Time to Prepare for Small Business Saturday

Is your company ready for Small Business Saturday? If not, you could be missing out on one of the biggest shopping days of the year – and that revenue can go far to kick off your holiday season!

Small Business Saturday was first presented by American Express in 2010 to promote local shopping on Thanksgiving weekend. It's now become a staple of the holiday weekend, sandwiched between Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Why shop local? For every $100 spent at a local business, $68 stays in that town. Spending $100 at a national chain means only $43 stays in town. Small business owners know how important it is to cultivate a thriving local community that shops close to home. Those communities are responding — shoppers spent more than $16 billion at small businesses on Small Business Saturday in 2015.

But just being open for business the Saturday after Thanksgiving isn't enough to pull in that level of revenue. Succeeding during this shopping event takes planning, preparation and even a bit of teamwork.

Get ready for Small Business Saturday by doing the following:

1. Consider how you can get involved

Small Business Saturday isn't just an event for boutiques. Consider how your restaurant, salon or other service business can take part. If you work with clients or customers on Saturdays, consider this a special day to wow them.

2. Register to participate

Registration isn't required to participate, but doing so makes it easier for potential new customers to find you. It will put your business on the map of participating businesses in your area. Plus, you'll get access to customizable marketing materials to start spreading the word that you're excited for Saturday.

3. Collaborate with neighbors

Small Business Saturday is a great opportunity to get reacquainted with your small business neighbors and get to know newcomers. Get in touch with the businesses around you to make sure they're aware of Small Business Saturday. If they're planning to participate, think about ways to work together by offering complementary services or specials to your customers.

4. Tell your customers

Don't forget about social media, your email list and your website! Let customers know about your Small Business Saturday activities well in advance of the event. It's a busy weekend, so you'll want to be sure your customers have time to plan ahead.

5. Celebrate!

Enjoy the busy day, and don't forget to snap a few photos to share after your event. Then, mark your calendar to start planning ahead for next year's success!

Not sure how to approach Small Business Saturday? There's still time to meet with a SCORE mentor to prepare for success!

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