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Small Business Saturday 2013: Maximize the Attention You Deserve

In 2010, Small Business Saturday was officially “born”. Brought to life by American Express, this annual event takes place the Saturday after Thanksgiving. What many merchants do not know, however, is that this money maker day celebrating independent businesses is not exclusive to those merchants who accept American Express in their stores. It’s for every independently owned business – plain and simple.

Taking place on November 30th this year, Small Business Saturday is expected to exceed the $5.5 billion dollars it generated in 2012. Having been officially recognized by the U.S. Senate in 2011, this annual event has grown attention among small businesses and consumers alike as each year passes.

With the increase in consumer awareness, having reached 67% in 2012, and the increase in customer participation, as well, Small Business Saturday is a day you simply shouldn’t ignore. So just how can you get involved and make the most of this nationally recognized event designed uniquely for indies?

Here, gain ten tips on what you can do to get involved.

  1. Register your business on the Shop Small map, provided by American Express at Amex.com. Remember, you do not need to accept American Express to participate in this event. For that matter, you do not have to officially register to participate.
  2. Download free resources, including marketing materials, from ShopSmall.com.  While they offer a limited number of “activation boxes” to help in your marketing efforts, you can still maximize your marketing without having received one of their boxes.
  3. Create your own local marketing campaign, working with your local chamber or other area organizations. A customized logo for your own community goes above and beyond, adding value to this annual event and strengthening your local community participation.
  4. Work with your local media to bring awareness to your store, while also bringing overall awareness to the movement of Small Business Saturday. Make sure to highlight local stores who are making this day a celebration and offering special sales, events and more to help add to the fun.
  5. Position yourself as a local leader in independent retail, becoming a go-to resource for the media and other small businesses. By actively engaging in this small business campaign on a more local scale, you will bring more awareness to your store while also supporting this great cause.
  6. Share interesting statistics about the impact of shopping small within your store. Get creative by framing some facts and merchandising these within your store, also identifying the November 30, 2013 Shop Small date. Don’t forget to have a sign by your check out area, as well.
  7. Stamp receipts with a “Save the Date” reminder to Shop Small beginning as early as October 1, 2013. Include the date, store hours and any other details that will make your unique store stand out on November 30th.
  8. Partner with a local business, such as a restaurant, florist or other service based retailer, and exchange coupons for each other’s stores. Buy one thing at one store? Get a coupon for the other! This team work approach increases visibility and shows consumers that indies really are “in it” together. Plus, it never hurts to reach new customers!
  9. Begin handing out incentives or coupons now that are only valid on Small Business Saturday. Make them interesting, fun and unique or keep them basic yet worth wild, such as offering 20% off.
  10. Plan a Small Business Saturday local tour that highlights all participating businesses within your town. Market the tour in advance, encourage sign ups, have each store offer complimentary beverages or food, create special events and make it a BIG, BIG deal! After all, being indie is a big deal, right?!

Finally, have fun! This day is truly about you being an independent merchant, which is something to celebrate. One last tip?

Treat yourself to some local shopping from your own favorite small business. There’s nothing like rewarding yourself while rewarding another indie business, as well!

For more information on Small Business Saturday, please check out the Fall & Holiday Issue of Retail Minded Magazine available in digital or print here. 

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