Make This Your Best Small Business Saturday Ever

How to get even more local dancers and dance Moms to #ShopSmall (but buy big) with your dance store this November 30 on Small Business Saturday

Woman with Shop Small tote bag walking past local storefronts.
Each year, more and more shoppers turn out to support their local merchants on Small Business Saturday. Don’t miss out! Courtesy of American Express.

Small Business Saturday is around the corner—it’s on November 30 this year. And even though back-to-school and recital time are a dance retailer’s biggest selling seasons, the day after Black Friday can give your holiday sales a nice boost, too, to close out the year strong.

Each year the event grows—in shoppers and sales. In 2018, an estimated 104 million consumers spent nearly $18 billion at independently owned local stores on Small Business Saturday. And more than 7,500 Main Street merchants became Neighborhood Champions, rallying their communities with events and activities like block parties and pop-up markets to drive traffic to local businesses. 

Free Marketing Materials 

Do you have your store’s plan in place? American Express, which launched Small Business Saturday nine years ago, provides free marketing materials that any local business can download from its Shop Small Studio—everything from e-mail headers and social-media cover and profile art to templates for flyers and posters that you can customize. In addition, if you accept the American Express card, your store will be recommended to cardholders in e-mails and their online accounts, and it will appear in search results on the Shop Small Map online.

Do’s and Don’ts for Small Business Saturday

To boost your chances of a successful Small Business Saturday, here are some tips:

Don’t focus on slashing prices, like big-box stores do for Black Friday.

Instead, promote your strengths as a small business—the special experience shoppers get at your store. (That includes the chance to support a local business, which is something more and more consumers want to do.) You might showcase small dancewear makers on that day, as Allegro Dance Boutique has, or host a workshop or meet-and-greet with a local dance celebrity. (Remember how President Obama would visit an indie bookshop in DC each year?) Mary Ann’s Dance and More will hold its 4th annual Ugly Sweater Party this year, with discounts for customers who wear, well, ugly sweaters. Consider setting up an extra-special backdrop for selfies at your store and offering snacks to draw people in. Or band together with other local merchants to cross-promote your businesses. And, of course, excellent personal customer service is always your strong point, right?

Do consider extending your hours. 

Check out what other Shop Small events are going on in your town, and tailor your hours to take advantage of the increased foot traffic nearby.

Do staff up. 

Even if staff have quiet times, it’s better to be overstaffed so no customer (especially new ones) has a frustrating experience waiting to get help or check out.

Don’t neglect your merchandise mix. 

It’s a mistake to see holidays simply as clear-out time. Stock up strategically so your promotional efforts result in maximum sales. 

Do pump it up on social media.

Use #shopsmall, #smallbizsat and #smallbusinesssaturday hashtags and tie a promotion to local check-ins. (Of course, you’ve made sure your store information is all up-to-date on your website, your social-media sites and all local business listings.) May this be the best Small Business Saturday ever!

Last updated November 25, 2019