It may be August, but it’s never too early to start planning for the holidays. If you start now, you have time on your side, and you can stage a successful Small Business Saturday event that will have everyone talking!

Saturday, November 28th is the date for 2015 Small Business Saturday. Not sure what Small Business Saturday is? Here’s some background from American Express®, the founder of the annual event:

“First there was Black Friday, then Cyber Monday. November 27, 2010 was the first ever Small Business Saturday. Small Business Saturday is the day we celebrate the Shop Small® movement to drive shoppers to local merchants across the U.S.¹

“Shop Small® is a movement encouraging people to shop at small businesses; millions of individuals, businesses, and communities have embraced it nationwide. . . As a small business owner, you [have access to] free marketing materials, including in-store signage, social media posts, and email templates, to help you promote your business. You can also read stories of how other small business owners have made the most of Shop Small® marketing materials.²

“More than 200 organizations have already joined American Express OPEN, the company’s small business unit, in declaring the Saturday after Thanksgiving as Small Business Saturday.¹”

So, what can YOU do to make your event a success? Here’s 6 ways to rock your Small Business Saturday

rolesville shop small swag

1. Plan a unique event

Have an early bird sale, offer free donuts for first 50 customers, hold a scavenger hunt for items in your store, etc. Tell your current clientele about your Small Business Saturday event in your email campaigns and talk about it on your social media sites

2. Use a count-down calendar
Download a count-down calendar to add to your website, add a paper count-down calendar in your store, or share the Small Business Saturday countdown calendar on Facebook and Instagram.
3. Coordinate with other Small Business Saturday participants
Work with another local business to offer creative packages: buy a donut in my shop, get 20% off your purchase at the hardware store–just show the donut receipt. Be creative and have fun, and experience the excitement with other local merchants.
4. Talk about it on social media
Small Business Saturday has done the hard work: social media posts and hashtag campaigns have already been created–jump on the bandwagon. Tweet about it, post it on Facebook, tag your Instagram photo. No need to reinvent the wheel!
5. Collect contact info at your event
Make it easy to collect email addresses: use QR code to join your list, text to join, paper sign-up at register, enter into POS at time of sale, customize your printed/digital receipts with your social links to follow/like, etc. Give them a reason to join your list—maybe offer an additional discount that is only good for your Small Business Saturday customers. Think outside the box!
6. Follow up, follow up, follow up
Well before your event, create your email follow up campaigns. Then, on Sunday (or Monday), just upload your new contacts, and hit the send button. Make it a little easier on yourself.

Using these methods, you are sure to create some unique, successful campaigns. Be sure to share your success stories with your local media and online. For more information about Small Business Saturday, visit