesses and community members celebrate Small Business Saturday each year in November on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. It’s nestled in between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which are other popular shopping days that occur during the holiday season.


How can I promote my Small Business Saturday event?

There are numerous ways to promote your Small Business Saturday event. The best option for you depends on your budget and timeframe. Some ideas to promote your event include: 


  • Hanging signage around the community
  • Hosting raffles and giveaways 
  • Partnering with other businesses to display each other’s signage and promotional material
  • Sharing photos and live updates of your event on social media
  • Hiring in-store entertainment like magicians or musicians to perform the day of the event


What is the purpose of Small Business Saturday?

The purpose of Small Business Saturday is to remind consumers that there are local businesses nearby and that these businesses rely on them to remain financially stable. Small Business Saturday gives them a chance to help their community thrive, while also receiving great discounts, delicious food and new product items. 


Small Business Saturdays are wonderful opportunities for your business to make a strong profit and increase their brand’s awareness. Regularly check in on your employees throughout the day to ensure they’re feeling comfortable and aren’t overwhelmed by the influx of customers. 

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