Most of us have very interesting ancestry stories which map out a heroic quest on the part of our grandparents and great grandparents; many of whom dreamt of making a better life for their families. Our country was founded on the American Dream, which encouraged individuals to start businesses, build communities and fuel the economic welfare for its members.
Since 2010, there has been a movement to help kick start the holiday buying season for small businesses by allocating a special day that promotes “Shop Small.” This day is called Small Business Saturday, and it takes place on the Saturday following Thanksgiving each year.
In five years, the Small Business Saturday movement, through its founding partner American Express, has spread nationwide. Moreover, it has increased awareness of the importance of supporting local “mom and pop” shops in local neighborhoods. In fact, in 2013 alone, consumers aware of Small Business Saturday spent $5.7 billion.
In addition to investing PR dollars to elevate the importance of Small Business Saturday, last year 1,500 Neighborhood Champions were selected across the U.S. to drive sales with marketing resources and promotional items. These advocates got creative by developing campaigns to include multiple small businesses in their communities to ban together for Small Business Saturday. One business developed a passport whereby patrons could collect stamps as they shopped in each participating small business. Once the passport was full, the patron was gifted with several rewards for Shopping Small.
This year, email marketing firm CakeMail, one of our clients, has created free marketing tips, email campaign templates, a webinar and printable infographic to help small businesses not
“Small Business Saturday is an amazing opportunity to offer shoppers something special, draw new customers into local shops, and cast a net to reach a broader audience,” said CakeMail CEO Francois Lane. “Small businesses are the heartbeat and cornerstone of a community. It’s our goal to help these entrepreneurs be successful. We hope to attract more small businesses to test drive our email marketing app for free, while giving them tools to be more successful in attracting and keeping customers coming back.”
To make 2014 their greatest Small Business Saturday yet, businesses need to plan ahead. Check out the CakeMail powered infographic to gain some insights for how to run your Small Business Saturday offense this year.
If you are a consumer, plan to Shop Small this November 29th. If you are a small business owner, take the advice of CakeMail: plan ahead, lure them in, get the word out (use one of their free e-newsletter templates), ask your customers how you can keep in touch, and never forget to say thank you!
Small Business Saturday launches the holiday season. Make your day count. Offer specials throughout the season and keep them coming back for more. Provide in-store demos to attract a crowd, and maybe let your customers know what’s ahead. This one-day event needs to be viewed as a seasonal event that builds over months. 2015 is just around the corner.
Keep your American Dream alive.