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Eight Tips to Make Small Business Saturday Work for Your Business

Eight Tips to Make Small Business Saturday Work for Your Business

American Express created Small Business Saturday as an opportunity to promote and support small businesses, especially during the holiday season when most retailers make the bulk of their revenue.

It’s been a raging success, and last year, it brought much-needed relief to many struggling small business owners. According to the Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey, shoppers in 2020 spent close to $20 billion at local businesses on this day alone.

While Small Business Saturday is just a short time away – it’s set for November 27th – it’s not too late for entrepreneurs to get their “unfair share” of that multi-billion dollar pie. Here are eight tips that small business owners can quickly implement, even if they don’t have a strategy prepared as yet. Pick one or do all - whatever your schedule can manage.

[Related: The One Thing Standing in the Way of Scaling Your Business]

Tip #1.

Contact your local Chamber of Commerce to find out what they are doing to support Small Business Saturday. Review and determine which activities you can participate in.

Tip #2.

Go with what you got. Supply chain disruptions have wreaked havoc for many entrepreneurs. Yes, you may not have everything, but you have something. Concentrate on what you have in-store and in-stock to attract customers. Offer gift cards as stocking stuffers to be redeemed for future purchases.

Tip #3.

Reach out to your fellow local businesses to find out their activities and suggest cross-promoting if, of course, it’s mutually beneficial. For example, ask a local bakery to donate cupcakes that you will give away to your first 25 in-store customers. Both you and the bakery can feature the promotion on your respective websites, in fliers, and in-store literature.

Include signage at your venue, i.e. “Cupcakes Courtesy of The Bakery,” and include their contact information. At the bakery, have information on your company highlighted at the shop, either in store windows, at point-of-sales, or on counters. If it’s doable, representatives from both companies should be on-site for direct interaction with potential clients.

NOTE: As with all agreements, get everything in writing to eliminate potential misunderstandings.

Tip #4.

Incentives work wonders. Consider offering a 10% off coupon on purchases made in-store or online to be redeemed after the holiday season. January is a traditionally slow time, and additional shoppers – and the resulting income – will be welcomed.

[Related: How to Successfully Pivot as a Female Entrepreneur]

Tip #5.

Saturate your website and social media with your Small Business Saturday’s sales, activities, etc. Create a social media posting calendar to ensure consistently.

Post often – remember, you’re starting late and with so much daily news happening, you want to break through all that noise to reach your target audience. This consistency will assist in making your business stand out from the pack. Be sure to triple proof the content – a typo can cost money.

NOTE: Include #ShopSmall, #SmallBusinessSaturday, and/or #SmallBizSat in your online content to generate additional attention and visibility. And always hashtag the name of your business.

Tip #6.

You don’t need to hire a designer to produce professional quality graphics. American Express offers a free toolkit that allows you to create customized marketing materials in minutes!

Tip #7.

Contact your local media to find what their coverage is for the day. Offer yourself as a source for interviews. Highlight what makes your business unique; any special deals that will go beyond the day; and – MOST IMPORTANT - what you have in stock and ready-to-buy.

Don’t forget to contact your community newspaper. These micro-local news sources, such as Patch, are the heartbeat of neighborhoods, and getting attention there can help to increase your visibility.

Tip #8.

Host a #SmallBusinessSaturday preview the day before, on the 26th. This allows you to attract additional post-Thanksgiving buyers to your business and extends the opportunity to build revenue.

FYI - For tips on contacting the press and preparing for interviews, check out my book, “The Little Book of Big PR: 100+ Quick Tips to Get Your Small Business Noticed” (Amacom/HarperCollins). Available as a e-book on Amazon, there’s a full chapter on media relations with easy-to-follow information ranging from how to contact the media to leveraging your press placements.

Have a great Small Business Saturday!

[Related: How to Thrive in the Reinvention Revolution]


Jennefer Witter is the CEO/Founder of The Boreland Group, a NYC-based boutique public relations agency. Witter has been featured in many top-tier media outlets including The Wall Street Journal, Business Insider, Bloomberg Radio and WJLA. She also speaks on business topics and has presented at The Brookings Institution, the Durst Corporation, Columbia University and The Riveter, among others. She is the author of "The Little Book of Big PR: 100+ Quick Tips to Get Your Small Business Noticed" (Amacom/HarperCollins).

Follow Jennefer on LinkedIn.

Have more questions? Follow up with the expert herself.


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