SCORE

Last year, 112 million shoppers spent a reported $15.4 billion at small businesses on Small Business Saturday, according to American Express.

This year, the sky’s the limit — but only if you’re ready to celebrate your own company and your small business neighbors on Small Business Saturday 2017.

Whether this is your first Small Business Saturday or you’ve been participating for years, review these steps for success.

Save the date and plan your promotions

Small Business Saturday 2017 takes place on Saturday, November 25. Save the date now by making a Facebook event for your business and downloading free promotional materials from the Shop Small Studio. You can even customize your marketing downloads specifically for your business.

What’s the best way for your small business to take part in this celebration? It’s up to you! You may choose to offer a discount to customers or a special sale on popular items. You might work with other businesses nearby to offer a small discount when shoppers show a receipt from another retailer. Or skip the discounts, and simply celebrate small businesses with refreshments or a special performance.

Talk to your local small business network to discuss ways to get involved and create excitement around this special day. You can even apply to be a Neighborhood Champion and serve as an ambassador for other businesses who want to get involved.

Brainstorm with your staff

Your small business team can help you prepare for a successful Small Business Saturday, whether you offer a special promotion or simply decide to offer extended hours.

Since Small Business Saturday falls on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, it’s important to share your plans for this holiday weekend with your staff several weeks before the holiday. You may need to adjust staff schedules or make changes to your store’s hours to accommodate customer expectations during the holidays.

If your small business is closed on Thanksgiving, consider bringing your team together the next day to make final preparations for Small Business Saturday. Your team will be refreshed and ready to go after spending the holiday with loved ones.

Check your inventory

In these six weeks before Small Business Saturday, review your inventory and supplies. Do you have enough of your most popular items to avoid expensive, last-minute holiday orders from your vendors? Do you have enough shopping bags, takeout containers, or other packaging needs? Taking stock of your supplies and inventory now can help prevent costly headaches during the holidays.

If you’re not an official Neighborhood Champion for nearby small businesses, connect with the person who is to access special promotional materials like balloons, posters and tote bags.

Meet with your SCORE mentor

While you’re planning for Small Business Saturday, take time to meet with a SCORE mentor for a small business checkup. Are you ready for a busy holiday season? Do you feel confident to promote your business for Small Business Saturday and beyond? Share any concerns with your mentor so they can guide you through best practices for success this holiday season.