It’s almost that magical time of year again — the time when consumers do their annual holiday shopping and small businesses see a ramp-up in sales. Now in its 10th year, Small Business Saturday is a shopping event that encourages consumers to buy from small businesses. Like other shopping events like Black Friday, Small Business Saturday rakes in some serious cash. In fact, in 2018, 104 million shoppers spent around $17.8 billion during the event. If you’re wondering how you can have a successful Small Business Saturday, wonder no more. We outline simple ways you can participate in this profitable holiday shopping day. Brief History of Small Business Saturday Before we get into the ways your business can take advantage of Small Business Saturday, let’s talk about how this day came about. Small Business Saturday started as a holiday marketing campaign launched by American Express in 2010. The well-known credit card company incentivized participation in this event. American Express offered Facebook ad credits for small businesses that signed up to participate. Also, cardholders who vowed to use their credit cards for small companies were gifted a $25 credit. Since the campaign’s launch, Small Business Saturday has become a permanent fixture. The goal of this shopping day is to encourage consumers to support their local communities and small businesses. How to Participate in Small Business Saturday Businesses that wish to participate in Small Business Saturday can get all the information they need by visiting the Small Business Saturday page. There you will find marketing material, ideas, stories and so much more to spread the word about your involvement and gain support for Small Business Saturday. Of course, signing up with American Express is just one way you can take part in Small Business Saturday. Below are a few other strategies to make sure your marketing strategies go off without a hitch. Prepare Small Business Saturday Deals People are hunting for the best deals during the holiday shopping season, so why not give it to them? The best way to participate in Small Business Saturday is by offering exclusive special discounts and deals. Get Social There are millions of people on social media in the United States — 247 million, to be exact. So, the best way to spread the word about your participation in Small Business Saturday is through social media. You can start by using the hashtag #ShopSmall or #SmallBizSat. These hashtags increase engagement and let users know you’re offering deals for Small Business Saturday. Partner with Other Businesses Connecting with other merchants is an excellent way to give your business a boost during the holiday shopping season. Networking will provide you with the opportunity to increase your reach and further promote your shopping deals. Too timid for business networking? Check out our networking guide for the shy entrepreneur. Are You Prepared for Small Business Saturday? Although Small Business Saturday is around the corner, it’s not too late to begin planning. Comment here or email us at Info@SmallBizAlly.com and tell us what you're offering and what you're doing and we'll be sure to share it as well. Remember we are here to help you formulate the perfect holiday marketing strategy for your small business. Schedule a call now!