4 fabulous suggestions for Small Business Saturday | Make your business stand out from the pack

Small Business Saturday takes place right after Thanksgiving. Because everything starts with Thanksgiving, right? Fabulously smelling, mouth watering Thanksgiving turkey on the table. The most delicious meal and an awesome family time, counting the blessings on Thanksgiving! Then comes Black Friday with humongous shopping deals and all those ginormous discounts. The very next day, it’s Small Business Saturday! Yey! 

After that comes Cyber Monday and please do not letting Giving Tuesday go by without supporting your favorite charity. Phew, what a season!  

What is Small Business Saturday?

Small Business Saturday falls on November 30 this year and it’s the Saturday after Thanksgiving. It’s an event started by American Express in 2010 in order to “help small businesses thrive, one purchase at a time”. The movement started at a time when many American businesses were struggling to come out of the great economic recession. In 2012 all 50 American states were celebrating it. Then the next year, in 2013, Small Business Saturday UK began in the UK, after its success on the American turf, and today is becoming more and more of a global event. 

Last year, Small Business Saturday meant nearly $18 billion in spending, a boom for small businesses relying on holiday sales. According to the 2018 Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey, 104 million shoppers spent a record high of $17.8 billion last year

In order for us to understand it better, American Express, the company who invented it describes it saying that “Small Business Saturday is fueled each year by Neighborhood Champions, the businesses, business associations, local Chambers of Commerce, and other community organizers who rally their communities to celebrate Small Business Saturday.” 

Last year, more than 7,500 Neighborhood Champions in all 50 states, engaged approximately 2.2 million small businesses to get shoppers out into their communities to Shop Small with events and activities like holiday pop-up markets shopping passport programs, sleigh rides through town and more. 

Why is Small Business Saturday important for Appointfix clients and app users?

Appointfix mobile scheduling app is used by approximately 40,000 small business owners in the USA, Australia, UK, etc. That is a beautiful big community of hard working people and brave individuals with a vision. All these people work with appointments and understand the importance of not having any no-shows or missed appointments by their clients. 

The automated reminders help them immensely as their businesses grow and they project a more professional image to their customers. An automated text message reminder about the appointment gets to the client’s phone before their appointments (a week, an hour, a day before, whatever your preference). 

What happens it that the sms reminder informs the client about their coming appointment. It also fulfills another objective though. It makes the Appointfix user, who is a small business owner, look very professional to their clients. 

At Appointfix we have a special appreciation for small business owners and we’re doing our best to provide services that enable small businesses to be more profitable, and save time by using our scheduling appointments app. We’re working to make your life a little bit easier, dear Appointfix users. We focus on delivering excellent app services. That is why we constantly improve the app, adding new features which you requested. Our job is to make sure your clients never miss their appointments again! We want to help you be more organized and professional so that your business can flourish and you have a little bit more free time. 

With this objective in mind, we have designed a campaign starting on Thanksgiving and going until Cyber Monday. So we are celebrating Small Business Saturday offering Appointfix Premium and Appointfix Ultimate at unbelievable subscription prices! Check out the details on our blog here and here

How to be part of Small Business Saturday

With approximately 60% of small business owners saying that Small Business Saturday contributes substantially to their holidays sales every year, your small business should try to find a spot at the shopping party. There are ways of promoting the movement and getting yourself involved. 

If you’re not part of the Neighbourhood Champions this year, you can plan to participate in it next year. There are many other ways in which you can promote your small business and be a part of the global Small Business Saturday movement. 

Ways to draw attention to your business 

Here are four ideas ready to be put into action by ambitious small business owners: 

1. Small Business Saturday party/event

Small Business Saturday is the annual celebration of your business. So “come on baby, let’s go party!” It’s the perfect opportunity to put together a party at the salon, or in your shop, etc. The location depends on your business. Invite your clients, family and business contacts to check out your business, have a drink and very important: to buy something. 

As a small business owner, you know that Small Business Saturday was invented for you, in order to raise people’s awareness about supporting local businesses. And what better way to celebrate than to organize an event on the exact day. Think about organizing it both online and offline though! See point 3 below regarding the online aspects of your event. 

Decorations, balloons, party signs, drinks and snacks, and some nice music are a few elements needed for a great party. For the Small Business Saturday party though, you will also offer a special deal with some attractive discounts. You can do that specifically for the participants, encouraging them to buy more of your services. 

The people who come to your party/event are people who support your small business. They buy from you, they might be your most loyal clients, the family who was with you through thick and thin, the friends who encouraged you to start a small business, the people who recognize your talents and potential. They’ll love celebrating with you! 

If one of your friends is a singer or musician, talk to them to take care of the music for a couple hours. People love a relaxing atmosphere. So maybe you can plan for a two-three hour party celebrating your business on November 30th this year.  

A small business owner is a people’s person in general, so you interact with these folks (you’re inviting to your event) on a frequent basis, probably even daily. So Small Business Saturday is the best reminder for all your clients, friends and family to support your business. A nice chill event connects people to your business even more. A nice invitation entice them to attend your celebration and buy from you.

2. Customer reward or prize to anyone visiting your business on Small Business Saturday

Small Business Saturday is very different than Labor Day. One of the main differences is that Labor Day is celebrated by having the day off. Small Business Saturday is the day when small businesses are celebrated, but usually they don’t have the luxury of taking the day off and closing the shop. Because it’s the day to make more money and sell more. 

So having your hair salon, spa, beauty parlor, pastry, shop, etc. open all day on Saturday, gives you the opportunity to do something to reward every client stepping on your door that day.  

For example, you can ask your clients to respond to a fun question related to your business, your services, slogan, etc. Or something totally independent, which you think would raise awareness about the importance of supporting small businesses. Brainstorm to come up with a nice little question your clients would love. 

In return, as a little celebratory reward, you can offer them a free cup of tea or coffee to enjoy while networking with another client. Also throw in there a discount for their next visit. It is the day after Black Friday after all, and clients expect discounts every day after Thanksgiving, including Cyber Monday and until Giving Tuesday. 

3. Hashtags and Social Media

All over social media, Small Business Saturday movement will be celebrated with hashtags. They have the power to raise awareness and extend the good vibe all over the internet. 

The hashtags you should use on all your online channels to promote the event and promotions you’re offering to celebrate should be: #SmallBusinessSaturday, #SmallBizSat, #ShopSmall, #BuyLocal.  

Small Business Saturday should be a point of reference on your social media channels. The event is educational, as clients don’t realize how important it is to support small businesses. The health of a whole economy of the country has a lot to do with the health and prosperity of small businesses. 

Update your Social Media channels with teasers about #SmallBusinessSaturday. Announce it on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc. as an event/party for your business and offer some discounts to encourage people to buy. Be both informative and creative with your social media posts. Use some beautiful pictures and learn to use storytelling. Post a few times during the actual event day, enticing people to buy. 

Some ideas for writing some quick social media posts: you can tell people why you started a small business and what do you love about it. You can share some of the challenges of the job, without forgetting to add the pluses and joys as well. 

4. Involve the press 

Your business is part of the local community and media likes to promote local businesses. Make some phone calls and take advantage of the buzz that media can create on Small Business Saturday. 

Media can encourage locals to shop more at local businesses. They have the power to inform and instruct clients. So do a little bit of homework, prepare a little description/presentation about your small business, and let the media make you more famous. 

Ways to get the media involved: first you can just call your local radio station and see if they could include your small business on the list of businesses they’ll be mentioning and featuring during the day. Another way would be to write a little article, like a press release, that the local newspaper could publish. Write a few paragraphs about how your small business is celebrating the event and what you love about being a small business owner. 

Your local radio station, newspaper or TV station should be very excited about Small Business Saturday. And many times they need good material they can publish or broadcast. Chances are, they are going to cover the day with different articles and interviews. Reach out to them and offer to have an interview. 

Invite local journalists to your Small Business Saturday party/event. Prepare a little bag of goodies for them. A media kit in which you should include some details like: information about your business, details about when, how and why you started the small businesses, details about your products and services and any other info that can be helpful to them when they write an article in which they might feature your business. Adding a discount coupon and a little box of chocolates for them is appreciated, as it shows you value their time and are a good host. . 

In conclusion:

According to the Small Business Economic Impact Study from American Express, for every dollar spent at small businesses in the U.S., approximately 67 cents stays in the local community. And every dollar spent at small businesses creates an additional 50 cents in local business activity, was stated in the same study. It’s the result of employee spending and businesses purchasing local goods and services. Therefore, this holiday shopping season is going to be significant for sales increase. 

Small Business Saturday is more than just a one day event though, as small businesses should benefit from clients shopping all read round. From Appointfix, we’d like to encourage our clients to celebrate Small Business Saturday by doing something to mark the day. 

Either if choosing one of the above ideas or doing something else, do something is the secret. It’s really worth it in bringing you more sales that day and it educates your clients as they realize it’s important to “shop small” and support local businesses. People who participate in Small Business Saturday events, say they are encouraged to “shop small” during the entire year, not only on the celebratory annual Saturday. 

Are you planning to do something in your shop, salon or office to mark Small Business Saturday on November 30th this year? The event you plan can encourage your clients to shop small throughout the year. And what else could you ask for? Happy Small Business Saturday! 

Emilia is Marketing Director at Appointfix, an app helping professionals and small businesses easily schedule appointments and reduce client no-shows using automated text reminders. Feel free to drop her an email at emilia.pustan@appointfix.com.