fbpx I know what you’re thinking: “Small Business Saturday is in November and it is only August. Let’s at least wait until Pumpkin Spice Lattes are available at the local coffee shop!” But did you know that the sooner you prepare for SBS to create awareness about your store, the more money consumers will spend? Welcome to the RICS monthly blog series: “Small Business Saturday: What to Do Now to Prepare,” where we’ll post tips and facts about SBS to make sure your small business is ready for November 28th. Before we jump into our tips, let’s go over the brief history of Small Business Saturday. Small Business Saturday started on November 27, 2010 to encourage holiday shoppers to spend their dollars at small, local businesses, rather than at big box retail and e-commerce stores on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. In 2011, Small Business Saturday became officially recognized by the U.S. Senate after governors, mayors, senators, and even President Obama, all voiced their support and approval for the day. In 2012, American Express helped encourage small business owners to advertise and promote their stores, which led to an estimated $5.5 billion spent at small independent businesses on that day. 2013 brought a 3.6% increase in sales compared to the previous year, with $5.7 billion spent on Small Business Saturday. The sales and popularity continued to grow in 2014 with 88 million consumers spending an average of $162 per person. So what does all of this mean? “More Americans recognize the direct link between shopping locally and stronger communities and that’s an extremely positive result,” said NFIB President and CEO Dan Danner. It also means that you definitely won’t want to miss out on this amazing opportunity to increase sales and interact with the local community. To learn more, you can check out the official website, brought to you by American Express.

Here is what you can be doing now to prepare for Small Business Saturday:

Incorporate Small Business Saturday into Your Bigger Holiday Marketing Campaign If you have already started thinking about the holidays, don’t forget about Small Business Saturday. You should make sure to include this day into your holiday plans and marketing campaign. When thinking about your business goals during the holidays, think about how Small Business Saturday can help you achieve those. Take advantage of your increased traffic on November 28th and get those customers to come back in before the holidays are over! RICS Tip: Collect new customer information in RICS and reach out to them about special offers and news. Learn from Businesses That Previously Took Part If this is your first time participating in Small Business Saturday, talk to other small businesses near you to learn about their experiences and any advice they might have. Businesses that have previously taken part in this day will be able to offer you helpful insight. If you are already part of the “Shop Small” movement and want to help promote Small Business Saturday, reach out to small businesses who may not have much information about this day. Help to spread the word and create buzz about SBS! Tune in next month for more about Small Business Saturday and what you should to do prepare for it. Meanwhile, check out our ebook to learn how to motivate your employees.