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How to Get the Most out of Small Business Saturday

The retail industry has changed a lot in the last 15 years. One way it has changed is that more and more people purchase online. In an effort to support local small businesses, a new shopping day dubbed "Small Business Saturday" has been started. However, you need a strong plan to make sure you get the most out of Small Business Saturday.

What is Small Business Saturday?

Small Business Saturday is a shopping day in the United States held the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Black Friday, the Friday after Thanksgiving, is a day of big sales at many large retailers. For Americans who shop on Small Business Saturday, the day is about getting into the local brick-and-mortar stores and supporting local communities.

Small Business Saturday was first observed on November 27, 2010, and was promoted by American Express in a nationwide ad campaign. It has been publicized in social media and advertising. Politicians have even gotten into the game by making proclamations supporting the idea of shopping locally on Small Business Saturday.

In social media, the hashtags #SmallBusinessSaturday and #SmallBizSaturday have been used to highlight favorite local businesses and encourage people to shop there.

How to Get the Most Out of Small Business Saturday

Small Business Saturday is approaching quickly, and small business retailers should be prepared to take full advantage of it. Here are three ways in which you can get the most out of customers who shop on Small Business Saturday.

  1. Make sure your online presence is accurate and visible. To capitalize on Small Business Saturday it is important to make sure your business name, address and hours are correct on popular sites such as Google, Foursquare and Yelp. Update your website and Facebook pages with targeted keywords and list your specials and sales. You want to let your customers know where you are and what you have!
  2. Run a special sale or charity event on Small Business Saturday. Many businesses will be offering specials and discounts on Small Business Saturday, so make yours unique by connecting them to a non-profit fundraiser that is of interest to your target customers. You can also offer a free gift for stopping by or give out coupons that are good for discounts in future weeks.
  3. Take advantage of free marketing materials. There are Small Business Saturday websites that are dedicated to helping you market your business and encourage residents of your city to shop Small Business Saturday. By taking advantage of these free materials, you can increase the awareness of your business in your community and rally others to shop on Small Business Saturday.

Small businesses and communities both benefit when communities come out and shop on Small Businesses Saturday. By taking advantage of these tips, your business can be ready to welcome the increase of shoppers that come during the holiday season, especially on Small Business Saturday.

Krista Wolfe is a marketing project manager for Quill.com where she writes to help small businesses, teachers and healthcare professionals make more informed decisions on office essentials. She also writes on our new community blog, Café Quill, about a wide range of business matters such as leadership, productivity and work-life balancing. Krista lives in Chicago, and you can find her on Google+ or LinkedIN.

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