I was discussing potential ideas for upcoming blog posts with a brilliant writer/editor in the Atlanta, GA market. One idea was about the upcoming “Small Business Saturday”. He had no idea what I was talking about. I was dumbfounded. Immediately I contacted people asking if they knew of the “Shop Small” Movement.
“I know of it.”
“Ya, isn’t that during the summer?”
Lesson learned--Just because you know something, your consumers may not.
So, we at SIX decided it would be best to inform you of:
- What Small Business Saturday Is
- Why It Matters
- Tips On How To Promote Yourself While Surviving In the “Amazon Era”
With that, we need to go back to one of the worst times for small business in the history of America--
How It All Started - The Financial Crisis
For those of us who lived through it, the global financial crisis was one of the most terrifying moments of our lives. Businesses were closing. The DOW was plummeting. 401ks were dissipating.
The American Dream was on life support.
Then, American Express had an idea.
On November 27th, 2010 American Express, one of the biggest corporations in the world, asked consumers to “Shop Small” and launched “Small Business Saturday”.
Little ironic, isn’t it, a major company wanted people to “Shop Small”?
Well, what seemed on the surface to be just another day for businesses to solicit consumers money in between “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday” while using their American Express cards--
Then It Became A Movement!
- 2011-The U.S Senate Unanimously passes a resolution in support of the day. All 50 States Participate.
- 2013-Organizations starting forming nationwide, called Neighborhood champions. Today there are over 7,200 of them.
- 2017-Senate passed a bi-partisan resolution designed to increase the awareness of the value of shopping local and its impact on the community. Officially recognizing the Saturday after Thanksgiving as “Small Business Saturday”.
On the eight Saturdays Since Small Business Saturday originated, approximately $85 Billion Dollars has been spent with the “mom and pop” retail stores and restaurants of this country!
The American Dream may have suffered a standing 8-count, but it fought back!
Small Business Saturday helped fix the U.S. Economy. It also restored the livelihood of millions of American families and saved communities.
Let’s go a little deeper into this.
Why Shopping Local Matters?
When many of those, shockingly enough, don’t know what Small Business Saturday is--It wouldn’t be conjecture to assume they don’t understand the impact shopping local has.
For example, here are a few of the major ways shopping small matters:
Think about the last one. 68% of every dollar spent stays with you, your friends, your family, your community. Not many of us have the time or the resources to be a major contributor to our community.
But here is a tip: Shopping local is clearly one simple way to do so.
Speaking of tips...
How To Promote And Stand Out Among The Behemoths
- Community: Be an active member in your local community, and the people of it will be more inclined to do business with you. How many of us go to the same mechanic because we know them, we trust them? This could easily be you.
- Be Authentic: Don’t go for the same “tricks” the box stores use during “Black Friday”. If you need to have a sale for an entire week, do so. Get them in. Give them amazing service. And they’ll be back. Do you think the local superstore cares about how happy they were with their “Black Friday” purchase?
- Be Kind To Your Customers And Staff: Don’t require either of them to be up at 3am to save a few dollars. Quick story: This year, is the first Thanksgiving I will have with my father in over 20 years! And he has to leave early. He works at a major sporting goods store who will remain nameless. All because he has to be up at 3am. Family comes first no matter if they’re yours or theirs. Remember that.
- Fanclubs: Use your existing database as supporters. Whether Instagram followers, Facebook fans, or an email list-- Ask them to spread the word of “Shop Small”/”Small Business Saturday”. Maybe It works!
Has Small Business Saturday Worked For Us?
It’s difficult to quantify whether or not this day has created growth for SIX Marketing. However, we are a boutique Advertising Agency which has grown and continues to grow because of small business.
It wasn’t shortly after the inception of Small Business Saturday that SIX was born. Since then, we’ve been witness to our clients and their families growth year after year. And being a part of that hasn’t only been amazing, it has also made them a part of our family, and us theirs.
Because of this, and because this is the perfect time of year to do so-- We at SIX Marketing would not only like to thank them, but thank all Small businesses throughout this great nation of ours.
Without you, we don’t exist.
From ours to yours, Happy Holidays and remember to shop local!