Six Tips for Retailers to Make the Most of Small Business Saturday

One of my favorite holidays, which I'm sure is yours too, is Small Business Saturday (SBS). small business saturday tips

If you're not familiar with SBS, it's an American shopping holiday held on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. It started in November 2010 and is a counterpart to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which feature big box retail and e-commerce stores. By contrast, Small Business Saturday encourages holiday shoppers to patronize brick and mortar businesses that are small and local.

I asked my dear friend and colleague Patricia Norins, spokesperson for Small Business Saturday, to provide six tips for retailers to make the most out of this day.

1. Offer special deals and discounts. Offer a special or discount for customers to use on this day only.

2. Utilize the power of social media and email marketing. Promote SBS participation via Facebook and Twitter. Be sure to mention any special deals and events you'll be offering in an email newsletter, or dedicate an entire email to SBS.

3. Store signage, balloons, banners. Download Small Business Saturday marketing materials  - including logos and signage - free of charge from ShopSmall.com.

4. Partner with your local Chamber of Commerce or Downtown Association. Last year, many Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Associations around the country got involved in SBS by hosting additional festivities within the community to celebrate and recognize independent businesses. Collaborate with your local association to implement ideas that will further your message's reach.

5. Reach out to local media. Send a press release to your local newspapers, radio and television stations announcing your SBS participation. Encourage them to interview you and your customers about SBS.

6. Collaborate with other participating independent retailers in your community. It's helpful for a group of merchants to band together. COnsider putting together some additional festivities such as activities outside the store, or encourage customers to go from store-to-store to sample holiday cookies  or pick up a free gift at each participating store.

Here's a quick overview of Small Business Saturday, feel free to share this with other retailers and with your community. Video provided by American Express.