Salute and Celebrate Small Business Saturday
Thanksgiving is this Thursday, when many will celebrate and feast with family and friends. Then, on Black Friday, shoppers who have strong constitutions and determination will gather en masse before the crack of dawn in front of their favorite big box stores to take advantage of any and every sale within sight. The high voltage energy and anticipation which accompanies Black Friday might make the following day seem anticlimactic. But let’s give some attention to Small Business Saturday®.
Opposites of extremes – from generational to scale
Black Friday was established and has been observed since 1952, while Small Business Saturday was first acknowledged in 2010, making it the “youngest” of the singular holiday shopping days. Black Friday is about well-known, easily identifiable store names selling equally well-known brands, whereas on Small Business Saturday, small stores, which aren’t mega-brands, are supported by their community. No contest. Black Friday wins. Well, maybe in terms of making more money.
The purpose and appeal of Small Business Saturday
It’s ironic, but Small Business Saturday was established by a well-known brand, having been started, supported, and registered by American Express® – signified by a logo reading “Shop Small®.” And, when consumers choose to “shop small” on this specific Saturday, they benefit the economy, their local community, and the workforce. Additionally, there is the person-to-person connection between merchant and customer which has become scarce in the online shopping world of today.
Small Business Saturday has gained in recognition and practice. Some points to consider:
- Last year, Business Wire reported an estimated 43 percent of adults as having shopped or dined locally on this day.
- This year, Toast, a fast-growing restaurant management platform, is participating and helping local restaurants of selected towns and cities.
- Lin-Manuel Miranda, famed composer and star of the acclaimed Broadway musical, “Hamilton,” and ambassador for American Express® will actively promote Small Business Saturday in Puerto Rico – evidence of how awareness of this day is gaining in momentum and reach.
Could 2018 be the year when Small Business Saturday reaches the 50 percent point? Here are ideas and resources that local merchants should keep in mind:
- Staying social on Small Business Saturday: Simply because a merchant or restaurant is local doesn’t mean it should be antiquated. Local businesses should be up-to-date and in step with the times. If for example, they have a Facebook or Instagram page, their Small Business Saturday offerings should be promoted loud and clear. (This is one example of how technology can complement, not replace, the human element.)
- Help from American Express® – again: Writing for Small Business Trends, Rieva Lesonsky makes note of marketing and promotional materials that local businesses may have access to, thanks to their patron, American Express®. These resources are available for download at the Small Shop Studio. (Once again, technology here helps and does not hinder the humanity of buying and selling.)
- Stating the obvious: The atmosphere of every local business on Small Business Saturday should be warm, welcoming, and personal. It should be mutually pleasant for the merchant and each customer who visits. That may seem obvious, but it should be noted that such a feeling most likely does NOT exist during the hustle, bustle, rush and stress of Black Friday – on anyone’s part.
It is fitting that Small Business Saturday is part of the Thanksgiving weekend, as its tone is one of personal connection, albeit between customer and merchant. And as this shopping day gains in recognition with each passing year, it increases the value and individuality of small businesses everywhere.
If your local business might benefit from one or more marketing services at EGC, contact us today.