Last minute tips to draw crowds on Small Business Saturday

Small Business Saturday is almost here! This Saturday, November 28, you can tout the benefits of your small business, along with thousands of others, to take advantage of what’s become a very successful day for local shops. 

It’s a day that gives you the power to showcase your small business – and you should feel proud to tell your community how you keep money in your local economy and employ people who live nearby. This is no “small” feat – small businesses generate 40% of all retail jobs and represent 54% of all domestic sales in the U.S.

Why should you take full advantage of Small Business Saturday? Whether you have a storefront or your shop is online, the opportunity to market this day is well worth it.

  • In 2014, it’s estimated that Americans spent $14.3 million on Small Business Saturday.
  • It’s a perfect time to jump start holiday sales.
  • Americans are significantly more confident in small businesses than in big business.
  • One if four Americans shop on this day.
  • Almost all of the shoppers polled in 2014 said shopping at small businesses makes them feel good.

So, how can you promote your small business to compete with Black Friday door busters?  Use these tips to compliment your existing marketing efforts as you head into the holidays. 

  • Partner with other businesses in your area (or complimentary online shops) to give your message momentum. Capture cross-promotion and a wider reach.
  • Host a special event. This can range from free hot chocolate, mulled wine and treats to carolers, visits with Santa, a photo booth or quirky games. 
  • If you join forces with other small businesses in your area, consider a passport activity and a prize for those who collect stamps from the entire group of local shops. 
  •  Everyone loves coupons. You can give a discount to your loyal customers – and newbies – to encourage them to shop local. 
  • Direct marketing works. You’ve collected followers and fans all year. Now is the time to let your fan base know that you’ve got what they need. Avoid the crowds and shop in a relaxing atmosphere away from big box stores. Share the economic benefits above to really hit home.
  • Email is a great way to share coupons, giveaway offers and event notifications to the folks who love your business!
  • Get your website in order. Just like your storefront, your online presence can send a powerful message. Take the time to let visitors know what you’re up to! You can be personal – shopping small means supporting local families. Consider sharing a holiday picture of yours!
  • When your customers arrive on Saturday (or after) treat them to excellent customer service like you always do. Engage with them, share some holiday cheer and ask exactly what they need. Use your size as an advantage and be responsive to their needs. 
  • Banners and fliers are great ways to promote your brick and mortar business. You can download Small Business Saturday logos and other printable items at
  • Give your small business a push on social media this week. Use hashtags like #shoplocal #shopsmall #smallbusinesssaturday #smallbusiness and others used by your fellow retailers in your town. Consider a hashtag of your town’s name, #handmade if you make your own goods, and other tags that promote why your business is awesome! 
  • If your business donates to charity, this is a great time to let your customers know that part of the money they spend at your shop goes to a good cause! 

Need more ideas? Pinterest is a great resource to see how other small businesses are promoting their events. There are lots of memes with pretty graphics listing the benefits of shopping local.

Finally, when the wrapping paper settles and your hot cider has run dry, be sure to thank your customers. A quick, personal note can make your neighbors and customers feel special – it gives them that warm and fuzzy feeling they’re after when they support people like you during the holidays. 

Best of luck on this busy day!